Monday, August 22, 2016

Simply the Best

Willy, my husband of 17 years, is the type of person to commit himself to hours of research to be sure we are doing the absolute best for our farm be it the birds, pens or anything else.  Our chicken coops are insulated in the roof to keep the birds cooler in the summer and to hold heat from their heat lights in the winter.  The roost area can be completely closed in for added warmth and wind block in winter.  Under the coops and roosts is a shaded area for them to get out of the hot summer sun.  He has invented a nippler watering system that will not freeze in winter.  The chicken house for my Seramas has opening windows, a ceiling fan, a sink area, and an air conditioner.  Some of the coops in the chicken house have runs to the outside accessible through small doors which slide open from inside.  All of their outdoor pens have electricity so I can run heat lamps in the winter when we tarp the pens in for warmth.  Our chickens really do live in style.

Their feed is no exception.  We do't just give them feed out of any one bag.  We mix their food with ingredients Willy has researched and found to be of value to the chickens.  We feed our chicks Purina Medicated Chick Starter.  We have found that it is the right grind (for lack of a better word) to allow even the smaller chicks to find small enough pieces.  We still smash it for the new Serama chicks because some of them are absolutely tiny when they hatch.  The medicated feed also helps protect them against Coccidiosis which is the most common threat to chicks.

For grown chickens, we mix our feed in a 5 gallon bucket (this may take several refills).  The mix contains 2 parts BIG 5 laying crumbles (20%), 1 part BIG 5 Scratch Grains, 1 part BIG 5 Laying Pellets (20%), 1/2 cup Fast Track Probiotics, 1/4 cup Producer's Pride Minerals, 1 cup Black Oil Sunflower seeds, 1 cup whole Oats (from Tractor Supply), and 1/2 cup Crushed Oyster Shell.  They are fed this as a supplement for those that are pasture raised, and as feed for those birds that are penned.  All are also given occasional veggies, watermelon and cantaloupe.  All the birds have FRESH water daily.  We also throw scratch grains out in the open areas occasionally for an added treat, as well as hand feeding them dried meal worms several times a week.  As I said, Willy constantly researches to find what they need and be sure they get it.  We keep Corid on hand for the occasional battle with Coccidiosis (this is a must because once they have it they will die quickly if not treated), and VetRX for a multitude of other ailments.  We have vaccinated for Fowl Pox which is always worse during mosquito season.

No comments:

Post a Comment