I'm wondering if anyone uses the Natural Farming techniques for poultry raising and might have knowledge to pass along regarding the technique in general and a few specific questions I have:
1) The lactic acid inoculated floor of the coop: they, of course, recommend the use of IMO3 sprayed on the deep litter of the coop. In lieu of that, I'm wondering if I could use a slurry of kombucha scoby as the microbial inoculant?
2) I read the recommendation of brown rice grains for chicks...and bamboo shoots after 1st 3 days... are there other grains that can be used in place of rice and what other greens can be used in place of the bamboo shoots? Also, options for the rice husks (added at day 50)?
3) do they feed any fermented grains or is the inoculated litter the only source of beneficial microbes?
4) where can I find more details on the feed mixture recipes used for various stages?
I'm looking at feeding both chickens and ducks if possible...or trying this for both anyway...just want more info before starting to experiment...
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I've never heard of this method, but it sounds interesting.
Lactic Acid Bacteria, which is what IMO3 (indigenous microorganisms) is, is easy to culture. Cabbage is naturally covered in Lactic Acid Bacteria. Look up how to make sauerkraut. You can use the excess liquid from that to make your starter culture to use in this method.
Any add all grain/seeds are good for chickens and chicks. Chickens can take things up to corn kernel size but chicks need something smaller. Naturally, the mother hen will pick out food the right size for her chicks. If you are not letting the hen feed her chicks, then I'd stick with chick starter feed until they are a bit older. Sprouted grains are much easier to swallow. You could try a sprouting mix such as this if you want but keep in mind that chicks need lots of protein, so I'd be careful about limiting their diet.
I give my chickens all the weeds I pull from my beds. They eat what they want and shred the rest into the coop floor. After a few days old, chicks can eat small greens too, but you have to be careful that they are small enough for them to swallow. They aren't able to shred their own green yet and a long piece of grass could get stuck in them and they could choke. Make sure anything you give them is no more than 1/2 inch long.
As far as feed mixtures, I'd let the birds start foraging as soon as they can. Then all you have to do is worry about macro nutrients (17%-20% protein). But if you really want to, make sure that there is a wide variety of seeds and grains from different families of plants.
I'm glad you brought this up because i need to set the duck house and sheep shed up for the winter and forgot about this method. Acres magazine had a good article about korean Natural farming with pigs in February that has a recipe for inoculate in it. I will try to attach an article by M. DuPonte Hilo Cooperative (I,m a Ludite so it might not work) that has a recipe also.