About me, my farm, my chickens, my ducks

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by bluffwood, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. bluffwood

    bluffwood New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2014
    This is our second year for poultry. We have an organic farm, certified for what we grow - hay, soybeans (being harvested as we speak!) and popcorn. 21 acres Central Indiana, it's also a bee farm, we are CNG certified for bees & honey. Our birds are:

    10 layers from 2013, mix RIR, barred rock, with a buff orp rooster replacing ol Satan (barred rock) who hurt too many people, but was delicious. The RIR have been caught breaking and eating eggs. Some of the RIR are missing a lot of feathers on the lower back. Some of the barred rock are missing some feathers, although one is not missing any, I guess I know the pecking order. Food, organic layer food.

    25 buffs from 2014, now laying regularly, including 5 or 6 roos, one which was put back with the older layers from 2013 (isolated from the buffs because of the egg breaking habits). Food: organic layer food.

    muscovy ducks, 4 from 2013 (2 males, 2 females), 1 survivor male from 2014 hatching (we have coyotes), 11 new fall ducklings of our eggs via an incubator service, and 3 fall ducklings raised (from a start of 6 or 7) now being kept by the female with the best mothering habits. (Photos from an hour ago). Males ducklings destined to be harvested. Females to remain our layer force. Primary food: organic corn (uncracked) for adults, 10% organic starter food for ducklings.

    Interested in adding meat rabbits.

    All fed organic food from the local elevator mill, a Purina dealer, BTW.

    Questions about an organic line from Purina (please!!) and rabbits... if organic is Not Avail, is there help coming up with a recipe to build my own rabbit food?

    ducks today: first walkabout with mama.
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    Barred rock from 2013, taken in 2013:
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    Buff orp 2014
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    Meat chicks from spring 2014, safely in the freezer now:
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  2. DrMikelleRoeder

    DrMikelleRoeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 3, 2014
    Raising animals organically can certainly be a challenge, and as you are finding, one of those challenges can be the procurement of a high-quality organic feed. We do have an organic line of poultry feeds in the Pacific Northwest, but obviously that does not help you. We are interested in expanding, but one of our biggest challenges is finding and locking in enough organic ingredients. While this segment of the animal industry is growing, the production of organic ingredients is not nearly keeping pace with the desire for organic food for both people and animals. To get certification via National Organic Program guidelines takes a minimum of three years, during which the crop farmer is paying for organic inputs but not getting organic prices for his crops, so it takes some investment up front to get into the organic business and some hard work to stay in it. If you can obtain organic ingredients, you can certainly build your own food. You can google the National Research Council dietary recommendations for animals, and your local Cooperative Extension service should be able to tell you where you could send ingredients for nutritional analyses (which is usually very reasonably priced). You are allowed to use 5% of the diet for inclusion of non-organic ingredients that are necessary to meet nutritional requirements (this would include items like salt, calcium carbonate, vitamins, trace minerals, etc.). The big challenge you would have is ensuring consistent and adequate intake of all the different components, since you probably do not have a pellet mill. Not easy, and you may not achieve optimal performance, but you can conceivably do it and produce an organic product.
     

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