Lard, how do I prepare it?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Sylviaanne, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    I am worried about the weights of my chickens, guineas, ducks and geese. The chickens and guineas seem very thin to me. When I pick them up, I can clearly feel their breast bones but we are going through a 50# bag of layer feed every 2 - 2 1/2 days for 110 birds.

    I read that you can use lard to help fatten them up but it didn't say how to use/prepare the lard for them to eat it. It just said to mix it with their food.

    Do you melt it and then mix it with their food? Or do you just scoop it out and do your best to mix it with their food? Is there anything else I should add to it?

    I did see A worm toward the end of summer and got them a pumpkin and put DE in their food. I have not seen any worms since then and I know that they could still have worms, probably do. I will get another pumpkin or two when I go to the store next time.

    Other than worms, I don't know why they would be so thin or why they should be so hungry. I go out morning and night and feed them. Sometimes I go out to be with them in the afternoon and feed them more. Every time I go out there, they act like I haven't fed them in 2 days.

    What else can I do for them? Thanks.
     
  2. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    I would worm them with a good wormer then hit them again in 10 days, I have seen and had sheep, goats, chickens, etc. eats tons of pumpkins and still have worms, as for DE,,,, It does nothing internally.

    If you are feeding lots of scrap and treats I would cut them out or at least less then 10% of there diet.
    As for adding lard to there diet, you can just mix it or you can melt it. Now keep in mind that fats have calories and chickens will eat to fill a caloric need so by adding fat to there diet there going to eat less, not a good thing when dealing with thin birds..
    In the long run you would be better off feeding good high protein feed (20% +/-) and cutting out treats.
    Try to find a feed that has animal proteins if you can its far better than a vegetarian type feed.
     
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  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I'm probably going to raise some hackles, but DE in food doesn't take care of worms. It's meant to be effective dry, not wet as in a chicken's digestive system. When dry the little sharp edges of the diatoms are what kill soft bodied buggy critters. When wet it's just mud and the sharp edges are no more.

    I haven't run into worm issues yet, but it seems to me that the appropriate de-wormer, in the appropriate dose, at the appropriate intervals are the only tried and true methods for getting rid of those internal parasites. And remember too that with many kinds of worms, the eggs for the next generation are shed via feces, to lay on the ground until they are picked up by a host and the cycle starts again. I worked for many years as an animal health technician in veterinarians' offices, and it seems to me that regardless of the species of host animal, the life cycle of intestinal parasites doesn't change.
     
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  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Get some Valbazen or some liquid Safeguard for goats and deworm your birds. DE and pumpkin are not going to do the job. You are putting the cart before the horse trying to fatten them up before getting the worm problem under control. If they are full of worms it doesn't matter what you pump into them feed wise, they aren't going to benefit fully from it. Get the worm problem under control then feed plenty of good quality feed as Chris09 said. A regular deworming program goes a long way towards keeping things under control and keeping birds health from declining due to an infestation.
     
  5. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    I would prefer to do something more natural for de-worming them. I hate to throw the eggs out and if I feed them back to the chickens while de-worming them I have read that it takes longer before the eggs can be eaten.

    I have read that DE helps prevent a build up of worms. IE: if they don't have worms or not many worms, DE will help keep the population under control.

    They don't like our table scraps. Weird chickens, from the TV shows I watched when I was a kid chickens are supposed to love table scraps and peelings from the veggies. I don't feed them treats but sometimes will feed them the duck eggs as we don't care for the duck eggs and get more than I can use in cooking. They also don't like corn or cracked corn. What kind of chicken doesn't like corn? I take that back, sometimes I will feed them oats but not on a daily or weekly or even monthly schedule.

    We have:
    Layer crumbles: 16%
    Cat food: 30%
    Dog food: 18%

    We can't afford to go out and get more chicken food this month. We can't keep them out of the cat food because the cats are outside cats and I did try giving the chickens dog food one time but they didn't like that either. If the cat food were not more expensive than the chicken food, I would get some for them to add to their food but I also don't know if it is really ok for them to eat. Someone said it was ok as a treat but the cats won't fight for their food if the chickens come to get it. I do try to feed the cats before I let the chickens out to forage in the morning or at night after we lock the chickens up but some of the chickens don't go in the run/coop to roost and we have a street light or something like that in our yard so the chickens that don't go in the run/coop at night can sneak over and get into the cat food. That is a no win situation, trying to keep the chickens out of the cat food. The only way to win that way is to get rid of the cats, not a problem but they were here when we moved here and came down from the neighbors when my daughters started feeding them behind my back. We feed them because we can't stand the thought of them going hungry or going after my birds.
     
  6. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    Are you sure that the edges soften or whatever when the DE gets wet?

    My problem with the de-wormer that is in the appropriate dose at appropriate intervals is the amount of birds I have and trying to catch the ones who won't sleep in the coop/run. I have over 110 birds, chickens, guineas, ducks and geese. I understand that the eggs of the critters can lay on the ground until some other critter picks them up but there isn't anything that can be done to completely get rid of them, even for a short period of time.
     
  7. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    Is there something that can be put into their water? As I said above, I have over 110 birds. If I only had to de-worm them once a year, that might be feasible but 2 or more times a year with birds that are roosting in the trees seems like an impossible feat.

    Truly, I don't know if it is worms affecting their weight, I just don't know what else it could be since they are not dying.
     
  8. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Wazine is given in the water. It only gets round worms but it's better then nothing.
     
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Yep, pretty sure that the advice of three well respected veterinarians was pretty sound. When DE first became the next best miracle, folks coming in to our offices were astounded to learn that despite giving Fluffy DE in her food for weeks, she still tested positive for roundworms. I've also read all the posts by folks who swear that DE in the food helps. But for every post like that there's another one out there that disputes it. I don't go just by the posts or even by my own experience with my chickens since, as I said, I have no first hand experience to go on with my birds. I do, however, know that 3 licensed vets probably have a better handle on the question than I do.

    I sure do understand your desire to go the natural route with taking care of worms in your flocks. I feel exactly the same way - I absolutely hate doing anything chemically if there's a natural way around it. But the plain truth is that sometimes there just isn't a shortcut. And you certainly do have a lot of birds of different species to consider. I wish I could give you exactly what you want to hear but I simply don't know what the answer might be in your situation. That's another thing to take into account - everybody's situation is different and what applies to one might not apply to the next person.

    If you think the DE in their food is helping, then by all means, continue to use it. I only replied because it seemed like you had reached the conclusion that it wasn't helping and I was trying to explain why.

    As for them acting like they are starving to death when you go out there, well, that's pretty typical of all of them! [​IMG] Feed them your usual food in the morning, then go out 10 minutes later and shake a can - they act like they haven't seen food in months! Silly birds!! I sure hope you can get a handle on what's going on. It sounds like you genuinely want to give the best care to your critters and I'd never discourage anyone from that!
     
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  10. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    It's a start and I have been reading up on Valbazen and Wazine. Looks like the best bet is to use the Valbazen because it kills the worms slower so the chickens don't get worm bound and die. If they are loaded with worms.

    I just read this on symptoms of chickens with worms: Lethargic/sleepy, eats/drinks very little or not at all, slows or doesnt lay eggs, pale comb, possible ratty looking feathers, watery diarrhea...maybe greenish in color, generally doesnt act like a chicken should. A chicken may or may not have all these signs in order to have worms. Some birds appear and act normal but may carry worms. Other things that can make a chicken have possibly similar symptoms are external parasites and an eggbound hen.

    If my chickens are not lethargic/sleepy, eat normally except they always seem starving, they lay eggs, combs seem proper color for their ages and feathers look nice. I have seen some watery poop and since I put the geese out of quarantine in with the others, there is green poop all over the place. Does it sound like my birds have worms?

    I mean I know they carry a certain amount of worms no matter what you do but other than acting like they are starving all the time and seem to be thin, do you think that worms are a problem?

    Should I buy a bag of cat food and mix with their food for a few weeks? It has a LOT of protein.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014

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