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Wordless Wednesday

April 27, 2011

22 Comments leave one →
  1. April 27, 2011 9:11 am

    So Nita- you just put the chick scratch out on newspaper? Why do you do that? Don’t you worry they’ll poop in their scratch? I guess you don’t, but why?

    Just looking to learn something here.

    • April 27, 2011 1:15 pm

      Paula, I do just put out the chick feed on clean papers for the first few days, adding feeders as I go. I want them to get every opportunity to eat, sometimes the feeders are a little challenging and some miss out. And yes they will poop there, but they poop in feeders too.

      So I will change those papers tonight when I feed them again, and repeat tomorrow and by day 3 I will remove all paper feeding stations and they will just have feeders. Water gets changed twice a day too, and fresh bedding in any wet areas.

      I have raised tons of chicks this way, use no prophylactic drugs in their feed and never have any problems. Of course, now that I have said that, I will end up with sick chickens!

      But really the basics: clean rested housing, clean dishes and waterers, feed and adequate heat and the chicks are good to go.

  2. Marilyn permalink
    April 27, 2011 9:14 am

    Looking good! No pasty-butt in sight! 😉

  3. Jeanne Baldwin permalink
    April 27, 2011 9:15 am

    Great pictures! Do you mix your own feed? We are looking for a source of organic or at least more natural feed than Layenna. What do you use?

    Thanks, Jeanne

    • April 27, 2011 1:29 pm

      Jeanne, thanks, no we used to, but I had this made this year with the recipe we used to use. I also couldn’t afford organic or non-gmo this year either. About time to give up eating chicken if the grain prices keep going up. There are some alternative/organic feeds available around here but I wasn’t comfortable with the price or trading out soy protein for more crab and fish meal, so I went with this formula which has served me well in the past.

      A good place to start to look for alternative feeds is to look for a Fetrell dealer in your area and they usually know who is making feed and selling it.

  4. April 27, 2011 9:39 am

    Sturdy looking little things, aren’t they? A sure sign of spring!

  5. April 27, 2011 11:25 am

    Fluffy butts are soooo cute!! I’ve got my (approx.) 4 week old bantams in my spare room. I came home yesterday to find one of them running around on my carpet and little suprises left all around!! I thinks it’s time to see about putting them outside 🙂

    • April 27, 2011 1:19 pm

      Jenna, they are good at leaving surprises for sure! I am surprised at what a tiny space they can squeeze through – just like a mouse 😉

  6. Jenny permalink
    April 27, 2011 4:10 pm

    Nice high tech chick feeders there!
    That dark one is cute.

  7. Bev in CA permalink
    April 27, 2011 4:33 pm

    It’s been many years since we raised meat birds. Just got 50 today. You can teach an old hen, LOL, new things. Thanks. Will do the paper feeder. I always try to watch for the ones who are more timid and move them to the feeder. Will also be looking for a Fetrell dealer,
    too. We agree with you that times are getting tougher . We are in our 70’s and will have 2 gardens going this year. Was also were able to get Purple Viking Potatoes. Looking forward to growing them. Our Aussie Mischief was overseeing the chicks as they settled in. We have to do it right!

    • April 27, 2011 5:06 pm

      Bev, LOL, our dual Aussie “mischiefs” were on the watch today for sure too. They are awful eager now to do night rounds with those scurrying babies in the brooder!

      Hoping for a great gardening season for us all!

  8. Gerry permalink
    April 27, 2011 6:00 pm

    Really, you can get away without feeding medicated feed or starter? I have always heard that you must feed coccidiostats to chicks to stop coccidia. I have always used it and never had an outbreak of sickness. I assumed it was because of the drugs in the feed. So I guess it may not be? Or do some types of chickens just get sick more than others?

  9. April 27, 2011 6:35 pm

    Gerry, I have never fed medicated starter or feed. I think industry needs that crutch because of the no-rest syndrome for housing that is driven by the economics of the conventional way of raising chickens. They can’t afford to rest those buildings for 30 days to allow for a die off of contaminants. Family size chicken wranglers (or even small growers) shouldn’t have any problems with coccidia and other ailments if they follow good husbandry practices. That being said, it doesn’t always work out that way, and sometimes the only advice you get is trickle-down info from the big guys, who would be scared to not use medication. Medications have their place for sure, but not in the place of some basics, such as never following old stock (of any kind) with young stock who have no immunities built up. Just plain old basic things that were known long before drugs were invented to ease the “burden” of good husbandry. Prevention is easier than treatment.

  10. claudia w permalink
    April 27, 2011 7:10 pm

    I only see just plain cute.

  11. April 28, 2011 10:08 am

    Hi MOH~

    My chicks are 7-8 weeks now and i’m getting to the bottom of the chick starter bag. Feed store says keep them on chick starter until they start laying, then switch to egg maker. What do you say?

    Love, love, love your blog ; )

    • April 28, 2011 7:30 pm

      Julie, I do feed chick starter to just before the laying begins, although some recommend not doing that. But it gives them a good start. It’s recommended to wean calves early too, and I am not a big proponent of that either. 😉

  12. April 29, 2011 12:24 pm

    MOH –
    I love your blog. What are the tips for avoiding pasty butt? We change bedding frequently, keep waterers clean and food fresh & plentiful. Four of our 15 had pasty butt this go round. Is there something in particular you think I can do to avoid it altogether?

    • April 30, 2011 9:12 am

      Teri, the best advice I can give to avoid pasty butt is to use raw feed instead of pelleted or crumbled feed. Much like eating breakfast cereal for us, cooking and extrusion render the original feedstuffs hard to digest. That being said I know it is hard to find actual chicken mash anymore, but it’s worth looking for if you’re raising many chickens. Chickens need a raw food diet if possible.

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