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Approximately how much feed should we be going through? - Page 2

post #11 of 19

If your birds are all production reds then they'll be closer to 1/4 pound per day per bird. Larger dual purpose birds consume closer to 1/3 pound due to needing extra to grow and maintain that added body mass.  Also you noted they just started to lay so counting back two months from now they didn't eat as much as they do now...adding up both those things I'd safely say they are perfectly healthy and right on track in eating amounts.

 

Pot ash is a good deterrent of parasites. I may some day have to deworm my birds but never have in 5 years of keeping birds. They like to dust bath so either use the spot they already picked out or make a dust bath area in run with something as simple as an old tire. Fill with sand and mix in ample amount of wood ash (I use 1/3 ash or more to rest sand). The ash works like DE in that it aids in deterring infestations of internal and external parasites.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

Thanks for your replies.  They have not been free ranging for a while (my parents don't want the running around our backyard due to the droppings issue).  So, I think my main concern would be if they are supplementing from sources they shouldn't be (pine shavings, small pieces of wood chips, straw, etc.  I did notice today, that they like to kick stuff around and taste it like they are foraging - only there's not much in our run with any nutritional value (except the odd leaf).  Does this sound like a concern?  If so, I think we may need to find someplace where they can be on pasture or give them something that can forage for.  Or am I overthinking it?

 

Thanks,

 

SUsan

post #13 of 19

Can you toss some leaves, grass clippings, garden debris in there?  

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

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Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

They do get the grass clippings when my dad mows.  They have also been eating the leaves that fall from one of our trees.

post #15 of 19
The amount sounds about right. I have a three member flock (until one of the girls decide to go broody.) They go through a 50 lb bag in about 3 1/2 to 4 months. They are in an enclosed run and coop 24/7 since we have various predators around. Don't worry that they have nothing naturally growing in the run to eat and peck at. I throw in a handful of scratch in their run as well as another handful mix of grit and food. They love it and it gives them something to forage for. (Feed and grit are already mixed in their bowl inside the coop)
Be wary of using grass clippings because it could possibly lead to sour crop.
Edited by BeachMomma - 10/19/15 at 7:33am
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I will try the giving them something to forage for.  And will try to keep an eye on them to make sure their not losing weight or showing other signs of not getting enough nutrients.

post #17 of 19

If your run is void of vegetation, you can improve their health and activity level by putting a deep litter in the run.  When you clean the coop, toss the litter into the run.  Garden debris, lawn clippings, leaves... all go in the run.  They will churn these into a wonderful layer of compost that will encourage beneficial insects/organisms/worms to move into the soil, creating a healthy soil, helping to eliminate disease and parasites, while giving the flock plenty to do.  Chickens need to work for a living!  Toss some scratch into that working compost, and they'll stay busy all day long.

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I agree that we need to do something the keep them busy.  They got into the insulation on the side of our house today (my Dad is going to block it off again).  So, the more healthy ways they have to work their energy off the better.  We do have sort of a modified deep litter thing going on in the run (leaves, pine chips, pine shavings, and bark mulch), while I am trying to think what I should do with it permanently.  I do pick up their droppings at least once a day.  My main concern with the deep litter method would be avoiding mold (especially during the winter) and knowing when to rake everything out.  If I go with a modified deep litter method (read pine shavings, leaves and pine chips combined) what would clue me in to it being time to rake things up and replace?

post #19 of 19

With deep litter, you should not need to replace the litter.  The idea is to let it turn into a working compost.  Toss some scratch in there.  Toss in as much organic material as you can get your hands on.  The goal would be to get it 6" deep.  Good luck with that, b/c you'll see that the stuff will just melt right into the soil as the beneficial organisms go to work on it.  There should be absolutely no need to rake the chicken poo out of there b/c the organisms will also break that down very nicely.  Just let it be, add some scratch, and the chickens will turn it all in for you.  You'll also find that when it starts working, there will be no odor, just a nice clean earthy smell.

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
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