Alaska Chicken Lover's Soup for the Cold!!

WestfarthingHomestead

Chirping
8 Years
Jul 10, 2011
117
3
91
Alaska
Hey, Alaskans!

Considering the sad news that our only other hatchery is going away, I thought it might help for us each to state what chickens (or other critters) we have and what we're hoping to get in the coming months. I'll start!

HAVE: two Americauna pullets.

If I can expand my coop, I can have one more girl chicken within city limits.

WANT: If we move before Christmas, I want more Americauna hens, or Araucanas, and a rooster of one of those breeds. And/or I'd like to get some Black Copper Maran hens and a rooster of the same breed, but I wouldn't turn away the speckled Marans. I could be easily talked into Welsummers.

Future Wants: Silkies, Bantam Cochins, White Faced Black Spanish Bantams, Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds.

Other Critters Wanted After We Move: Nigerian Dwarf Goats, good foraging meat ducks and maybe geese, Pilgrims, Chinese, or Africans

One daughter wants Qauil and my husband wants Pheasants, by the way. Another daughter wants Bunnies.
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Also, we'll need a cat and dog.
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Goodness, what a farm! Yeah, I remind them we need to take it slow and not try to do too much too soon. This is what happens when counrty folk have to rent for waaaay too long!
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chickensinwasillaAK

Songster
8 Years
Feb 2, 2011
432
7
111
Wasilla Alaska
Well folks, I went and did it. Drove 80 miles short of the canadian border and picked up straw. I have a small trailer load of it, about 40 bales left. Figure the cost of the straw and fuel, I'm going to sell the remainder at $10 a bale. It's 5 less then AK Mill and $3 less then Animal Food whse. It's currently sitting in Wasilla, about mile 2 of KGB. I'll be back there again Saturday and it'll be available then. For Anchorage folks who might want some, I can bring it back with me in the evening saturday and we could meet.
It's nice and clean stuff, no brown straw here. The grower did tell me that this is going to be a short year for straw, they didn't have a good oat & Barley crop this year.

Also, this same person has oats & barley. I wasn't sure if my birds liked Oats but they sure do, I threw in a handful and they cleanded them up. They weren't to keen on the barley, they did eat it but weren't crazy over it. If there is enough interest in folks, I may go up again later this fall and pick up a bunch. Does anyone else feed their chickes oats?
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PaulaJoAnne

Songster
10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
2,321
13
181
Quote:
Never have fed oats, but they are just fine for them.
We buy barley by the ton from a farmer in Delta. $250 per ton, delivered to the valley.
 

WestfarthingHomestead

Chirping
8 Years
Jul 10, 2011
117
3
91
Alaska
Growing Chicken Feed in Alaska!!!
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Good morning, Fellow Alaskans. With PFDs coming up next week, we're getting ever so close to finally buying our own home and, therefore, getting lots more chickens. I'd like to grow as much of their food as possible, but my husband says it's hard to grow corn and other things in Alaska. He'll be manning the garden and I'll handle the animals on our homestead. Can you all tell me what chicken feed plants grow well here?

After some Googling, I came up with this list of potential chicken feed plants:

corn
legumes
wheat
rye
oats
barley
alfalfa
clover
kale
turnips
mustard
buckwheat
cowpeas
comfrey
potatoes
pumpkins
squash
sweet potatoes
beets
sunflowers

Can anyone tell me how well these grow up here?

Can anyone add to the list please?
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Thanks!

P.S. Once we get moved, I'm going to want some more laying hens/pullets. So, if you have any that you can't winter over, I might want them in November, December, or January. My two chickie-poos are Americaunas and I love them, but I'll take any breed.
 

WestfarthingHomestead

Chirping
8 Years
Jul 10, 2011
117
3
91
Alaska
P.S.S. I'd take in a rooster at that time too, if he's a Maran, Americauna, Araucana, Orpington, Welsummer or other dark egg layer breed, or Rhode Island Red. He would be flock sire and a pet. He wouldn't get eaten.
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Mrs MIA

Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
7,988
63
303
Quote:
I will very likely have a couple of Orpington Roosters (blue or black) to choose from at that time... they're youngsters right now. Don't know if you want to travel to Sterling for a roo, though.
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PaulaJoAnne

Songster
10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
2,321
13
181
Westfarthing,
Take some time to find out how much feed you will be feeding through a full year.
We have two goats and around 40 chickens at any given time, and we go through 2 full tons of Barley per year, plus BOSS and fishmeal for protein. We buy it by the ton from either a local farmer in Palmer or from another farm in Delta at about $240 per ton.
Growing grain for even a small flock will require several acres and proper farm equipment.

Field corn cannot grow up here.

Root veges are good for supplimental foods, but we have found that chickens tend to not like them unless they are cooked. Each flock is a bit different with its likes and dislikes though.

I would take at least a couple years to buy local, and work on testing growing various things and seeing what your flock likes, how much root cellar space you are going to need, and what veges you are able to grow well.

One note on the fish meal. Chickens up here need rather high amounts of protein. You either have to go with soy or fish meal to meet that need.


I guess what I am trying to say is, instead of doing it all yourself, network with other farms
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You won't burn out quite so easily.
 

wingsofglory

Songster
8 Years
Feb 15, 2011
316
6
100
Palmer Alaska
Paula - where do you get your fish meal?

It really is true the chickens need the animal protein.

I've had chickens here for four years around 2000 - 2005. Used Budget Feed's fishmeal feed/barley/etc, my chickens had great feathers, glossy, and always healthy.

Then left the state for five years, then came back and got chickens again this spring.

The chicken feed this year seemed very poor to me. The chickens also needed vitamins added. Budget Feed didn't have a chick starter, the grind for layer looked different than it did in 2004. So I got organic all-veg chick starter from another feedstore, (not Walmart).

Also, do you grind the barley? It has such sharp pointed ends I worry about it hurting the chicken's insides.

Thank you.
 

PaulaJoAnne

Songster
10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
2,321
13
181
Quote:
Chickens can handle anything. We feed Whole Barley, BOSS and fishmeal, which can be purchased from Animal Food Warehouse on the Palmer Wasilla Highway. Very spendy, but well worth it.
I think BF is dealing with budget issues just like everyone else, hence the lowering of quality.
 

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