Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by hellbender, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2011
    Midlands, South Carolina
    I am thankful that I do not have to do anything different in the winter that I would have to do any other time of year.

    It was good to see the discussion on scales. You can't intelligently breed poultry without them. The type or style is not as important as being able to get accurate weights when they are young (8wks) and at maximum size.
    I always wanted to get an old cocker's scale, but it would be as much nostalgia as anything.

    The comments on eggs per week are not informative. Eggs in the pullet year, with or without lights, would be helpful. It is not how many they lay in a week that makes them a good layer. Not to mention perception is never completely accurate. It is how many they lay in a pullet year. That is from POL to molt, or for a hen when she comes back into lay until the molt.

    Concerning protein, what is important is the amino acid profile and it's digestibility. More so than qty. This can be accomplished any number of ways with any number of sources. Animal protein supplements are especially helpful during breeding season, molting, conditioning etc.
    1 person likes this.
  2. Beer can

    Beer can Chicken Obsessed

    Aug 12, 2014
    Upstate NY
    Do you or Underwood sell hatching eggs? Or chicks? Not for me but dad, when he see's my mix of egg layers he always says "boy I miss having my own". His coop still stands and looks good, uses it for storage now, its big 20'x24' made out of old barn boards and hemlock saplings for the frame work with old barn galvanized roofing, I don't think he had any $ in it back thirty plus years ago. He's not that old, 60 this year I think. I bet if I got ahold of some nice RC Reds He'd about freak out and get back into it, he keeps saying he would like to have fresh eggs again, I bet it's been about twenty years since his stock of reds was killed off by a weasel, even big bad George, the meanest roo I ever grew up with died by the teeth of that weasel, he hasn't had chickens ever since. I imagine his reds were heritage, had them from when he was young until I was probably 14, I've hated weasels ever since, took out his whole flock, just popped their heads off and let them lay, dad did catch the weasel in a rat trap but it was to late.
    On a funny note, dad saw the eggs of our EEgrs, more like olive eggers, dark olive green, he'd never heard of them before, neither did I pre BYC days, I tried to give him a dozen, he said "they look rotten" Lol!
  3. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2011
    Midlands, South Carolina
    We cannot beat a good breeder ration professionally formulated for the purpose. Unfortunately, my supplier is out of business. I was using Southern States "Super Breeder". It is a game bird breeder ration. If I could still get it reliably, I would. Many speak well of FRM to. My best hatches and biggest chicks I have had was on this ration.

    Now I supplement with Calf Manna, some hulled sunflower seeds, they have access to greens or they are provided greens, and they get extra eggs boiled. I only buy the Calf Manna and sunflower seeds. It works about as good. I try not to get to carried away, but I do appreciate the improved hatchability and the size of the chicks. Even though any smaller ones on another ration catches up when fed the same feed. That is my experience.

    A breeder ration should also have less calcium than the commercial laying rations.

    The most important thing is that they are in top condition. I was looking over my hens last weekend, and I was very pleased with their condition.

    I see the commercial laying rations as little more than maintenance feed for commercial layers. Nothing more and nothing less.
  4. Beer can

    Beer can Chicken Obsessed

    Aug 12, 2014
    Upstate NY
    Water? More like temporary water turns to ice! Lol! No problem with frostbite here but I've probably just got lucky. No heat or heated water in my coop, fill it twice a day, avg. temp 0 ,windchill -40, dry coop, good ventilation. And I'm getting eggs from non-hardy breeds! Frozen comb isn't the problem, I only have one roo right now and he only has minor frostbite on a couple points of his comb, none on his wattles thank god. The wattles are the problem, get a drink and dip your wattles in water in sub zero temps, way below zero windchill and see if you get frostbite...
    1 person likes this.
  5. Shellz

    Shellz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just catching up...great info folks!

    I modified a bucket with nipple waterers & threw in a small de-icer & the nipples froze up! I now have a black rubber pan with same de-icer in it & it's raised high enough not to get filled with straw & such. A much better solution for our area. I can use the nipple system again later when weather cooperates! [​IMG]

    I'll look or ask at my feed store for some of the suggestions made here on a breeder diet. Thanks everyone! [​IMG]
  6. hellbender

    hellbender Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 2, 2013
    Grinder's Switch

    Well, meat and bones is just about it. Ours are commercial machines that run on 220 and we still cook beef and deer bones under pressure before they are ground. Bones can quickly ruin a household machine.
  7. Dueling Rooster

    Dueling Rooster Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 22, 2015
    Griffin, GA
    hope so. Yeah I thought it odd to be molting now. Have had the light turned off for almost 3 months now. But their age is right for molting now. This has neen a strange flock from the get go anyway. I think I will reduce them and bring in a new breed or grow more Lav. orps. Have been considering Australorps.
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    True that! The next time I'll be pounding my bones up first before sending them through the grinder, as my grinder is just meant for grinding meat only and really struggled to grind the tougher bones like vertebrae and thigh bones.
  9. Heron's Nest Farm

    Heron's Nest Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2011
    I am limited in the commercial feeds I can buy. We are Organic and as such we have stringent standards to follow. My husband was involved in writing the NOP (National Organic Program) during his young rabid years, so it is deeply important to us.

    That said I am thinking about saving organ meats in the freezer.

    What are everyones thoughts on the type of animal you feed your chickens? I've noticed some of you feed chicken to your chickens.
  10. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2011
    ScottsVille, michigan
    Heron's Nest Farm, A while back last year a real controversial discussion exploded in regards to using other animals for feed. A commenter wanted to create meat birds for the purpose of feeding the rest of her flock. It created a real hornets nest! There are tons of supplemented products including meat that chickens can consume. Table scraps of veggies and such are common to offset feed costs and basically treat your birds. I dont know how much protein one could expect from using organ byproducts. I can only assume they are pretty proficient? Although I dont use meat, I do use as many green and leafy vegetables as I can. Wish you luck as feed is expensive.

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