nancy sutton wrote:When kids were older, and in bed by 8 (or 9?), I loved the late, quiet hours that were all mine...another reason why I hated to go to bed when I should have
Yes, rollypollys, pillbugs, woodlice (in UK), etc. I use a lot of wood mulch, etc., and they're supposed to limit themselves to eating up rotting material. But in spring, they find teeny seedlings very tasty... like carrots. (I think I would, too!)
Love all your info about ducks.... I think they'd figure out that pillbugs are tasty. (I originally got 3 chickens as my pillbug exterminators... but they had to learn to eat them, too!) And they are really lovely, quiet.... yes, quiet!! I forgot their #1 advantage for me! I live in a suburb
If I can figure out how to 'easily manage' their very valuable manure.... hmmmm.
Nicole Alderman wrote:
nancy sutton wrote: I've read ducks also like to poop in their water. I honestly can't tell if they do or don't, as the water is really dirty from them rinsing their bills in it. I tent to use little oil pan sized trays for bathing water, which I usually rotate from fruit tree to fruit tree to spread the muck around. I also have a normal 2 gallon pail in their duck house for use at night, to reduce their merry splashing--it's hard to bathe in a bucket!
They definitely do poop in their water. If you have enough ducks and don't change the water daily, it is very obvious. My thought is also to pour their drinking/swimming water under fruit trees. I'd upload an image, but apparently that isn't an option and I don't know if there are any photos online.
Even if we let them free range all day long, they only lay when they're fed commercial feed. I've been pondering why that is because they get a lot of bugs and tons of greenery to eat plus veggie scraps from the garden.
nancy sutton wrote:Thanks Nicole for that fascinating, farmer tested, info on how to time feeding for pooping!! And how you manage the head-dunking requirements... confirms my consideration of some plastic mixing tubs. And the possibiity of raising a tad, to attach a hose to the bottom for draining... did I say I am in suburbia? (btw, my research turned up your older duck comments, that I 'saved'.... lovely! : )
Kelly Ravner wrote:
I've been told that chickens need light in winter, but mine continue to lay well without it - the one thing I do for them is give them a midnight snack when I get home from work (actually about 1am every morning.) I give them just enough light so they can hop off their perches and fill their crops with mealworms or sprouts. I have the light on a dimmer and gradually turn it off 10 or 15 minutes later, giving them time to roost again. So I wonder if it's not so much a matter of light, but that they go a long time without food during those long, cold winter nights. It would be an interesting research project to compare extra light vs midnight snack vs natural darkness...