i realize this thread has been forgotten a bit - but lets try to get it restarted and have the "organic" or "all-natural" chicken (or other fowl - i have ducks as well) community come together! o-what a dream! lol
) AHHH and then.... my 4 yrs old just touched the computer and erased everything else i had typed!!!! so here is the very short version and i will love to share more on this thread if we can get it going again....
my BRs have been the my most problematic birds - they are now just about a year and a half old - DH had to cull one that was very ill - i think it was from mites and we had just moved and the stress was just too much for her. (also i got them at a local feed store - so who knows) but getting birds/chicks/eggs shipped here is a project and costly - so is organic feed - i read what others pay and they think thats a lot for organic - wow i pay sooo much more - 50lb organic broiler/finisher is Thirty eight DOLLARS plus TX!! im trying to grow more to feed us and THEM!
A little back round info on my situation - we try to live/ eat organic, grow our own, organic feed no antibiotics (unless the kids really need them) I had both my children at home 1st with a midwife - 2nd she didnt make it the birth bc it happened so fast - my second child had a freak stomach thing and was life flighted to another island when she was 18 days old and was hospitalized for 10 days in the NICU, the DR. never figured out what had happened but think that her intestine had been twisted a little and was causing her belly to swell up! while in the hospital she got MRSA (as the OP talked about - super scary staph. super strain) and i was SO upset - this is why i had my babies at home in a clean MRSA hospital super virus free zone! so now this is something my child will carry and could get very sick and or die from a wound or something getting infected - here is a great article - http://www.motherearthnews.com/human-livestock-antibiotic-resistant-mrsa-link-zwfz1203zhun.aspx
the hospital saved her life and i am grateful but also gave her something that could take her life -
any how i digress....
we live in hawaii and there are bugs and more bugs and having a year round growing season is wonderful - but in turn the bugs are a constant battle - i use DE it just doesnt cut it - for these super tropical mites!!! my poor little broody is covered - and i have another BR that has worms (saw them in the poop - and most likely they all have mites - also we have lots of feral chickens here and they have mites and so on and it is impossible to keep them all out of the yard all the time. i have been using garlic, flax, cheyenne pepper, DE in the food - garlic in water, - i just started the garlic a few days ago so am hoping this will help - the BR has been looking a bit wobbly and she didnt get up on the roost a few nights last week, but is still eating and now getting up there at night, running around during the day - i am just gonna keep an eye on her and if she gets worse - not better she will be culled -
i have used pumpkin seeds in the past whenever we have - going to get some soon... they all do not grow well here unless they are japanese varieties. we have super powdery mildew too.
i have been thinking of putting some fresh bay and rosemary ( i have very large plants well bushes and trees ) of both and was curious about putting some in the nests to keep the mites away?? has anyone tried this?? i figure it cant hurt bc they brush by both in the garden all the time... and at the very least my chickens will smell pretty!
would love to here any other ideas or methods for organic chicken keeping...
great chicken garden runs on the previous pages! love it. our garden is on the other side of the yard so i made the chickens there own little plot close by - i have bird netting over it now until things get big and then its all theirs - sunflowers, tom., kale, broc. and more to come - plus they get in my garden now trying to keep them out! and they get all the scraps,fruit and garden trimmings anyhow.
i have also started to incubate some eggs from a handsome game rooster who would not leave the yard - i am thinking the feral birds are much more pest and disease resistant than domestic birds and want to get that blood into my chicks to make them more resistant to the mites, etc... of course there are sick feral birds - this rooster however was a kept bird who got loose - i posted more about it in the old fashioned broody hen hatch along just recently (more detailed story of the rooster) and there is a picture of the rooster. also game and feral birds are great broodies and i dont want to use the incubator forever -
wow - ill shut up now!! lol it was supposed to be the short version!!