SHOW ME, your diy feeders and waters

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Brytsss, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. Tati

    Tati Out Of The Brooder

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    Did you check out whether the Lowe's buckets are food grade? We are considering using them, but we would not want any chemicals in the plastic cause damage to the health of our chickens. We have seen warnings even for certain plastic household articles, which were, definitely, food grade. I don't know whether they hold ground or were exaggerated.
     
  2. Tati

    Tati Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a question: Does anyone know whether it is necessary to feed oyster shell and grits when chickens have plenty of space to roam. Whereas the winter residence of our 8 chickens (who just started laying) has only about 400 sqft of outside run, the summer residence has about 1,200 sqft or even more (haven't measured it yet), and we also always give our chicks the shells of cooked eggs.

    When I was a kid and we had chickens, I don't think that my grandmother ever fed them any calcium other than cooked eggshells, and I am sure that she never fed them grit. We had about 20 chickens, and their run was about 2,000 sqft. Besides, our chickens were fed wheat, whereas today's chicken feed is supposed to be well-balanced, already containing calcium.
     
  3. eleaserek

    eleaserek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's not necessary to offer grit so long as they have access to gravel or such while they range. I would still recommend offering oyster shell free choice though. Chances are they won't need much of it since they have a decent sized range and greens and bugs will supply them with most of the calcium they require. However, it's good to have it there just in case. Soft or thin shells eggs are such a waste! And it's not like oyster shell goes bad, so it can sit out until it eventually gets eaten.
     
  4. clucklady

    clucklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    About food grade buckets - You can often go to your local supermarket and ask the people in the bakery department if you can have some of their empty frosting buckets. They are usually glad to be rid of them and you know they are safe.
     
  5. Tati

    Tati Out Of The Brooder

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    @ elaeserek: Thank you so much for the info.

    My concerns re oyster shell: Years back, in Germany, a hard-boiled egg was shelled within seconds. The last few years, here in the U.S., it takes ages to get the shells of a hard-boiled egg. (They even offer devices on TV to get the shells of hard-boiled eggs.)

    I suspect that oyster shell supplies chickens with more calcium than they actually need. I might want to try without it and see what happens. We never had a problem with soft and breaking egg shells, when I was a child. And my grandmother only fed our chickens wheat, not balanced chick-feed that contains calcium. Our chickens only got the shells of hard-boiled eggs, and I faintly remember that my grandmother heated the shells of raw eggs and soft-boiled eggs in the oven to sterilize them and, then, feed them to the chickens.

    So much of recommended nutrition (for animals AND humans) is nothing but a money-making business, and it is so very difficult for lay-people to make the right decisions.
     
  6. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I can generally get a hard boiled egg shell to peel off in a few seconds, often all in one piece. I've found its about how you cook and cool it! It doesn't matter if I get them from the store or from my neighbors down the road that free range and feed scraps (mine aren't old enough to lay yet). I don't think they give oyster shell but I do think they throw the egg shells out to them and have layer feed readily available.

    I was a biology major with an animal science minor in college, and one of my required courses was animal nutrition. There is A LOT to that field, from bio- and organic-chemistry, to learning all of the different nutrients and effects of deficiencies and toxicities, and of course calculating feed ratios and learning why you are providing those ratios. Just like with human nutrition, there is a lot of marketing hype and gimmicks in the animal nutrition industry (particularly in the companion animal sector), but in general animal feeds were created for a reason, and that is to improve the health and productivity of the animals with a product that is convenient and cost effective for the human. Otherwise, truly, why would people continue to buy it? I am talking about animal producers, not backyard hobbyists here, since they have more on the line including concern about profits. Of course, what we get at the local feed store is not necessarily the same thing a commercial producer will buy, but we are simply paying more for the convenience of smaller and easier-to-handle packaging provided at a convenient location.
     
  7. Tati

    Tati Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info. So how would you cook and cool the eggs? (We have followed several different recommendations, and none worked.) And which chicken feed would you buy and from where?
     
  8. eleaserek

    eleaserek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @ tati You're welcome. You can certainly just feed the sterilized shells back to them and see where that gets you. I agree about the marketing gimmicks!! I work in the pet industry (I'm a dog groomer) and you really have to do your homework to not get sucked into a great marketing scheme. It's too bad really.

    As for cooking eggs, I recently discovered steaming for the "hard boiled" eggs! We were struggling with getting the shell off, and so far steaming has been the answer! I have a steam basket that fits inside a large pot (you can use a metal collender inside the pot so long as you can get a lid on your pot) put about an inch of water in, or just enough to make sure the basket is above the water level. Fill your basket with eggs and once the steam starts rising, put a lid on and time for 15-20 min. My eggs are still on the small side because my layers are fairly new, so 15 has been about perfect, but if you are doing more than 4 or 5 eggs or they are large you'll want to go longer. Then once the time is up immediately submerge the eggs in cold water. Then TA-DA! Easy to peel eggs fresh from the girls [​IMG]
     
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  9. Tati

    Tati Out Of The Brooder

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    @ eleaserek: Thank you so much for your advice. I'll try it. However, it seems to take twice as long for steaming eggs than for boiling eggs. I'll have to get used to not cooking the eggs in the very last few minutes, when the (German) potato salad, I usually serve them with, is already ready to eat. But even when I am late cooking the eggs, it is better to have the eggs take longer on the stove than to spend the time battling to get the shells of.
     
  10. Tati

    Tati Out Of The Brooder

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    @ clucklady: Thanks for the great idea. I would have never thought of it. I'll try the bakery departments of the local supermarkets next time I go to town.
     

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