The Natural Chicken Keeping thread - OTs welcome!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Bulldogma, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. jeepgirl13

    jeepgirl13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh! How.dare you call me stupid! Lmao. I've never seen the abbreviation but I.live by that statement! My hubby is.over here making dun of me for chickening first thing in the morning. He said I'm going BA-GAWK!Lol
     
  2. Leahs Mom

    Leahs Mom Chicken Obsessed

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    [​IMG] NOT YOU!!!! (Stupid, I mean).

    I added this definition from the Business dictionary:

    Quote:
     
  3. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I may be the only one, but I don't necessarily quarantine new chicks. I don't know if that's what you mean (you did say chicks and pullets). Pullets yes (but I've never brought in adults before, only chicks). Chicks are a lot less likely to carry diseases in, and since they grow up in the brooder and then in the broody tractor they get gradual exposure to anything my adults carry. But I have no idea what I would do bringing pullets in... there would be no place on my property I could keep them completely biosecure from exposure to my flock (since they've been pretty much everywhere...), but I could keep the new hen away from my flock, so I would focus on that. I probably wouldn't do a full change on the litter, just make sure it was clean... deep litter is a great way to introduce bacteria to stimulate the immune system, so I can't see why that would be bad.
     
  4. jeepgirl13

    jeepgirl13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh I know, I was just being funny. Glad that little smiley guy thought it was.... ok I meed coffee before I talk anymore! Lol.
     
  5. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When my first chicks were little I gave them whole millet (make sure they have grit...) as a treat- it was a good size for them, it's cheap, and they loved it. It's super low in protein, but if you're also giving them meal worms it shouldn't cause a problem. I did it with my buckeye chicks last summer, too, and they use to all come running the minute they saw my hand enter the brooder, whether it had treats in it or not! You could also dig worms for them, those are fun... My kids love to pick up worms when I'm in the garden and throw them to the chickens.
     
  6. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

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    My chicks favorite treats have always been bugs any and all kinds some I grow for them some I harvest from the yard depending on time of year, eggs hard boiled and chopped up, and fruit whatever is in season chopped up (apples and pears have always been favorites, oh and oranges but they have never gotten many of those since my feeder insects love them and they are hard to find at a cheap enough price to feed to chicks.) before anyone jumps on the oranges are poison to chickens idea, mine have never been harmed from eating them, they have no interest in the peel, but love the flesh.
     
  7. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you grow meal worms or other bugs? My daughter's class is growing meal worms and she is absolutely fascinated by the project, so I'm thinking about it (but I've been thinking about it for years and not done it yet). I keep telling her to take notes... unfortunately she's only in the first grade, so she's not super thorough yet:) Part of the reason I keep going back and forth is that I don't need one more entity to feed on this place... between the kids, husband (he's the worst in a lot of ways!), dogs, chickens, and the ferments- sourdough, kombucha, buttermilk, water kefir, milk kefir, beet kvass, and the chickens' fermented feed, it seems like I spend my entire day feeding SOMETHING.
     
  8. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

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    I tried mealworms, really didn't like it at all ended up just feeding the colony out to the chickens. I had them for over a year never got enough to feed out had two colony crashes both were probably my fault I had one where a mouse got in the colony and ate the entire thing in one night (still had eggs and very young worms in the substrate) then the next time I didn't have enough ventilation (over correction from he whole rodent incident) and my colony become highly toxic ammonia environment. They don't take alot of time at all and don't require daily feeding usually more like weekly maybe twice a week. Other people seem to have success w/ the mealworms that is a very good place to start I guess, but if you can get over the ick factor there are others I would raise instead.

    I raise dubias (south american tropical roaches) sooooo much easier and soooo much more bang for your buck. They are very easy too only requiring care a couple of times a week, the chickens LOVE them. I have streamlined my process and now my system is very easy care, way easier then the on line videos show.

    I am starting a red wiggler bed (outside) and attempting to grow black soldier fly larva on chicken poop outside also, that one will be nearly hands off if it does like I'm hoping for. Just put more chicken poop in the buckets when I clean it out of the coop.
     
  9. Mumsy

    Mumsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for the shout out about doing things naturally "like Mumsy" but I must add this caveat about where my natural chicken raising experience is coming from. I started reading the 'Gnarly' thread on BYC and learned about FF, wood ash for mites, and pumpkin and garlic for worm prevention and good over all health benefits. I have been following this thread for months now and learn something new every day I come on here. I only share when someone asks questions I feel I may have practical experience with or share my coop and flock progression.
    I am sixty years old and had chickens or have been around chickens most of that time. I grew up on a working cattle farm adjacent to two commercial chicken operations owned by old Dutch farmers that had been using a huge old hundred year old domed dairy barn to raise white leghorn layers, replacement pullets for decades. As a small child I used to sneak into his barn and sit in the middle of 100,000 chicks and play with them. His attempt as bio-security didn't work at keeping me out of that barn. I learned at a very young age where store bought eggs and chicken meat came from and how it was raised and it wasn't pretty.
    As a young adult I wanted to raise back yard flocks and did it the feed store hatchery way for a long time. I bought bags of commercial feed, hatchery chicks and all the poisons and concoctions feed stores push from their shelves. For a decade I was always having to replace hens with new hatchery chicks. Nothing but problems that decade. I gave up on chickens for a while. When two of my youngest children were interested in chickens, we started raising purebred bantam and large fowl rare and heritage breeds and bred and showed them for another decade. I was letting them free range by this time but still feeding out of a bag. I knew the feed store junk on the shelves was nearly worthless so started buying books and researching different methods of management and additives for health benefits this time around. It worked. My birds were healthier and were winning at small shows. I was still having problems with chickens getting sick and didn't practice good bio-security with my barn and flock. People were coming onto my property all the time to purchase eggs and birds. More birds started getting sick and dying and I knew it was getting out of control. I culled my entire flocks. Cleaned out the barn and stopped raising chickens for another decade.
    A couple years ago I rescued an abandoned Production Red cockerel and brought him home as a pet. To make a long story short. He was infested with mites and near death when I went on line to find answers to help him. I knew from decades of experience the junk on the farm store shelves would not help him. I found the 'Gnarly' thread and the rest is history. In six months time I've gone from a life time of frustration with hatchery production birds, to one roo, and now sixty chickens. Everything I do now is from my gut instincts from experience and things I learn on this thread. I hope I have another decade of life with chickens doing things a more natural way. I found Catdance Farm, the breeder of fine Silkies in Washington State on this thread and Ron Fogle's heritage Rhode Island Reds on another. I never heard of BYC six months ago. It's changed everything I thought I knew about raising chickens. I'm very grateful.
     
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  10. blipit007

    blipit007 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. Do you cook it or give it raw? And Ill go out and get some fruit too. How bout strawberries or blueberries? I always have them on hand. And I heard yogurt is good? As a treat or as a remedy for illness?
     

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