Rob Stenger wrote:In coastal Maine many people give lobster carcasses/carapaces (leftover shells) to their chickens to pick at. Gives the yolks an almost red color... Could probably work with crayfish/shrimp/crabs in other areas.
Shawn Harper wrote:Sorry about the delay in reply. My compost pile was about 6 yards in size, flipped daily. I don't know how it handles over winter as I had to move last month and the new pile isn't hot. sucks buying feed.
Tina Hillel wrote:.
It is way easier to be able to catch the gentled birds, but we found that they ended up with a higher mortality rate.
Although it is fun having the social birds, I want them to live long and be able to take care of themselves.
Tj Jefferson wrote:Failure story more like it. What I think I have learned:
Chix need energy and protein to lay eggs, and even with that they may not if its too dark. I'm not doing lights and heat, so this last week I just changed the protein and calorie inputs. They laid eggs with more protein and almost none without. I gave them dry mealworms as the source.
Short version, they need more protein than they are getting. This has been my concern based on my schema. Few bugs are around this time of year, and I do give them access to mulch piles with some fungal hyphae, but they clean it out pretty quick. I am not sure we will get reliable winter eggs without external feeds in paddocked chickens.
It could mean I just need to force them to eat the paddock vegetation and suffer through low egg yield. Thoughts?
Tj Jefferson wrote:
You definitely are in a tough climate! I wonder what the northern europeans used to feed them wintertime? I know there are swedish chickens, so I assume they came from up there and had some way of feeding them.
Tina Hillel wrote:Hi Cecile, I just saw your question about my chicken mortality. Sorry, for the delayed response.
Our chickens transferred their friendliness and lack of fear to everything! As they followed my husband and I, they would get used to other people that were around- visiting friends, neighbors, customers for my husband's repair shop. They would leave our property and go visiting. We found a couple at a neighbor's house a half mile from home. They followed our car back down the gravel road home.
Like I mentioned earlier, they were also less willing to go forage on their own (point of OP's post-sorry).
C Gale wrote:My chickens love the gaint zucchinis, once you chop and end off they will go until its hollowed out. And the best training aid I have found are peanuts I can get one hen to fly up onto my hand by clicking my fingers and rewarding her with a piece of peanut aye
as noted by prior posters seems to indicate that they are anemic, and I blame unsprouted grains. I am feeding them purchased millet and wheat this winter to see what deficiencies show up.
colour of their wattles
Leslie Russell wrote:I have to chime in. I'm in central Florida, and don't have the restrictions everyone else has in the way of cold. Being from Wisconsin, I know all about that tho. Very hard to feed chickens well when it's freezing cold.
I've started growing fodder in trays outside since, well, I can, but that hasn't been without issues. I'm working them out one by one and should have a decent system soon. I buy red wheat berries from a store online, and I'm organic so I pay more. You might take a look at this video, because her system is indoors. https://youtu.be/RX4VoV7DeG8
Here's the thing I'm thinking for those of you looking for green and protein sources that are cheap to get your chooks through the winter:
Work out a warm area to use for growing feed - think of it like a greenhouse dedicated to chicken feed. It could be in a garage, basement, living room....(LOL) just warm enough and a water source.
1) Start a fodder system like in the video I mentioned. It can be done and once you get going it's fun. It'd be a nice pick-me-upper if you live "up north" where there's nothing green.
2) Start keeping bsfl. There's a ridiculous amount of info out there, and I've sifted through it all. You can go complicated or simple depending on your temperament, skill and budget. It doesn't have to stink, it's fun to learn about the life cycle and how to keep your "colony" growing, and my lord, the chickens go ape-*st* for them. BSFL is taking the world by storm, and I wanted to get in on the action by raising them myself. It's by far the best source of protein you can farm yourself for your chickens. There's a guy on youtube that successfully kept his bin outside, next to his house, using an insulation blanket and heating pad. I say bring it inside, and make a reasonably warm place to grow fodder and raise bsfl.
If anyone wants links to videos I've saved that were helpful to me after watching 800 of them, I'll post them here.
F Agricola wrote:'I'm interested to know what other permies have done successfully to grow feed for their chickens or other poultry.'
I always plant more vegetables than we use, particularly leafy greens: some for us, some for the chooks. The 'cut and come again' varieties are great for that.
My chooks love fresh coriander, mint and parsley, which is a bugger because in our warm/hot climate those plants tend to bolt to seed far too readily even in the cooler months.
Two great ideas I saw on one of our TV gardening shows:
A. punch holes in a large tin (about the size of a 4 litre olive oil tin), hang it by a wire in the chook yard a few feet off the ground above the reach of the chickens, and place scraps of meat in it. Flies lay eggs on the rotting meat, maggots develop and fall through the holes to feed the chooks a nutritious snack.
B. Construct a small garden bed in the chook yard, plant it out with a variety of greens, then cover it with the smaller grade of bird wire mesh. As the plants grow through the mesh the chickens can peck it at their leisure - low maintenance too.
I can't beleive you just said that. Now I need to calm down with this tiny ad:
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