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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:51 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Recently from time to time my cluckles seem to disappear. Usually they chatter amongst themselves & come running when I whistle. :hmmm:
But every so often I seem to 'loose' them.
A bit later they turn up again in an apparently satiated & restful state & go about preening at a time that they would not normally do that. :dontknow

Well today all was revealed! They had found the bag of blood & bone! :shoc

I buy it in a 30kg bag which is a great bulk buy for me but it is still a plastic bag.
On occasion I have had rodents make holes & have a good feed. But the holes I saw in the bags today were different.
Bloody chooks! :aaargh: There was blood & bone scattered all over the potting room floor & down in the cracks between the pavers.
There were a few little mouse pellets in it but this mess was the work of 3 rouge hens! :turkdnc

The trouble is, they are not short of food or protein. I do actually give them a little tray of B&B occasionally & they never eat it all so I felt they were getting enough.
I guess they decided to do a bit of self-serve because they didn't want to bother me. :watng

Anyway I gave them some more outside today then cleaned up their messy feed site. I double bagged the B&B into horse feed bags.
But I might be forced to build a wall & door for that section of the underneath of my house if they keep going in there to nick the B&B.
I'll give them B&B more regularly in future as they obviously need it.

:fead

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ClissaT

going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:06 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Haha

Mine have done that. Caution when you use B&B. It is a great fox attractant. I sprinkle it under the fox trap. (and trap chooks and the cat)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:32 pm 
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Thanks for that reminder Sue.
I always bury my B&B when used as fertilizer & when the chooks get some (that I give them :biggrin: )I use a little pottery drip tray which is heavy enough that they can't flip it over & when they are finished I throw any remainder into the compost & turn it in.
Although I guess what's in the compost might also attract foxes or dogs for that matter since they have such keen sense of smell.

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going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:41 pm 
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Haha. Bet they were happy chookies!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:44 am 
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Clever chooks! I had the idea from way back that they should never have B&B because it is risky. Not that much production control of the fertilisers that fluff up the content and make the bags lighter. Aside from the chemical fertilisers which can burn there is usually pulverised cow manure (probably safe enough) and a lot of dynamic lifter type chook manure from poultry farms.

I still have three-quarters of a bag of feed grade meat-meal. Stopped using it when someone said don't because you shouldn't eat the eggs from meatmeal fed chooks. Would it have the same feed benefit content as B&B?

Would meat-meal plus shell-grit be the equivalent of B&Bone for calcium etc.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:58 pm 
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PossumCorner wrote:
I still have three-quarters of a bag of feed grade meat-meal. Stopped using it when someone said don't because you shouldn't eat the eggs from meatmeal fed chooks. Would it have the same feed benefit content as B&B?

Would meat-meal plus shell-grit be the equivalent of B&Bone for calcium etc.



Most poultry feeds have meat meal in it as a the protein source, this is why they have the warning about restricted animal feed on them and why you shouldn't feed to cows, deer, etc,


Ron

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:06 pm 
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As I found out early last year after someone posted on this forum, stock feed manufacturers are not allowed to add meat meal type products to stock feeds made or sold in Queensland.
It is apparently due to the tropical disease situation.
But if my chooks wont eat any sort of brown stuff in any type of chook food but will eat B&B then that is what I will give them.
I've been giving them a little each week for several months & I'm not dead from eating the eggs. I get through about 7eggs a week.
Also they have obviously been self serving a much larger amount than the measly little bit I was giving them & still I'm not dead from eating the eggs!

PC you suggested B&B would be a good source of calcium for chooks. That thought never occurred to me. I wonder if it is the calcium mine are chasing. I do have trouble getting them to eat enough calcium type foods & grit. They are very choosy & it is hard to find just the right type of shell grit or cuttlefish. Usually they have enough but with moulting occurring now they are showing that they are indeed calcium deficient as currently some eggs are soft shelled. They are only laying every second or 3rd day which I would expect at this time of year but I still get a few soft shelled eggs each week atm.

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ClissaT

going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:29 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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ClissaTSoyFreeChooks wrote:
As I found out early last year after someone posted on this forum, stock feed manufacturers are not allowed to add meat meal type products to stock feeds made or sold in Queensland.
It is apparently due to the tropical disease situation.


It is my understanding that some Country Heritage Feeds (obviously not the vegetarian products), which are manufactured in Queensland, contain meat meal. reference http://www.petandgarden.com.au/organic- ... feeds.html

The 'meat meal' may be being confused with 'swill' which is illegal to be fed to pigs in any jurisdiction of Australia and illegal to be fed to any livestock in Queensland.

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a slight whistling sound accompanies the fall of the axe before splitting the wood. startled my girls look at me with fear in their tiny chicken eyes. "It's not for you... yet" I cry and laugh at them like a chook


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:47 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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ClissaTSoyFreeChooks wrote:
I do have trouble getting them to eat enough calcium type foods & grit. They are very choosy & it is hard to find just the right type of shell grit or cuttlefish. Usually they have enough but with moulting occurring now they are showing that they are indeed calcium deficient as currently some eggs are soft shelled. They are only laying every second or 3rd day which I would expect at this time of year but I still get a few soft shelled eggs each week atm.


I've found the most readily taken form of calcium for my flock, is their own eggshells. After using the eggs, I put the broken shells on baking trays in the oven for a bit. Around 180 to 200 degrees Celcius for 10 to 20 minutes (enough to dry them out & make the shells more brittle). Let them cool, then whizz them through the food processor briefly, or put in a bag & run a rolling pin over them several times. I put that in a separate bowl near their feeder, or sometimes I'll just pour the pile on the ground for them, under shelter. Sometimes a few will pick at it daily & then slow their intake to just periodic pecks, and other times none of them will eat any for months.

Some feed the shell back to their chooks without baking first, but still crushed. Somewhere in my travels I read that by baking them you allow more of the calcium in them to be released for digestion. I also feel it helps sterilise them to a degree.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:42 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Winglet thanks for you info re the egg shells. I do feed all shells back to them one way or another.
Sometimes it will be a heap of boiled egg shells crushed as fine as I can get it, other times it's crushed raw dried shell.
I have a large lidless coffee jar in the bottom shelf of the fridge door & I put all raw egg shells in there as I use them.
The fridge dries them out & once the jar is full I crush them down with a wooden spoon & put that into the grit tray in their pen.
Sometimes they eat it, other times like at present, the shell grit has been there for 3weeks untouched which is disappointing.
However I will take your advice & heat my next batch & see if that makes a difference.
As you said sometimes your hens don't touch that grit for weeks.
But if mine are already laying soft shelled eggs you would think they must be low on calcium.
So I don't understand why they don't eat more shell grit.
Anyway maybe baked shell grit will be better for them.

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ClissaT

going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:01 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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The soft shells may just be a function of elderly chooks. Sometimes no amount of calcium will correct it. Unfortunately it is often the first sign of other reproductive issues. Hopefully if they have a rest from laying over the winter the problem may self correct but it is probably more likely to escalate. Just like osteoporosis in humans, poultry which has had a high rate of lay will never be able to replace all the calcium which has been lost.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:12 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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It is unfortunate but you just may be right Sue.
These chooks came to us from an organic free range farm halfway through their second lay.
They didn't miss a beat during the move & have hardly drawn breath since being here 13mths now.
The white Bond Farms hen that is now laying soft shelled eggs lays 90g 'duck eggs' as I call them.
The red ISA type hen stopped laying last Sep/Oct, got quite sick then came good & seems to have ended her reproductive era.
She's now very heavy & sporting a flash new set of perfect feathers! So she is enjoying her retirement!
The black hen is also a commercial but maybe not so genetically messed up.
She lays every few days & it's her first partial holiday since coming here.
So they have done very well all considered.
I'll continue to pump the feed into them over winter & see what happens.
They got another feed of B&B today & cleaned up 3/4 cup between the 3 of them.
You'd think they never got fed! :D

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ClissaT

going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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