Why do we need another chicken blog or forum?

Many chicken forums are moderated to sell commercial feed, chemicals and ideology.
I prefer to find my own balance between nature, welfare and cost in raising happy chickens.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

update on leghorn chicks, 2nd week without medicated starter

This is roughly their second week off any medications in the feed. They're currently eating the sprout diet with about 20% protein from lucerne, peas, meat meal and soya meal. Soya meal in Australia probably comes from US grown soy beans, and presumably it's genetically modified (91% of US soy is), but at present there are limited options for increasing protein. I don't like feeding genetically modified feeds as I think there's good reason to be concerned about long term health risks, but unfortunately growing my own protein sources (namely tagasaste and other legumes) is slow and will take some time to get going.

Here are some shots of the birds, aged six and a half weeks.

These are the girls, obligingly standing in a group:

I'm pleased to see no signs of coccidiosis in any of them. All their feathers are quite shiny, and there are no signs of pallor or being off feed. Furthermore the droppings are all sound.

As you can see, the grass has all been eaten out of the run, so it's time to move the tractor to a new patch. I'm tempted to leave it here and supply greens on the side, but they do love picking their own fresh greens.