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, December 11, 2010

Feeding in the last week before processing cockerels...

Trying something new at the moment, just for the hell of it.

I have many bags of bandsaw dust in our freezer, scrounged off a local butcher who's happy to see them go to good use, for a small fee. However bandsaw dust (a byproduct of when the butcher saws chops etc) is quite fatty and too high in bone to be a good regular food, especially for laying hens. It's more of a treat for birds.

Next I bought some cheap rolled oats from the supermarket, which were a similar price (per kilogram) to a big bag from the feed store but easier to handle, and I only needed a weeks' worth. A similar bargain bought me some split red lentils.

Every morning my growers are getting the sprout diet. But of an afternoon I'm now giving them the following:

Four parts rolled oats
Three parts bandsaw dust
One part split red lentils (could also use split peas)
Tablespoon skim milk powder for a quarter bucket of mash
Warm water to make a firm mash, not too sloppy.

They love the mash and happily fill their crops on it. While I didn't bother weighing them before beginning this final week's diet, I'm comfortable saying that I think they're all putting on a little extra weight. Certainly their crops are very distended at night-time.

I wouldn't want to feed this as a regular diet to breeders, but as a fattening diet or for a short term boost I can't see there would be any drawbacks, particularly given that their morning feed is so complete, and that they also receive chopped fresh greens. And I'm happy too that the protein isn't in a rendered form.

I'll post results when the time comes...

No comments: