Lorraine Long

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since Feb 22, 2015
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Recent posts by Lorraine Long

I got a copy of Beyond the Pellet. I think it would be helpful to someone just getting started--mostly what it covered I already knew or else it wasn't detailed enough to help. I thought it was a bit too specific about some things--this particular kind of willow for instance when any willow would work--or a particular place to buy seeds.

As for the question posed earlier in this thread, we started with 2 does and a buck last spring, wanting to grow our own meat that we could feed without commercial feed. We just got one bag of pellets to start because that is what they'd been raised on. But we moved them onto forage, hay (which we produce on the farm for our goats) and some whole oats. The latter mostly because we were concerned that they wouldn't do well without grain. We kept fresh green stuff in front of the does and the growing out kits all the time--grass, clover, comfrey, sunchokes, amaranth, chicory, willow, sumac, plantain, pea pods (from when we shelled out peas), brambles, purslane. I know there were more--made a list somewhere of all the things we fed them through the growing season. It took the kits 12 or so weeks to reach 5 pounds but that was on very little bought feed. This winter we fed hay, roots from our garden (mostly carrots and parsnips--want to try turnips next season), wheat fodder grown out 7 or 8 days, and willow branches we had dried in May when the trees were newly leafed out. For the past couple months we've only had our breeding stock--have bred one doe and she's due in about 10 days--keep hoping it warms up a bit. Will breed another tomorrow.
We saw no health problems. We had a chunk of salt/mineral block that we get for our goats in each cage.

I'm in New York state, between Lake Ontario and the Adirondacks--couldn't see how I should have listed my location with my name
4 years ago

Berry Buiten wrote:Actually, looking through this webpage I stumbled upon the Weeping Willow. Which is just as good as lurcerne acording to this website. It also contains 16g/kg dry matter in calcium, which ought to be good for your chooks right?



We feed the willows to our rabbits and goats--they really like it and we understand it's a good protein source. Even cut and bundled branches last May in early leaf and dried them and have been feeding them this winter. But didn't know whether chickens would eat leaves--does anyone here know? We're also planting mulberry when/if spring ever comes. Those leaves are supposed to be very good rabbit feed, the fruits not so much, but understand the chickens eat the fruit. Wonder if they would eat those leaves too.
4 years ago

Landon Sunrich wrote:I don't know that I have ever come across a sprouted seed or cracked grain that a chicken won't eat regardless of age. And rarely a form of wriggling protien neither. My favorite for chicks and function stacking is to use cover crop rye which has been pasteurized and colonized with Oyster Mushroom spawn. I just make lots and lots more than I need when I do it. Then feed the extra to the chicks. It's high protein and they love it. Hope that helps.


Thanks for letting me know that chickens can eat the sprouted or cracked grains at any age. I don't have any pasteurized cover crop rye and never heard of feeding chickens mushroom spawn. We do grow shiitake on oak logs and find oyster mushrooms in our woods on stumps and brush piles. The next post had a link which was perhaps supposed to take me to more info on the mushroom connection, but I didn't see anything relevant there. Know it can be frustrating explaining the same thing over and over to beginners.
4 years ago
Just joined after reading on here for a while. We've had chickens and have kept them in a coop built on a wagon frame with run underneath so we could move them regularly onto fresh ground spring through fall. But we also fed them commercial layer mash or pellets because everyone said that was what we had to do to get eggs. Last year we started raising rabbits for meat and successfully moved them off pellets and onto whatever we could forage (grasses, weeds, clover, willow, brambles, etc) along with some roots and cuttings from cover crops from the garden and a small amount of whole grain. This spring we will be buying chicks--only have 4 Buff Orpington hens left. This time we're getting smaller breeds because our primary reason for keeping chickens is to have the eggs. In the future we hope to breed our own chickens, ones adapted to where we live and how we feed.
So I have questions about how to feed the chicks from the start. Have read on here about putting a piece of sod in the brooder with them for them to get some practice on what they'll eventually forage. I hope to hear from someone else who has successfully raised chicks without resorting to commercial chicken feed or having them raised by a hen. We have goats for milk--always have whey to feed. Have a worm box for indoor composting. We buy whole oats and wheat, the latter we grow into fodder through the winter for rabbits and goats. At what age can chicks eat the seeds sprouted? Or could we grind some up and soak them in whey for chicks?
4 years ago