Chook Laying Pellets
A chicken will typically eat about 400g of commercial feed (mixed grain or pellets) per day (about a double handful per bird). If they have access to food scraps and lots of green pick, then about 200g is enough. For our 40 chooks, that means buying 6x20Kg bags/week @ $17/20Kg bag = $102/week.
22 dozen eggs/week @$6/dozen = $153. Profit = $50/week. http://roostmelbourne.com.au
Helpful herbs can be added to the daily greens, used in the nest boxes or grown alongside the fence:
Catnip - insect repellent, use in nest boxes
Coriander - nutritious daily green with antioxidant properties, high in Vitamin A and K
Dandelion - acts as a tonic
Dill - antioxidant, relaxant, respiratory health
Fennel - believed to stimulate laying
Garlic - believed to prevent worms
Lemon Balm - antiviral, antibacterial, rodent repellent
Marigold - believed to stimulate laying
Marjoram - believed to stimulate laying
Mint (all kinds) - insecticide and rodent repellent
Nasturtium - laying stimulant, antiseptic, antibiotic, insecticide, wormer
Oregano - combats infections
Parsley - high in vitamins, believed to stimulate laying
Sage - antioxidant, anti-parasitic, general health promoter
Thyme - antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-parasitic
Wormwood - growing as a hedge is believed to discourage ticks
Find more information on herbs here.
Consider giving the chooks a nutrient supplement when weather or predators prevent free-ranging. It is also useful to give the chooks a bit of a boost once they start moulting. Natra-Kelp Liquid Seaweed For Animals provides a wide range of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and amino acids. Improvements in animal health can include increased resistance to internal parasites, improved condition of feathers, and higher quality of products such as milk, eggs or meat. Other choices can be sprouted grains, such as wheat, barley or oats.
A homemade tonic can be made using:
Chooks also require an ample supply of shell grit for digestion and calcium. It is useful to dry and crush eggshells for them as an extra calcium supply.
Charcoal can provide real health benefits for your chooks. The charcoal is able to absorb toxins from the food or water, improving hygiene and chook health. While it has no nutritional value itself, charcoal contributes to keeping an animal's digestive system healthy. Charcoal is a laxative and can help move the impurities it absorbs out of the body. If worms or worm eggs are present, it can to some degree help move them out of the body as well. Poultry feed containing 1-1.5% charcoal has resulted in increased laying rate, a longer laying period and increased egg weight. Charcoal in the diet will also reduce the odour of chook manure. Slow burning is essential to charcoal making; you can damp down a fire that is burning too quickly with some water. Once it's all cooled down, crush it up a bit and throw a handful in with the poultry feed or where the chickens will scratch.
This is how hens keep themselves clean; the dust also helps to kill parasites. Try to provide an area for a dustbath that stays dry no matter how rainy the weather is. Adding diatomaceous earth, once known as sharp sand, or woodash to the dustbath will give extra protection against lice and mites. Wood ash has a very nice texture; the chooks may choose to eat it too.
Recipe for dust bath:
Sandpit poop scoop
Stop washing your eggs!
It's hard to resist making eggs pretty when they're removed from the nest. But washing your urban chicken eggs is just about the worst thing you can do to them. A clean shell means a good egg, right? Wrong.
Once the egg is removed from the nest, there's really no intervention required. Not even refrigeration!
Why? Well, just before the fully-formed egg passes out the vent of a hen, her body adds a moist, protective coating called the bloom. This wet bloom dries quickly when the egg lands in a nest and it becomes a protective shield, covering all the pores in the egg so bacteria and dirt (and even air) can't get inside the egg. The bloom also traps moisture inside the egg so the yolk and albumen don't dry out.
This coating is why eggs can be left out at room temperature for weeks, if not months, and still be edible. This coating is also why a hen can save for several weeks to keep a clutch of a dozen eggs or more in her nest before sitting on them to incubate them into little chicks.
When we wash eggs, we actually remove this bloom, this protective coating, from the shell and at best, make it possible that air gets into the shell and degrades the albumen and yolk (making them runny and less nutritious). At worst, we're effectively pushing the bacteria that was outside the egg shell through the pores and into the inside where it wreaks havoc until we open it. This havoc is only slowed down by our refrigerating the eggs.
So what to do instead of washing your eggs? Try keeping a bit of sandpaper by the coop to sand off any stuck bits. Or a fingernail brush to brush off bits of nesting material, feathers or poop. Just do your best to keep your eggs dry and the bloom intact so nature can protect your eggs as they sit beautifully on the counter.
And if you must, must, must wash them? Do it just before you eat them.
Extract from: www.urbanchickens.net
PESTS that attack chooks
Treating for Mites, Scaly leg Mites and Worms www.the-chicken-chick.com