Feeding and natural stuff for chooks

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by Tulipwood, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Tulipwood

    Tulipwood Junior Member

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    Yes I am a new mother hen - how did you guess?

    What does everyone feed their chooks? What's your rationale for your choice?
    I've heard that giving them garlic around the full moon is a good idea - what do you think? And if it is, how do you administer it? Anything else you give them regularly as a 'health promotion' strategy?

    Thanks.
     
  2. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Occupation:
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    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    We do give garlic and cider vinegar two days before the full moon Tulipwood. This goes into a bran mash with some seaweed meal dolomite and molasses and occasionally some cod liver oil. You can give it in water if you withdraw water for half a day (careful in hot weather) Mostly our chooks get the pick from the circle beds and a bit of grain each evening than some scattered in the morning to encourage scratching. If they seem to be constantly hungry we will continue to feed them until they stop eating then withdraw the remainder of the food. They also get scraps and when it was convenient we would pick up scraps from the local organic shop for them. We collect any curl grubs during weeding and feed them to the chooks and of course snails and slugs though they are not that keen on too many slugs.
     
  3. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Can I source all those things from a rural supplies place? I use a commercial grain mix, plus kitchen scraps, and whatever else I can find in the garden (they do love curl grubs...). While the grain isn't very expensive, it would be nice to find the cheapest (but still good) food options for them.

    I've now got 2 "trained" chooks, that I can take out of the dome, put in one spot and they'll stay there and not wander off and start eating the seedlings I just planted. Usually the spot I'm putting them is the compost pile that I'm digging over and it's quite a bonding moment to watch them get all the bugs as you turn the pile....
     
  4. Tulipwood

    Tulipwood Junior Member

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    Is this the only time you give them the bran mash/seaweed meal/dolomite/molasses/oil mix - ie full moon? Is it for both days leading up to and including the full moon, or just that one day? About one garlic clove per bird??
    If yes to above, then the rest of the month it's just grain, scraps and circle pickings (plus sundry weeds, bugs, herbs, whatever you've got in excess)?
     
  5. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Wheat can vary from 8 to 14% protien , the wheat grown around here is typically about 9 / 10% so i provide meatmeal in another feed container and they take a little each day , they get greens from garden kitchen scraps ect , if you want to breed it pays to be fussy with nutrition this is the main factor influencing incubation success , "breed pellets" wont provide enough vit/min no matter what the label says .
    regards Terra
     
  6. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    The seaweed/dolomite/molasses mash is fed to them occasionally when we intuit that they need it. The garlic and cider vinegar is for the two days (twice) each full moon. A clove is enough for three birds or more and cider vinegar is a few drops. It don't take much They should all be available at the produce store.

    We buy our grain by the tonne and share with others in the area.
     
  7. greenfarmers

    greenfarmers Junior Member

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    Hi Tulipwood,

    We also do the garlic, ACV in their water two days before the moon and have not had a parasite problem since.

    We feed an organic grain scratch and then food scraps and greens from the garden, as the chooks rotate through the beds in their dome.

    Sometimes it can be hard when there is not much around, but they do love fruit fly infected tomatoes etc and watermelons etc that didn't become tasty.

    Heidi
     
  8. Tulipwood

    Tulipwood Junior Member

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    Is "garden lime" interchangeable with dolomite for the purposes of your chook food PP?

    Thank you Eco, Terra, Heidi and PP for your contribution. I'm feeling more confident that I'm caring for the girls reasonably well now.
     
  9. greenfarmers

    greenfarmers Junior Member

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    From memory it is not quite the same Tulipwood -- can't remember why, but it's in the book. Will look it up tomorrow for you.

    Heidi
     
  10. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Occupation:
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    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    Garden lime is highly reactive and dolomite is just ground up rock. The garden lime has been heated then watered I think to make it work faster but I would not use it on the chooks.A bag of dolomite will not cost much and will last for yonks unless you start spreading it around your peas and onions or tomatoes for calcium(a longer term solution)
     

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