Food For Thought

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BunkyB, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. BunkyB

    BunkyB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi guys Steve the newbie here. I have been doing chichens for a very long time and I only woke up a few years ago about this food for thought. 2 parts if I may...
    For those of you as do I hate the prices of feed and the direction it goes...UP. For those of us with over 100 birds as a minimum, the price of feed is scary ! You may think this is funny but it works. I feed most of my birds in troughs, the rest in drum bins,etc. You walk in and the floors a mess around the bin side of the hen house and a lot cleaner by the troughs. I tried the v shaped, all of them always a mess on the floor. I went to the hardware store and bought a 10 foot long piece of plastic GSW eavestroughing for rain gutters on your homes. Bought 4 end caps and brackets to mount it with. The GSW troughing has an inner lip that turns down at the top edges. I took it home and made 2, 5 foot long troughs, cut her with the hacksaw. Put the end caps on both pieces, they snap on so no fuss with glue and excellent for cleaning. I mounted the two pieces on the walls instead of the middle of the floor, filled her up generously . and when I came back, to my surprise,very little, next to no waste on the floor.
    The inner lips as I call them saves a lot of the food from being flung out. Still use it to this day...

    For those of you who feed a variety of feeds and make your own mixes as I do. Some, pellets only, some mash only, some with their own mixes. There is always that powdery stuff in the bottoms hens want nothing to do with. It goes to waste or we just keep adding to it. Since I use GSW as mentioned above I pop the troughs out of their brackets, take an end cap off and I slide the rejected feed into a 5 gallon bucket.Pop the lid back on her and set it aside, build up 3,4,5 lbs of it.
    I spoil my birds from time to time just because they know its coming... I think I am the one being manipulated to tell ya the truth !! Any ways they got me wrapped. I know all their favorite treats. Raisins, peanuts, un- shelled sun flower seeds, etc.OH yeah they just love popcorn...Wow, dare I forget to mention that !!

    I go to the local grocery store and buy a few pounds of lard, frozen mixed vegetables in a bag, raisins are expensive but what the hey, it's a treat. Go home and melt down a block of lard on the stove in a deep pot add some of that feed reject to dumped from the feed drums,etc. That 5 gallon drum I talked about. Let the lard COOL DOWN to the touch so you don't scald yourself, sucks when that happens,ouch, Add some or whatever treats you have laying around in the fridge or whatever, throw in some frozen veggies out of the bag, handful of raisins,etc... The frozen vegetables will cause everything to thicken fast so add some more powdered feed into the mix. Add enough feed powder into the mix so you can made kewl snowballs or shapes , whatever size you want. Put on wax paper and throw it into the fridge or freezer and let the frozen veggies and cold fridge or freezer do their job... Voila, home made suet or millet, whatever you want to call it. Birds love their treats. You can freeze smaller balls or pieces for 6 months or better and you have a good supply of treats for your extended feathered family.

    Have fun if you make homemade treats. Get the kids involved too, cereal like cheerios works as a treat addition, popcorn as I always use, cheap anyways... You can even add yogurt if you wish. The ideas are endless for combinations. the lard coats all the food in the beginning so no worries about food being rotten or spoiled, you just get slippery Put strings in the feed balls as you make them and hang them around the most used corner of the coop...THE FEED DISH. Hang them from anywhere. Kids think it is hilarious watching the chickens peck at the food balls hanging on a string. It also makes the kids feel great when they make the suet or millet with you. They will yell out, I MADE THAT didn't I...

    A sense of pride for yourselves and your kids !!! What the heck, give it a shot. Steve, BunkyB
  2. BunkyB

    BunkyB Chillin' With My Peeps

    PS It may take a couple of days to figure it ouit but nthe birds will come around and ravage the treats I promise you that.

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