Winter supplementation- Does anyone use KELP?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by w8tn4fresheggs, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. w8tn4fresheggs

    w8tn4fresheggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2007
    Nebraska
    Good Evening,

    Today at church I happened to see a family that raises chickens on a larger scale and sells the eggs. I am new at chickens this year and thought I would ask what they do different in the winter.

    They said, extra bedding, feed, scratch and KELP. I was somewhat surprised that they said that they give Kelp at all. Really never concidered it.

    I did a research on it and it seems like it would be a good supplement for the winter. Since the girls aren't free ranging as much in the winter. Seem to have slowed way down.

    Does anyone have any thoughts, comments or use KELP?

    Thanks, Steph

    There aren't a whole lot of articles out there about Kelp. Here is one that I did find. It is from this site
    http://www.geocities.com/KelliAnn293/feedingDetails.htm
    ___________________________________
    Kelp

    It is felt that kelp meal is so valuable that you can start feeding it as soon as the baby chicks arrive and keep up the ration right through to slaughtering time. Kelp is a complex natural product high in vitamins and minerals. Its most valuable attribute is its richness in trace elements-organic minerals that are both safe and potent. One characteristic of kelp as an animal feed, is The fact that kelp modifies the intestinal flora or bacteria of livestock may be the chief cause for the great results.

    When used as a feed additive, kelp increases production and improves performance. It strengthens appetite and enhances digestion. It promotes healthy plumage, and helps to regulate heat cycles, increases the number and durability of sperm. improves conception rates, and increases the percentage of normal healthy births. In general, kelp improves the overall health of the birds. After adding kelp to poultry feed you can expect brighter plumage, increased weight gain and enhanced general alertness. There will be a marked increase in iodine content in eggs. The yolks will be a deeper color, with better pigmentation, improved hatchability, reduction of blood spots, reduced incidence of coccidiosis, less egg breakage and stronger shells. Your poultry will display better feed conversion and improved overall health, with fewer diseases.


    As a chicken feed supplement, add kelp meal at a rate of 1 to 2 % of total grain rations. Feed at the higher rate when your stock is under stress, due to travel, disease, weather, reproduction or weaning.


    Claims about Kelp :

    Poultry - Layers and Breeders

    increases hatchability of eggs
    reduces blood spots
    increases iodine content of eggs
    increases yolk pigmentation
    reduces coccidiosis
    more uniform shell texture with reduced breakage
    increases laying period in older hens
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2007
  2. jminnie0922

    jminnie0922 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2007
    I started using Kelp Meal this spring when I had predator problems and the girls had to stay in their run. I was using it to try and get the nice dark yellow back in the yolks. It seemed to work, but it's hard to tell for sure because after awhile they got to free range a little when I am able to be with them. My guess is this winter will really be the true test when there isn't much green to be had when they do range.
     
  3. Catalina

    Catalina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2007
    Minnesota
    Where would you buy dry kelp for chickens?
     
  4. w8tn4fresheggs

    w8tn4fresheggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2007
    Nebraska
    Hi,

    I went to my local feed store and asked about Kelp. They knew what it was and said that people usually use it for horses. He didn't have any on hand, but said he could order it.

    It only came in a 50 pound bag and would cost $70.00. Pretty pricey. I also asked him to price flax seed. Again 50 pound bag for $30.00

    I have decided, since I haven't gotten much of a response here is to talk to the family from church again. Find out more details and where they get their supply also.

    I am still considering it as an option for just the winter. I only have 9 hens and I think it would last quite awhile.

    Steph
     
  5. Renegade

    Renegade Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 8, 2007
    Griffin, GA
    Try Hoegger Goat Supply. They sell 12 lb. for less then $14.
    I have used this supplement in the past. Since I feed pellet feed I mix the kelp in with the oyster shell and they seem to eat it.

    HTH
    Donna
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2007
  6. Ga Chicken Mom

    Ga Chicken Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 24, 2007
    Don't know about kelp for chickens but have fed it to my Dobes all their lives. All have very shiny, bright coats. I'm told it makes a huge difference but I can't say because I've always used it. Hadn't thought about kelp for the girls but I'll bet it would be good for them. I get mine from a vendor at dog shows.
     
  7. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    I've always given my hens kelp meal (all 5 months I've had them, that is) as a mineral/salt supplement. I got it from Murray McMurray. They don't seem to eat a lot of it, but maybe as it gets colder they will. What they can't get enough of is the fish meal, which provides extra protein and essential fatty acids.
     
  8. jminnie0922

    jminnie0922 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2007
    I got my Kelp Meal here: http://www.biconet.com/pets.html A 5# box is about $11.00. I got mine in August and still have alot left. I mix it in with their feed.
     
  9. w8tn4fresheggs

    w8tn4fresheggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2007
    Nebraska
    CovenantCreek, Do you use fish meal year around? It sounds like it would be a good addition for the flock.

    Thanks, Steph
     
  10. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    Quote:Yes. I forget where I read about using it, though, maybe just the Murray McMurray site under organic supplements. My girls go nuts for it, especially noticeable if they run out for a few days and see me putting more in the feeder. One warning though, it stinks to high heaven.
     

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