Originally Posted by Leahs Mom How bout each of us that wants to sharing a few "NATURAL CHICKEN KEEPING" TIPS FOR THE NEW FOLKSthat have been the most helpful to us?
I'll start with a few things I want to list for the new "natural chicken keepers" that I have found to be some of the best husbandry items. Some of these have already been shared by others too. When you share your lists, please put in bullet form rather than a long paragraph...easier to read! Brooding
Dig up a chunk of sod and put in the brooder after a week. Replace as necessary (usually at least every day). Gives them exposure to what's in your soils early to build immunity. (Thanks @oldhenlikesdogs
for sharing that earlier.
-If you have older chickens, also begin to add a hand-ful of litter from the adult coop into the baby's litter at about a week old. Also exposes them while they're young.
-DON'T BE AFRAID OF A "LITTLE" AMMONIA IN THEIR LITTER. Repeat - "LITTLE
". In testing it was shown to reduce cocci when at a comfortable level for the chicks. (See article here: http://www.plamondon.com/faq_deep_litter.html PLEASE NOTE: Disclaimer: I DO NOT RECOMMEND USING LIME OF ANY KIND IN THE LITTER..
.this article speaks of using lime and I am against using it for various reasons.)General:
-If they have to be confined to a run, DEEP LITTER IT.
A HUGE help in providing healthy soil and avoiding disease conditions for more confined birds. (You can see myriads of my
posts about deep litter in the run. At the top of this page just under the title of the thread, you will see "search this thread". Limits searches to this thread only.)
-If you mostly free-range and have a run available DEEP LITTER IT. (Ditto the above comments.)
-Fresh air and sunshine, clean water. Lots of it.
-If you use ACV in their water, offer them a source of plain water to choose from also.
-If your birds don't get out of the run much, add some avian probiotics to their feed every once in awhile. (Avi-Culture 2
is the only avian probiotic on the market that states that it's not grown on a gmo substrate. A little container goes a LONG way. And, no, I don't sell or work for the company. And, yes, the website is pretty bad looking but it's a good product.
-Feed species-appropriate feed. No soy and no little or no legume seeds if possible.IF YOU FERMENT:
-If you ferment or soak your feed, LACTO-FERMENT.
No other type of fermentation was tested for chicken feed. See: http://www.naturalchickenkeeping.com/?p=111
(Already posted by @Jewelwing
This is a 3 part article so be sure to see all 3.) Also a podcast here: http://www.urbanchickenpodcast.com/ucp-episode-048/
Scroll to the bottom for the autio feed. Long but worth the listen if you have time.
-If you ferment I recommend offering both ferment and dry and let them free-choice. If you don't ferment, even soaking overnight helps reduce anti-nutrients.@armorfirelady
It was good to see you! I know you have some tips to share!