Chicken Feed

When it comes to eating, we have found that our chickens will try anything once, your toes, fingers, hair, buttons, infact anything small enough to fit in their beaks, and more often than not, pieces of bread that are far too big to fit into their beaks, but they’ll try anyway. Since getting our chickens we have mainly fed them with layer pellets, as they were raised on pellets at the farm where we bought them. Occasionally when the supermarket has run out of pellets, we buy layer mash, which is a bit like porridge mix,  you add water and stir it up, we use a bucket, the girls seem to enjoy the change from pellets, my partner told me that one of her pupils, who’s family also keep chickens, said that her parents are mixing up the mash with hot water (as it’s winter here), and it has increased their hens egg output.

One important factor when choosing a feed, is to check whether it contains grit, or shell,  which is essential for the chickens diet, it helps with forming the egg shell, lack of calcium will cause soft shelled eggs, some pellets have the shell included the the pellet, other manufactures place a small bag of crushed oyster shell in with the pellets, or alternatively you can but it from most pet shops. I always try to bring a few shells from any beaches we visit, I put in them in a plastic bag, place them on a hard surface and smash them up with a hammer, do this at home, as it looks strange at the beach.

Other suppliments to the hens diet come from the garden, in the form of bugs and grasses, some plants and weeds, they have really helped keep the weeds down the the back garden, we also throw our food scraps on the compost heap, and they will rake through those and pick out any good bits. A bit of varity is the main thing when it comes to chicken feed, it makes them healthier, both in body and mind, they get bored with the same food everyday.

Layer pellets
Layer pellets

feed

Nancy’s Gone Broody Again

Hi there keepers, it seems Nancy has gone broody again, I didn’t expect her to do that in the wettest part of winter, I thought her maternal instinct would tell her that this isn’t the right time of year to bringing chicks into the world, but not so, she has managed to find her way back in behind the neighbours shed, even though they have screen off the outdoor area where the shed is, she has performed her mission impossible stunts to enable her to get back into her favourite spot.

I recovered 6 eggs from underneath her the other day, two of which didn’t pass the float test, so she must have been laying back in there for a couple over two weeks, there were at least another four eggs under her, and at least one had broken, for the eggs I retrieved were covered in yolk and pieces of broken shell. She is spending her nights in there now, which seems to have cut down the fighting for position in the coop , come roosting time. The last time Nancy went broody, it was for some 10 weeks, I wondered how long this one will last, as the weather is very different, cold and wet, I  imagine the warm of the coop will draw her back sooner this time.