Feeding Biochar to chickens... Anyone tried it?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tina love, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. tina love

    tina love Out Of The Brooder

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    This is more of an inquiry than question . . . was curious to know if anyone else has tried it and there results . .
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I would wonder ....why would you?
    There's probably someone who claims it would perform miracles of some sort.

    Wood ashes in the dusting area can help prevent external pests...and they do eat some, makes their poops black.
    Activated charcoal(not sure if it's the same) can be used as a detox for many animals.... and humans.


    But will ask to move this to the Feed Forum...might get more response there.
     
  3. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. tina love

    tina love Out Of The Brooder

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    I have been feeding my pullets (11 weeks old) and my hens (16 weeks old ) since they were a week old, biochar. I have had zero negative effects. I can walk into my coop of 15 chickens and linger all day till i get pecked at for food! There is virtually no smell and there poop is dark but not black. Tomorrow i can post pictures ...if you wanna see "it". I have read up on the effects of using the manure in a compost pile and am even more excited! The biochar that is keeping the smell down is also considered A "loaded biochar". The ammonia that cases the hored odor in a coop is absorbed into the char and turned into ammonia nitrate which plants love.This an article i pulled up that breaks it down far better than I !

    Use of biochar in feed

    In addition to its use as a litter additive, biochar, and in particular biochar bokashi, is also used as a feed supplement. Biochar promotes digestion, improves feed efficiency, and thus in particular energy absorption via the feed. Toxins such as dioxin, glyphosate, mycotoxins, pesticides and PAHs are efficiently bound by the biochar, thereby obviating any adverse effects on the digestive system and intestinal flora. The health, activity and balance of the animals will also be improved, as will meat and egg production. With animals’ immune systems stabilized, the risk of infection from pathogenic micro-organisms decreases.
    The huge economic impact of diarrhoeal diseases in poultry is well-known. The causes of these diseases are often of an infectious nature and are caused by, among others, E. coli, clostridia, coccidia and mycobacteria. Of particular importance are salmonella and campylobacter germs; while rarely causing disease in poultry, they can do so in humans. Non-infectious causes of disease are in particular poor feed quality and biocide contamination of the feed, as when herbicides are used to siccate feed grain or to treat weeds during the growing of GMO corn or soy feed. The consequences are an increased susceptibility to disease, growth depression, infertility and digestive disorders.
    Numerous factors are responsible for the stabilization of the intestinal milieu. Of particular importance here are the stabilization of the intestinal barrier and the functionality of the liver. Numerous bacteria such as lactobacilli and enterococci, but also non-pathogenic yeasts play an indispensable role here. Feeding biochar and biochar bokashi can stimulate the activity of these desired microorganisms in the digestive system. The benefit of the biochar lies therefore not least in its ability to relieve in particular the liver-intestinal circuit.
    The charging of the biochar with specific lactobacilli to direct the symbiosis in the gastro-intestinal tract of farm animals can further potentiate the effect of the biochar. Biochar bokashis produced as ready-made feed on the basis of a fermented biochar, wheat bran and herbs are an important feed supplement for maintaining and enhancing performance in animal production.
    According to studies by Van (2006), the addition of up to 0.6% biochar in the feed improves growth in young animals by an average of 17%. Similar results are confirmed by Kana (2010) and Ruttanvut (2009) for ducks and broilers. No systematic scientific studies of long-term effects exist as yet.
    It is recommended to mix 0.4% – 0.6% biochar to the usual feed. With laying hens the feed supplement should be suspended for 2-3 days every 10-15 days. Biochar bokashis, such as Carbon-Feed from Swiss Biochar, should be added 2% – 3%% to the usual feed. If biochar is already used in the feed, the amount of biochar in the litter can be reduced accordingly.

    Using biochar to improving manure quality

    The above-mentioned effects of biochar for storing moisture and nutrients also mean that the poultry manure is better degraded microbiologically. Carbon and nitrogen losses are significantly reduced and with them the emission of greenhouse gases (Steiner 2010). The fertilizer quality of the poultry manure increases strongly as a result of the biochar and the odour pollution can be reduced significantly, which increases the marketing potential of poultry manure.
    If biochar is used neither in the litter nor in the feed, it is advisable to sprinkle it in a ratio of 10 vol % on the manure belt.
    If the poultry manure is used for energy production in biogas units, the addition of biochar both increases the methane yield and improves the fertilizing quality of the digestate. Poultry manure can also be directly pyrolyzed to produce biochar and energy.
    please find the print version of this article here
     
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  5. charlady

    charlady New Egg

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    Just Hatched is spot on with her information. I am a commercial manufacturer of biochar in Qld which I have been doing for 10 years so I know quite a bit about this. I am also a chicken MUM which is why I have joined your forum.

    I probably can't add anything to the information Just Hatched shared as it is extensive and accurate but if anyone wants to know about char I can certainly help out there.

    In the meantime I'm glad I found this site so I can learn more about my chickens. I have 10 Buff Orpingtons and a very pretty rooster. I'm travelling around Qld at the moment getting on farm with people and talking about what the char can do for their soils, crops and animals so if you have any questions about any of that just let me know.
     
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  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I am going to be trying the biochar. Not looking for benefit to chickens but not wanting negative impacts either. I just made up a batch of the research grade stuff so feed by dry weight is close to 5% biochar. To suppress dust it was wetted with mixture presented to a group of cockerels as a wet feed. Dust from the stuff is nasty. Fish (Rainbow Trout) have consume a similar mixture and show no signs of depressed intake or growth. The fish consume all they want three times each day.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Um...then what's the point?
    To prove no harm?
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Ultimately more interested in feces that would be use to amend high clay soils.
     
  9. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Subscribing as my interest is peaked.

    I confess to not having heard of Biochar until I saw this thread and Googled it [​IMG]

    I am off now to do some research of my own but yes, I would like to know more.

    I wonder why “With laying hens the feed supplement should be suspended for 2-3 days every 10-15 days”?

    And, as I said, definitely not ‘arguing’ for either side but during my initial research, it was interesting to come across this site:

    http://permaculturenews.org/2010/11/18/beware-the-biochar-initiative/
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I followed link. I also follow studies of global warmng / climate change and science in general. Reductions in in atmospheric O2 is not something that appears a concern or reported. I doubt the sites accounts / assertions. Concern I do have is that some biochars may not have been properly made making for some potentially unpleasant contaminants. Batch I am working with is supposedly the good stuff.
     

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