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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chicken Tip

I have been raising chickens for a few years now. I would have never guessed that in this short period of time that I would become the go to gal in my area, when one has questions about the birds. Funny thing is that I have learned a good deal about chicken raising, chicken health, and much much more.

Raising chickens should be one of the least expensive prepper things that you do. Now in today's society we are sold a bill of goods on even the needs of chickens, and many people have fallen in the trap of spending far too much.

One thing I realized after being the poultry person for the county fair was that most people do not realize that you can feed your chickens your food waste. This is so simple and so important. Every peeling, every egg shell(crushed into small pieces), every bone goes into the bucket. I have an ice cream bucket to toss the "slops" for the day in, that we give to the birds mid-day!

It is pure excitement when we call the chickidoodles! The slops are a highpoint in their wee pea brained days and for me, I have reduced giving more feed to them. In fact, we have a family in town that saves their food slops for us to give to our birds. We provided the buckets and they call when the bucket is full(how easy is this?). The slops provide an array of nutrients to the birds that specialized feeds try and pinpoint. A bonus is that the waste from the table is not wasted and if you usually placed this in a compost pile-then don't worry, you still can~ after you clean the chicken coops. Instead of the foods it will be the hay and waste of the birds.

Do not forget- any food item-bones and all go to the chickens. They love everything. A fun afternoon is to watch the chickens chase and fight over a spaghetti noodle!

Please remember that the path of the prepper most often takes you on a path of simplicity and less waste and less cost. Learning how to have animals that utilize less commercial feeds is a great start. Modern thought is that this is not possible nor healthy for the animals. I am here to document my path and that it is indeed possible and successful.
(c)Double Nickel Farm
Jennifer

6 comments:

Jay said...

Great post. I loved raising chickens when I was younger, well maybe getting a few of them ready for the dinner table wasn't so great but....I had a blast raising them. They provided very well for our family in terms of eggs and meat at a very low effort/cost ratio. Everyone should have a couple running around the yard. Oh and they do a great job of getting rid of pests in the garden too!

Jay
NJ Preppers Network

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, I have a couple of questions. I hope you don't mind. We got our first chickens this spring. I gave them extra noodles from spagetti.(They were 2 mos. old) The next day one died. Is this because they were too young or the chicken was sick? Also will free roaming chickens eat everything in the garden or do they leave it alone. We tend to keep the chickens in a pen because I'm afraid they'll eat the produce. Also do all food scraps need to be ground up in little pieces. Sorry for so many questions. -Shelly

Humble wife said...

Jay
Thanks for swinging by- yes I believe everyone should have a few chickens run around! It has been very cost effective for me and I know it can be for others!

Jennifer



Shelly,
Thank you for stopping by. I am not sure why one chick died. I do not know all the surrounding issues for your pen etc. I do not know if your chick had an illness(which is pretty common) etc. I have been raising over 100 birds(from hatching)and have never had one die from slops. Early on they begin to grab what is tossed to all the birds. Never had one die from slop eating.

Now we have had three die over the past year...one from a board collapsing on it(the board was from an addition to a nest we did not remove, and two from crowding in a nest during the flooding. We believe they smothered...as it was chaotic.

Good thoughts on the garden. We allow the chicks(well a few at time) in the garden after we have picked it clean for the day. The zucchini is their favorite! But we have grasshoppers so we have weighed the odds, and if something is going to eat what we have grown, my husband says it better be a hen instead of a bug!!

Now to scraps...for peelings etc, I do chop most up...but not too much is done in the bucket...except eggshells. We rinse them and crush them.

The chickens will poke at things throughout the day. Usually if something is not gone by eve our dog will finish it!! I hope that helped.

For chicks if you loose some, let the place you bought them know. Usually they have some good ideas or have heard if the hatchery had any problems.

If you hatch them on your place then you will know what is going around the hen house.

It is best to monitor the health of all your animals and take care of the sick ones before they get the rest of the flock ill(oh and if we put one down because it looks ill we do not eat it)


I hope that helps
Jennifer

matthiasj said...

Great idea getting others involved with giving you scraps. Great way to trade, barter and build relationships.

matthiasj
Kentucky Preppers Network

soldierman57 said...

well hello there jen,maybe you should talk to my wife about when to feed,we are spending about 50.00 every two weeks on feeding them.Do you feed them any thing else?, other than the scrapes.Now ours are free ranging during the day, then at night i give them their food..Maybe over feeding them, but they sure are big! now ...lol thanks

Anonymous said...

Thank You Jennifer, you were a big help. I save ice cream buckets and now have the dinner scraps in one to go out to the pen for tomorrow morn. -Shelly

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