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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:05 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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We use something similar to this feeding regime and have found it to be really good, the only thing we found that you need to be careful of, is making sure all vitamins and minerals are accounted for, we were lacking and consequently went months with no eggs, all were healthy and happy but no eggs, as soon as we fixed up that problem, they began to lay again within a day.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:48 pm 
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Ol' Bustard
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Kerry, what does their basic diet look like in general?

Linz :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:29 am 
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Great Game
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Lacy wrote:
We use something similar to this feeding regime and have found it to be really good, the only thing we found that you need to be careful of, is making sure all vitamins and minerals are accounted for, we were lacking and consequently went months with no eggs, all were healthy and happy but no eggs, as soon as we fixed up that problem, they began to lay again within a day.



what was missing and what did you add to balance it out again?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:13 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Linz wrote:
Kerry, what does their basic diet look like in general?

Linz :)

Hi Linz, I am currently feeding them a Heritage Feeds Organic Coarse Layer from the darling downs area of Qld with some added cracked corn and wheat. The Coarse Layer itself seems to have a lot or sorgum which ends up mostly on the ground. It does have some sunflower seeds in it and a small green type pea and some largish dark pellets. I add a little corn and wheat to this. Unfortunately my hubby tossed the empty bag so I can't tell you exactly what the contents are. Tried to see if Heritage Feeds website might give me the info but they were off line yesterday and also this morning. I wish I knew what the little green pea type thing is.

What did concern me was I remembered that the product had only 14% protein and as I have 2 ISA's who of course lay like champions and a young brown leghorn not at POL yet in my flock it concerned me they might not be getting enough protein but perhaps the wheat and cracked corn may be making up the difference. My young wyandotte pullets haven't started to lay yet so I wasn't concerned about that. I do have mollasses here and also a first cut bale of green lucerene and some dolomite all of which we use in the veggie patch so it would be no problem using some for the girls.

They have access to free range in the grass all day and also have access to the coarse layer at all times as well. They get greens from the garden currently cos lettuce or tuscan kale or rainbow chard (silverbeet) everyday as well as the household scraps. Also there is always shell grit available in a seperate coop cup for their convenience.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:05 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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OK have finally finished reading this thread from beginning to end, :yess it really was a marathon effort. Really don't think I need to change that much. My aim is a fairly sufficient healthy flock with as much naturally immunity as possible. Will continue with the organic coarse layer with added wheat and cracked corn in winter, add some soaked grains/peas/lentils once or twice a week with some mollasses. I know the quality of the greens in my garden that I feed to them dayily as I use this product http://www.earthlife.com.au/products/gardenmate.aspx so know that there is heaps of vitamins etc especially in the kale.

Will enhance the free range pasture with both minerals and organic matter starting with this product http://www.earthlife.com.au/products/lawnblend.aspx plus well matured compost to help the soil web/organic matter and improve nutrition availble to the flock with nutient dense pasture for them as well as improving the moisture holding abilty of the pasture itself. I will try increasing plant variety in the pasture to deal with winter and summer by adding some clover. Also will add some ACV to their water one week in four per Nellie G from a different thread.

Last but not least will add some garden bed type arrangements with mesh over them inside the night runs to grow clucker tucker in.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this amazing resource!! :th


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:48 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Hermetic_Eggs wrote:
Lacy wrote:
We use something similar to this feeding regime and have found it to be really good, the only thing we found that you need to be careful of, is making sure all vitamins and minerals are accounted for, we were lacking and consequently went months with no eggs, all were healthy and happy but no eggs, as soon as we fixed up that problem, they began to lay again within a day.



what was missing and what did you add to balance it out again?



Not sure exactly H.E a vitamin of some sought I think, we initially mixed up a molasses drink and added it to their feed with some lucerne meal, this bought them back into lay, since then we have been adding a bag of Red Hen breeder to our mix, so basically 1 x 20 kg bag of Red Hen to an otto bin full of our own mix, they have been laying great ever since.
Probably could have stuck with the molasses & lucerne meal but this is time consuming, so it gets given as a treat now.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:26 pm 
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Micki wrote:
Lupins are sometimes not the most favored seed by your birds and Ayam is right about them not really liking them. But Matt, if you try a very light coat of Molasses over them, or soak them in Molasses water they will snap them up !

Dambreeze also on the money ! Lupins are very high in protein often in the high 20 percentile range. Cow, chick, and pigeon pea is normally at around 22% or higher.

Many good grades of wheat will be 14% protein. You only need to increase your protein content slightly from a 70% wheat ration to achieve your minimum 16% protein required for laying.

I'll get hammered for writing this but here goes . . . . A bulk of what goes into pelletized feed is a cheap filler, bulk biscuit, breed and cereal waste all goes in, is all only 4% protein ! How would I know this ? MMM i wonder :oops:

Protein levels are "bulked up" with a soya bean meal or somethin like that. Again your paying for someone to process it all . . . why ?

I have no issue with the use of turkey or chick starter ! The added meds are a pain in the ass to deal with yourself and it's a good start for your chicks, but ( there's also a "but" huh ) First week feed it with fine sand, about 10% sand. Sand helps to grind the feed in the chicks gullet. Makes the feed conversion rate increase drastically, far more feed is utilized by your chicks with sand added. After ONE week, i start on bread soaked in milk and sprouted small grains.

If you guys want me to keep rattling on about feed i will, i was in the industry for quite some time before becoming an early retiree ( someone paying for all that processed feed paid for a well funded retirement :thumbs: ). If you wanna know about "usable" proteins and blah blah i'll continue.


i have never brought Molasses before and wondered what is it??
is it a flaver thing that if chooks what eat something but if you soak it in Molasses they would eat it??


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:23 am 
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Wise One
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Molasses is a by product from when they process sugar cane, or it can be done from sugar beets as well, but normally it's sugar cane. It's sweet and thick, think along the lines of treacle, which it gets called as well, but that's mostly when we consume it. It gets fed to all types of livestock and it contains calcium, iron, B6 and magnesium. It's a relatively cheap product to use as well.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:10 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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It is a good product to use, but you need to use it sparingly, a few cap fulls to a bucket of feed.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:12 am 
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drizzt wrote:
This has turned into an interesting thread indeed! My current breeder ration is the following. One part kewpie breeder mix, 1 part wet distillers grain (very high protein!) 1 part riverina red coarse laying mash, half part of the following- chick peas, mung beans cracked corn, sorghum, whole corn, laying pellets and grey stripe sunflower. Birds love the wet distillers grain and it binds all the finer parts together. I have not worked out the protein levels but i am confident they are getting 17-18% at least. It has heaps of energy and the WDG provides some fats as well.

Cheers

Martin


what is chick peas and sorghum


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:23 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickpea. Same as the human chickpeas that you buy in tins.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorghum, notably https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorghum_bicolor. A cheap, small red grain used as a filler in chook scratch mixes. They're sort of so-so about it.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:35 pm 
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I'm going to add our corn feed mix to this topic.

We use it for wyandottes to help with yellow legs.

We start with cracked corn:

Image


Add soy meal (someone else likes it too):

Image


In the past we've used lucerne chaff, but this time we are trying lucerne crumbles:

Image


Then we add an avian vitamin mix (we are currently using Abdextra) and also salt.

It ends up looking like this:

Image

Mixed from local products. For us it costs as follows.

Target - 18.2% protein

4 parts corn @ 14% protein
1 part lucerne crumbles @ 18%
1 part soy meal @ 35%

estimate for salt (half cup or 125gm per 25kg lot of feed),
vitamins (according to label) &
grit (one cup or 250gm for grower or two cups or 500gm for layer) - $1

20kg = $15.50

We got the cracked corn for $400/tonne in bulk
Soy meal was $45 for 25kg bag
Lucerne crumbles was $25 for 25kg bag
We buy pool salt from Bunnings - $7 for 25kg bag - lasts forever - need to check granule size

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:51 pm 
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Thats a great looking recipe for getting the legs yellow again, ive been asking around at my local feed stores about the lucerne crumble, so far havent found it, so mine have been getting the chaff mixed in (i copied your recipe on a small scale :-D ) as a trial run.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:22 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Hi everyone

Well, I have just spent a lot more time over the weekend than I had intended in front of a computer screen reading every post over these 55 pages. I feel like I have got to know some of the interesting personalities on this list. I want to thank everyone for their posts and particularly wanted to thank "Micki" for his efforts and input (I also enjoyed his salt sucking excesses and liked his "As useless as an ashtray on a motorbike comment") and also wanted to thank "cochin/giant mad" . These two obviously have a lot of experience and whilst they don't always agree they are respectful of each others views.

I have 11 chickens (and soon to be 19 when I get new chicks. As an aside, can anyone offer me my ideal cross of leghorn/Rhode Island Red chicks??). I like to research everything in great depth and make scientifically informed choices in my life and that extends to feeding my chickens. I have never fed my chickens any processed foods at all. They simply get wheat, cracked corn, sunflower seeds and kitchen scraps of raw organic fruit and vegetables and oyster grit. They used to free range in my suburban Sydney garden but started getting onto my neighbours lawn (no fences are allowed in my council area) so I had to build them a run off their coop so they are now confined on deep litter on the ground. My chicken coop and run do not smell at all and my chickens are extremely healthy. I never, ever in 7 years of chicken ownership had to clean or pick up chicken poo. It just breaks down into the soil and looks and smells like any ordinary rich soil.

I feed:

50 % wheat
25% cracked corn
25% sunflower seeds
+ raw fruit & veg scraps from my kitchen

I calculate my grains to be around 15% protein, a level which is lowered somewhat by the addition of the fruit and vegetables to, at a guess, 12% - 14% perhaps.

I have some silkies that are 7.5 years old who don't lay very well (not surprisingly given their breed, age and the fact they were severely malnourished when I bought them at around 6 months of age) and some 5 year old Rhode Island Red/New Hampshire (RIR/NH) crosses that I bought on the day of hatching and who still give me eggs daily using only this diet.

I was prompted to read this long thread of posts because I want to get new chicks and wanted to make sure they will get enough protein. I was thinking I should perhaps add some higher protein grain or legume foods in order to increase the protein level for the chicks. Mind you, as I mentioned, I successfully raised chicks on this diet with no health problems at all and they are still laying well at 5 years of age so their diet seems to be fine.

After reading all the posts all the things I was considering adding have been ruled out for one reason or another by someone (and I confirmed their comments by looking up peer reviewed scientific studies or other reputable sources of information). So now I have ruled out sorghum, barley, oats, lupins, lucerne, flax and peas. I also want to feed my chickens organically so am not happy to feed them mealworms, fly larva, meat meal, bone sawdust, etc because I can source none of these organically. I don't want to feed meat or seafood because of concern about parasites which is why I was hoping to add a vegetarian food high in protein such as oats or barley. So after reading all these posts I am back to where I started with my current diet. I am also trying desperately to source organic sunflower, cracked corn and wheat (in individual bags so that I can mix in the above mentioned ratios (organic scratch mix usually has sorgham and/or barley which I don't want to feed). I can easily access individual bags of these grains non-organically but am having trouble finding them organically in individual bags.

Anyway, just thought I would tell you what I have been feeding which seems to be working. I suspect that the limiting amino acids methionine and lysine have high enough quantities in the three grains I use and, given I don't also fill up my hens with other grains or legumes with 'antinutrients' such as phytates, etc that this works. I have read recently about lower protein diets of only 14 % (with lysine supplementation) giving adequate egg production.

Also wanted to ask if anyone knows of an organic source of the grains (wheat, cracked corn, sunflower seeds) individually bagged?

Plus I wanted to ask if anyone has any other suggestions for increasing my protein levels with something else I may not have thought of?

Thanks

Anne


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:50 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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aajlh wrote:


I feed:

50 % wheat
25% cracked corn
25% sunflower seeds
+ raw fruit & veg scraps from my kitchen

I calculate my grains to be around 15% protein, a level which is lowered somewhat by the addition of the fruit and vegetables to, at a guess, 12% - 14% perhaps.


Depending on where you get your grains from, especially the wheat, I think you are over estimating your protein level in the end seed feed your are blending.
Most feed grade wheat is typically 8-10%, can be higher but is unusual as higher protein means higher value products and therefore more $$ for the grower, if buying it direct then it could well be higher.
Cracked Corn is about 9-10%, and sunflower seed is about 18-22%.

If I assume the higher end of the typical protein range:
In 100g of feed you have 50g wheat at 10% = 5g of protein, 25g cracked corn at 10% = 2.5g of protein, and sunflower seed 25g at 22% = 5.5g of protein, so all up about 13g of protein in 100g so is 13% protein, plus vegie scraps will potentially lower it even further.

Most birds will exist on this feed but might not thrive and do well,


Ron

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