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.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Permachicken is now up, and will stay up.


All right. It's been a long saga and I'm soooooo sorry to all those who joined only to find the website disappearing!

What happened was that iPage couldn't serve it properly, so there were long load times (up to 30 seconds at times) and at other times it simply wouldn't load.

I've now moved it to a new host. It's hard to find a good host (that's affordable) when so many review sites are faked. In the end I spent a whole day researching hosts to try to find one that was reputed to be good specifically for forums. Fingers crossed that the one I found is good.

So once again, I'm very sorry for the inconvenience and the stop-start-stop beginning to Permachicken. It will be a  great forum! Hang in there. :) And don't forget, it's now just 'www.permachicken.com', so you don't need to type 'forum'.

Best to everyone,

Sunday, April 1, 2012

milk-fed chicks feathering at super rate!

These chicks are 2 days short of 3 weeks of age. Note the advanced feathering (please forgive the tragic pen floor, but it rained unexpectedly last night)! Actually you should have seen them a week ago as then the advancement was more obvious.

Their parentage has a little to do with the amount of feather, but not everything. The father was meat hybrid x white leghorn; the mothers were a mix of commercial layers (black, white and red). While both parent birds could be expected to mature quickly, the feathering on these birds is quite advanced for such a young age.

Now as it happens, these birds have been raised with more kefir in the mix than usual. This is because I bought a new kitchen chopper just for processing sprouts etc for chick food, and for the machine to work the mix must be fairly wet.

The benefit of doing things this way is that I can mix up the adult feed, keep a bit leftover, bring it inside and add kefir and sometimes extra soy meal to make it higher in protein (and easier to digest) for the little ones. I'll admit the extra liquid caused a couple of cases of pasting (unusual otherwise) but all were fixed, and the benefit of quick feathering has been enormous.

I'm pretty convinced that the extra (100% natural) methionine in soured milk has caused these chicks to grow faster and feather earlier than usual. What a nice byproduct of feeding only natural vitamins!

Now to shift the chick tractor so the poor things aren't standing on wet soil!