Has any one had experience growing and grazing Chickens on Turnips, or Rutabagas, [or anything except pasture grass]???
I am going to plant a trial crop of Turnips and Rutabagas to see how it goes, -- [it works great for cows] I can't see why it would not work well for chickens-- any one have any ideas??
I know cows gain about as well on Turnips [tops]as alfalfa, -- and will prefer turnips[esp the tops] to alfalfa hay, -- they will eat quite a lot more then some other feeds, as they are very sweet, --- but it gives them horrible breath, -- but choking can be a problem when they are eating the [bottom] turnip part.
For me, grazing the laying chickens is very important, the flavor my customers rave about is from being outside and eating plants and buggs, --if I just turn them out into a fenced lot, so they can be "free Range" the feed stays the same as caged birds, and the flavor is not much better either, ---
Michaelp, how is your growing project going? I'm very interested in what you find that grows well and that your chickens love to eat. You really do a lot of interesting things for your chickens and I enjoy reading and learning from it. I got a bag of alphalfa seeds to sow but it is too early yet. I think I'll have to wait until the end of March, first part of April. For now mine have to be satisified with eating kale and other greens from the grocery store. They hated the mustard greens.
right now, -- the 50 chickens that are laying are allowed to go out and forage in the afternoon , when I get home from work, -- but the 200 young ones are in my greenhouse, -- they have eaten all the plants in the area they are in, and I am throwing weeds, water hyacinth, and trimmings to them, [along with the chicken feed] I am building a new coop, 30 x48 --I just got the first 1/2 poured [concrete floor], and am working on the grading [lots of digging] for the second half, -- when the floor gets done I will be able to wash down the floor to a holding tank, I plan to put a pump on the tank to move the liquid manure mix to my garden/pasture areas [now we spend hrs going to get and then shoveling manure, for our organic gardens]
I have appin forage turnip, and am planning to plant that and "ground hog radish", in the pasture areas, when the grass dies down in the fall. [ I have another lot I am planting in now, that is bare from over grazing the girls and milk cow] that should have enough time to make a crop before it gets too hot, - -I have fed the older girls lots of turnip and radish in the past [when I clean out the daikon, and other beds after harvest of the marketable produce] they love it. when the coop and fencing is done the chickens will be allowed to forage, all day and only be locked up at night, [I followed a link i saw here in this forum, for a automatic door for the coop, -- it is now on my wish list, [right now the girls are eating over #50/day so not much extra $ for chicken inprovements till they are laying] - [this is probly more info than you requested---]
Wow, you sure have a fascinating operation going on! I envy your growing climate to be able to grow all those nutricious foods for your chickens. Ohhh the things you can do with a 30 x 48 coop... Looking forward to pictures!
the first half of the concrete cost $867.00 [I am about 1/2 way ready for the other half,] -- maybe after next weekend I will be ready to pour again, -- [I hope] so many other things that need done-- etc.
Michaelp, I just received my seed order which included green-strip Cushaw pumpkins. I had ordered these to grow to see if my goats would like them (Goats! What am I thinking! I'm pretty sure they will.). I was thinking vine and all. But the point is they are often listed as multi-use which includes stock feed. You may know about it, but here in an info link: http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/programs/ark_product_detail/green_striped_cushaw/
I was thinking maybe your chickens might like to graze on them?
My great grandfather raised some kind of mush melon in the 1930s to feed his cattle. That was when the government was destroying the livestock saying they were sick with some disease. He hid his livestock out in the "sticks" where nobody could find them, and fed them these mush melons. (My mother told me this story.)
Did you know while people were starving in the depression, OUR GOVERNMENT was destroying crops and cattle and burying them in the ground? ??
My great grandfather was a short tough little man. His father, my great great grandfather, was raised as a slave to the Indians after being kidnapped by Indians/Mexicans as they were coming back from California, in the gold rush of 1849. They killed his parents and kidnapped him. I'll see if I can find the article about him. Somebody has posted it on the web.
Light_for_Jesus, I did research for a paper on hoof and mouth disease (foot and mouth) back in college. I'm pretty sure I remember a US outbreak in the mid-1920's and again in the late 1920's. It involved hogs and deer--but I thought that was in regards to the west coast. I do remember that there was an order for livestock slaughter at that time. Could that be involved in what your mother remembered about your great grandfather hiding his livestock? Reading your post brought back a flash of memory of that paper! I know folks were so afraid of that disease and the consequences back in those days. Still are today.
where I am at only tropical squash work, -- [they root where ever they touch damp ground, -- ] the other varieties are killed by buggs and disease, -- I raise "Seminole Pumpkin, and some others, like that, --
This Cushaw pumpkin (also could be a squash) is said to be resistant to insect and disease. Said to be an heirloom from the South. Especially LA. So that is why I thought of you when I got my seed. Maybe it won't work, though, I'm sure your conditions are close--but not the same--as mine =P . They seem to be pretty confident of it in the article found in the link. Guess I'll let you know how mine works out. Ah well, just a thought...
Well, we'll see how it does here for the goats. It does seem as if the sophmore jinx applies to a number of my crops here in Texas, too. I know last year the tomato horn worms decided to take advantage of my second year for growing tomatoes here. Its always something! =D
Do you think your chickens might like safflower? I used to grow that as an ornamental in my perinial beds when I live in FL. Of course I lived in the St Cloud area, probably different growing conditions from where you live. FL is almost like TX in that there are some many varied growing conditions.
I have never tried Safflower, -- maybe I should look in to it, -- but--it seems my Chickens like almost everything -- 200 [almost ready to lay Chickens] can eat a wheel barrow full of weeds, and old Daikons, in a couple of hrs, -- I am always amazed at how much they can eat, when they like something.
I only have nine chickens and a few peacocks. They can really eat, I can only imagine what 200 could do! They're like mini dinasaurs! Just devouring what crosses their path with such zest and gusto...
Like ZZsBabiez I love the photos. I kind of miss Florida. Believe it or not when I lived near St Cloud it was a sleepy little town with one stop light! Where is Orange Springs exactly? It seems to ring a bell but I'm not placing it. Feb, March, Oct, Nov were my favorite times of year in Florida.
Hope you get lots done with your new chicken palace this weekend! =D
if the market can "really" move the eggs from the 200 i have-- I will double that # [they say they can move 600/day] but-- i am a little careful about how much to believe them, -- I believe in a carefull approach to expansion, -- so -- we will see, --- got 2 roof rafters up after work, --
That's a great coop you have going up. I cannot imagine having 200 hens. I have 27 and think it's a lot. LOL I got 12 eggs 2 days in a row!!
I found a HUGE turnip at my friend's garden that had been overlooked last year and survived the winter. I pulled it up and threw it in with the younger hens. It was a feeding frenzy on the top. I wondered if they'd get around to the turnip itself. They did!
They grow lots of cushaws here and I plan to grow a couple this year. There is a soft skinned and a hard skinned. I have seeds for both.
Have you thought of trying mirlitons (chayote squash)?
I have grown Chayote before, it works Ok some years when the frost is late in the fall, -- but it starts making fruit in the fall about a month [or so] before our first frost, -so about the time I start harvesting a good crop ,it freezes, and dies, -- I covered a row with plastic one year, and got a good crop until late dec. when it froze under the plastic cover,[ and it is a bother to put the cover on at night] -- when I raise them in the greenhouse I have to hand pollinate and it is a bother with them for some reason [ I had only a small amount that made fruit] I am thinking of growing them under the frost sprinklers and see how long they last, --but will wait till the farmers almanac sayes we will have a mild winter, --
I am doing the work myself, but had some men from Crones Cradle [organic farm down the road ] come help on pour day, -[I am still sore from pulling the screed bord, -- I am thinking it is an "old age " thing ]
the area I planted for the chickens is growing well, [so are the weeds] but the carrots were planted with too much seed, as all of it grew, -- I planted a bed about 5 feet wide, and over 100 feet long, the carrots are growing great but will have to be thinned a lot, --the Purple Top Turnips are the same story, all of the seed grew, [I had suposed it would not all grow as I just brodcast it on top of the soil, I was wrong], -- the Rutabagas [yellow turnips] have a half bed [2.5 feet wide] and have all come up well also but they are not as thick and will not have to be thinned as much, -- I also planted chard, daikon, Appin Forage Turnip, and some stock beets [Red Mangles] -- it will be interesting to see what produces well here, -- but I am sure the Chickens will like what ever grows, --
this rutabaga is 4 lbs, -- a row of these would make a lot of chicken food, -- this one tastes a little bitter at the bottom, the bottom was also a little woody, -- but the rest of it tastes great, -- cool, the chickens are eating the tops and enjoying them, -- [should have harvested this 2 months ago]
I hate to sound like I walked 5 miles to school barefoot in the snow... but... a lot of kids today don't have work ethics. A friend of mine won't let her 17 year old son mow the lawn because he might get hurt (but he drives a car). At 17 I had been driving a tractor and bailing hay for years. Mowing the lawn was an easy chore LOL
AnnieBBB, how true. I was considered a bad parent in my neighborhood because I had my #2 son working outside and doing the lawn (I think he was about 11 then and he's in his early 20's now--I started mowing the lawn when I was about 9). The mothers' group at his school had a "talk" with me about having him work in the yard with "dangerous" equipment. I stopped going to the meetings. I asked him if he thought using the lawn mower was dangerous. He said no as I had gone over all the steps to use the lawn mower and my dad had been having him use the lawn mower (a rider) at his place during the summer visits for a couple of years. He said he liked working outside so he didn't mind (son #1 liked working inside and did a great job with the dishes). Son #2 said about the only thing he objected to was that our lawn mower was electric and it was embarassing to have his friends think his parents were "hippies". He wanted a gas with more power or a rider! Poor kid =~p! I sound grouchy, too, don't I? I could be sitting on a porch somewhere yelling "Hey you kids, get off of my lawn" but I don't have time =D!
Michaelp, I especially like the sunlight at the peak of the roof. Will that be done up in some way to keep that light coming into the building? We used to call that a monitor, but I don't know what they call it here in the South.
the gap at the peak of the roof [in the last picture] is a vent [8" high] it has 1x1 hardware cloth over it to keep coons and possums from getting in, -here the big problem is heat, we have 8 months of summer, [we have had 90+ deg days already] -- The walls will be tin roof metal on the bottom 2 feet [to keep the coons from reaching in and getting the chickens, and to break the wind in the winter], the top part of the walls will be horse panels, 2"x4" wire spacing, --also keeps predators, including cats and bears out, --
Re work ethic, -- I raised my Boys on a hog farm,/ organic vegetable farm they worked hard, and I also got a lot of un-solicited advise from people and organizations, [including the LDS Church] telling me I was abusing and "destroying the future" of my children, [and home schooling was also part of that abuse]--now-- their children are worthless, and have been in lots of trouble, my oldest graduated from Hastings School of Law,and works for a state out west, the second graduated from Stanford, and is a professer at Colorado School of Mines, --etc, -- looking back on it, I am very glad I didn't do as they sugested, and let my kids just go play and "hang out" with the others at the park, or church, --they got to do what ever they wanted to [with in reason] after all the chores and school work was done, and no matter how late they came in, Chores started at 6am, --
I have got the metal on most of the bottom [to keep the coons from reaching through] and am working on building nest boxs, I will have 3 rows of 15 nest boxs, in the coop, the boxs are slanted to the back so the eggs will roll out under the 2 inch gap to a tray where I can gather the eggs from the room in back of the coop, this keeps the girls from stepping on the eggs with their poopy little feet.- the bottom of the boxs is 1/2" hardware cloth, so dirt [etc] can fall through and not accumulate in the boxs, -- the nest box is a design like the ones I posted picts of in the brooder thread, --
Michaelp wrote:I know cows gain about as well on Turnips [tops]as alfalfa, -- and will prefer turnips[esp the tops] to alfalfa hay, -- they will eat quite a lot more then some other feeds, as they are very sweet, --- but it gives them horrible breath, -- but choking can be a problem when they are eating the [bottom] turnip part.
Here on our farm we feed a ration of potatos . but we have to grind them ,because cows choke very easy on any medium to large chuncks of any thing. suggest you chop or grind the turnip and they wont choke .
That is really a nice set up. Lots of fresh air and easy to clean out. Those look like really happy chickens! What breed did you say they were? I scanned up through the thread and couldn't find that. Sorry if I missed it and am duplicating a question.
You've done some really nice work and now I hope it pays off for you multiple times over (the objective of all entrepreneurs, right?). Best of luck to you and let us know what you end up growing for the girls. I'm very interested to know about that!
The reason I was pushing so hard for completing the coop, was, --the hens are suopsed to start laying this next week, [acording to the info provided by Hy-Line, where I got the chicks] I realy don't know when they will start to lay, but some are breeding, and lots have bright red combs, so it won't be long.-- another more pressing reason for the hurry was, -the heat is getting bad, and the "girls" in the greenhouse were laying around and panting in the late afternoon, obviosly too hot for them in there. The coop is well ventilated and nice to be in, in the heat, -when working in there it was quite nice.
-- RE Roosters, --I sell fertilized eggs so the roosters are just for that., --I will only plan to breed my Arachana/Leghorn cross, here, so i can have a green egg laying chicken with good egg production to add color to the egg mix in the clear egg cartons I market in, -- next I will have to get the catch bason built to hold the wash-down water, until it can be sprayed on the garden area-
Cajun, I saw something on Dr Oz about Cabbage juice. They were doing a scientific experiment challenging home remedies to see if they really work. It was determined that drinking cabbage juice for 15 days repeatedly not only helped, but completely cured ulcers in many cases! It might be gross, and hard to do, but it's worth a try if you ask me.. Sure can't hurt huh?
We cured my daughter with colloidal trace minerals.
I started having sharp pains right below my ribs on the right side after eating. So I did some surfing and read that Mastica is a good remedy. I tried that and no more sharp pains.
I even did the liver gallbladder cleanse with epsom salts, grapefruit juice and olive oil the other day. BLEEK.. but it did seem to help me feel better. I sure don't like drinking that stuff though. Lots of info online about how it has helped so many people.
Activated charcoal is another product that is supposed to draw toxins out of your stomach and intestines. We always take that for stomach aches. It stops them right away for some reason. Wish I had had that when I was a little girl.
I knew a lady here in town years ago that had stomach problems pretty bad. I kept telling her how good activated charcoal was and she started taking it and said she felt better and was passing a lot of gas. After extensive embarrassing, expensive, and painful tests which showed she had dozens of polyps, guess what the doctors ultimately gave her? Yes, charcoal. She called and said, "You won't believe what they've given me".
Activated charcoal is also what they give dogs who are poisoned on chocolate.
in the picture, you are looking at, --a glass table on our porch ,with leaf designs in it, -, the bottom of a Fairy statue, and reflections from the fading western sun, -the red behind the statue is a candle.
-- the eggs are quite large for first eggs, --they would grade as small, I will use them my self, but could sell them, -- -- cool, --
I noticed from my sexlinks i never got any "pullet" eggs. They started out good sized. The best came from my Golden Comet. Her first egg was a large and she has never gone any smaller than that. I get jumbos from her pretty often. We were so impressed with her that DH bought 6 more GC pullets.
the "Girls" are /were, 17 weeks old this weekend, got 6 eggs from them yesterday, [all in the nest boxs] some of the old girls are laying on the floor, as a rebellion against being moved, -- [2 of the old Arachana hens] they have claimed a corner of the coop and chase the young ones away when they come over to their spot, -- the rest seem to have adjusted, --
Picking greens, -- right now I am picking greens for the new girls, - I need to build more fence before I can let them out into a pasture area, [that requires some more $ and I will have to wait a while and save some more].
Awesome news!!! Those sure are lucky chickens to have all that good food to eat. I'm crazy about your coop! Hope the coon stays away too.
I started doing sprouting seeds in jars, the first batch of alfalfa was ready today. I was so excited to give it to them... they took one look and walked away! My husband said I gave it to them too soon after their morning snack of oatmeal, kefir, flax and blueberries. Hope he's right because I have 5 other jars of sprouting seeds started for them and 2 batches of kefir brewing.
My theory on wild life is-- I need to build my pens strong and tight enough to keep the wild animals from breaking in and eating them, the idea of just killing all the predators, is crazy, [after they have eaten my animals] --as soon as I kill the local ones more just move in to the vacant space, I can not hope to kill all the wild animals in Florida [even if I wanted to] so --what is left is just building strong coops and rabbit pens, etc --after that I selectivly kill those with a special problem.
--last month [just down the road] " something" killed a 500 pound sow and carried her over the fence, and ate about 100 lbs of her, the mans dog didn't even bark [so is still alive] -- in the same area 2 people reported seeing a Tiger. [we have a large cat rescue in Citra [ about 100 yds from the kill] who claims nothing has ever goten away] I have not seen that kind of kill, since leaving Grizzly Bear country, - if I start having those type of troubles I would be inclined to shoot some predators, -- but I have saved myself a lot of trouble and loss, by building good pens.
The "new girls" laid 20 eggs yesterday
Raising Chicken Feed, -- Tia [my daughter] fed the girls several wheel barrows of bolted lettuce , --last night when I got home, there was still a pile in the feeder[at least 2 wheel barrow loads] so they have for the first time had more greens then they could eat in a day. when i asked how much she had brought them, she said "lots" she had cleaned out a 25 foot x 5 foot bed. -- my guess is that there is a wheel Barrow load for every 2 feet of bed, --[as the bed was packed tight and about 16 inches tall, -- ] --Happy Chickens--
I am teaching a class at Crones Cradle conserve, on sat, -- [this is the "jest "of it, -- from my hand-out]
1,[My Base assumption] -- all soil maintenance , and enhancement comes from Manure. Manure comes from plant material. Plants do not make manure, --so –it is necessary to have the plant material digested by something. Plants are digested, by Animals, bacteria, and fungus, --the resulting “manure” is what will feed future generations of plants.
2, - In order to maintain fertility, all plant material, [in the form of manure] must be returned to the soil. – any export of material must be compensated for, by import of material. – or —soil depletion will be the result.
3. When planning a sustainable life style, we need to think in a circle, like the tribal people here used to. Every thing needs to complete the circle. If we have poor soil, organic material will need to be imported. Once the soil is built up and rich enough to grow our food well, we need to make sure it stays that way, by either returning all used plant material [manure] to the soil, or by import to compensate for any export.
4. When adding animals to the food cycle, remember that all the animal waste must be returned to the soil, and also the manure resulting from eating those animals. As long as everything completes the circle, soil fertility will be maintained or enhanced.
Michael, I used to live just outside of St Cloud FL, before it was so congested and crowded. It used to be such a backwater that all our friends A black bear in the area was killing smaller cattle and had to be captured. It was injured and had to be put down. We've been having mountain lion sightings in our area (Van Zandt/Rains Co TX). Odd to think of these creatures expanding their ranges, but they used to be common in this area I understand. There was an article in the newspaper discussing the larger predators and that they are actually increasing in numbers these days for any number of reasons. The younger individuals have to move further and further from home to find their own range. Still, that tiger theory sounds very plasible.
I agree with you about not killing unless absolutely necessary. I don't even mind the odd coyote as long as he is on the other side of my electric fence and stays there. But I'll take an exemption to the feral hogs! Oh and rats, they attract snakes. =P
Best of luck with your class, sounds very interesting.
things are good here, -- 21 eggs today from the new girls, -- set up part of the automatic water system, - have a 50 gal stock tank with a float valve to feed the system, -- I tethered the roosters on sat , everyone is much happier, --including the roosters, -- [no more fighting, and upset hens] removed all but 3 rosters, - will add a few more in a few days, -- males [in general ] can such a pain, --
I love this thread, thank you MichaelP! I feel inspired to grow lots of food for the chickens! I planted seed in the chicken run, its been bare since it was built. I put a lot of sand in there during the last year so I don't know if anything will grow there or not.
Our soil is the worst, clay with coal in it. It stays wet & heavy when it rains, or is dry & hard like cement when we need rain. I've used every bit of bedding from the cleaning the coop to try to amend the soil but it's going to take years and years to get it decent just for the areas I plant in. We got a couple inches of snow last night - AURGGH !
I've been feeding the chickens Kefir, it's fun & easy to make and they love it! We had Kefir smoothies for dessert last night too.
Made me realize I should be bringing the donkey manure into town and putting it in the yard. Maybe some grass will grow for a change. He makes plenty of manure. That donkey eats a LOT of Hay! I buy him two large bales and it is gone before I know it. I'm talking LARGE bales too. Poof !
This is what I worry about when putting chicken, or horse manure, in the flower beds or the compost pile... parasites. The compost pile has chicken & horse manure in it. It's been covered all winter with a tarp. I don't think it's kept it warm enough to kill any bugs. I also don't want the chickens digging around in it in case they pick up parasites. When I did the big strip down of the coop, DL method for months, I put it all in a bed that has mostly trees and shrubs, it's out of the fenced area so the chickens and dogs can't get to it. Parasites ick me out.
Thanks AnnieB. I do worm my donkey every 4 or 5 months. He starts looking too thin if I don't. So, yes there must be a problem there. If I bring it in, I'll put it in the front yard where the chickens do not go. I wanted one of those fancy composters you turn. That looked so neat, but I have so many other things to think about. When the compost heats up it's supposed to kill all that stuff.
I had completely forgotten that compost will heat up by itself with little help from the sun. Whew, thanks for that info LFK, I worry about the weirdest things sometimes! I know all animals that eat from the ground eventually get parasites.
Do you think if I added some 7 dust to the compost pile it would help the potential parasite problem, or would it just kill the good nutrients instead?
What parasites? You mean worms from the horses? I don't think they can live outside of the intestines for long...
It is said that they can get parasites from eating worms and snails.. so I just worm them when it becomes a problem.. they love worms, and worms are loaded with protein..
I turn my compost and my girls go nuts in it.. If you kill the organisms with 7 dust, you won't get compost... you'd just get a pile of poop.,LOL That would be my guess. The beauty of compost is the world of organisms that create black gold from poo.. :)
I let my hens decide what they want to eat, and just worm them when they need it.. I think the health benefits they would miss out on from not eating what they want would be worse than the parasites they pick up naturally. Free ranging shouldn't be controlled if you ask me..
I said I worry about weird things LOL. Parasites just gross me out, thats all. I worm the chickens twice a year and also give garlic, pumpkin seeds in between that are supposed to help with worms. I'd rather the compost turn to black gold for all the flowers so I'll let the Girl's know you said it was Ok for them to dig around in it, they'll be so happy LOL.
:) I would say that is a good care regimen. I worry about weird things too.. :) Although I don't think they are weird.. others do. I don't think you are weird.. Just careful.
I just dug up a load of compost from behind the house.. I had those stack-able composters out there that was just left unattended for a couple years and I am just thrilled about it! Funny how dirt can make me so happy.. but it's really old stuff and looks so rich.. I am going to use it in my raised beds for my herbs.. I can just SEE the flavors and nourishment! The only bad part is that dang Bermuda grass got in it... I have to sift it before I use it or I'll be sorry..
It's a beautiful morning here.. I hope I have lavender babiez this am..
Oh, I want some lavender babies. :( Do you know I bid on some lavender araucana large fowl the other day on backyard chicken? I won it but the reserve was not met. Probably a good thing too, because shipping was going to be high.
I use it all and don,t worry about parasites, -- I just add some diatomatious [how-ever youspell it] earth to the feed, -- I have 9 year old chickens who are still laying, -- I take some wormwood, Cloves, and greenhull walnut tincture about every 6 months, and eat lots of fresh garlic, -- I add all the manure , etc, -- to the garden, and only compost the weedy stuff, --
the oldest ones are Road Island White,9+ -- the 8 year olds are Americana, --and Bared Plymoth Rock, the rest are cross-breeds of my own, --then Leghorns, -- and the youngsters are Hy-line Brown, ---all still lay, -
I sure hope mine live a long time. Quite a while ago I read an article about older hens being used as Composters. Their coop and run was in the compost area and they happily scratched away all day long. Even though they were no longer laying they were just as valuable for their work at turning over the soil. I'm a happy ending sucker.
got 72 eggs today, --I have found --[that for me]--as long as the hens are healthy they continue to lay, -- once they have stopped, -- they do not live long, -- and that saves me the trouble of trying to decide if I should kill them [and can them] or--not, -- once the pasture set up is working again, -- it will not be so important [$ wise] to get rid of non-producers, -- they can just tag along, and make poop for the garden, -- the ones that die are Gator food, - I don't have to do anything with them except toss them in the pond, -- they are gone in a few hours--
MichaelP, Now that you are getting more eggs does that mean you have less time to garden and built and maintain things around the place? I mean like it takes time to wash and package all those eggs.. Do you have an outlet for the eggs that you have to make deliveries or do customers come to your place for their eggs. Either way this takes time or no?
The eggs are mostly clean, but there are a few dirty ones, and I still get some "floor eggs" that always need washed. but the nest box idea and a dry floor keep the poopy egg thing to a small problem.
I have a market for the eggs, but now that the girls are laying he is getting a little flaky, --hope he keeps his word, -- but My Daughter is adding them to her marketing down at the corner, along with her produce, so a few will go that way. I can deliver them --but it is not going to make any $ that way, --my work time is $25/hr and gas is almost $4/galon, -- the work truck only gets about 11 - or 12 mpg, -- so that wont work very well.
I don't know if all water in Florida has Gators, --but-- one should assume so, before getting near the water, -- if a Gator can run down a deer , us humans can't rely on being quick to get away, -- but --they are great garbage disposals.
Michaelp, from my time living down in Florida: Don't feed 'gators marshmallows! We had a smallish 'gator living in the pond behind the few houses on our little road. Older lady down the road decided it would be cute to start feeding it treats and discovered that this particular 'gator loved marshmallows. She ended up losing a couple of fingers. Felt bad for her, but really--Duh! Also, don't walk your toy poodle along the edges of known 'gator ponds/bodies of water.
I hope you have the best of luck with your egg business. I know, if I were still in Florida and in your area, I'd drive out to buy some. I find I enjoy buying from the actual producer so much more. I think many of use are getting to be that way.
OMG You better not have gone through all that work and expense to have your contact flake on you! Funny, I'm a gazillion miles away, wouldn't know you in a crowd, have no interest whatsoever in your biz, but that makes my blood boil! LOL :) People need to keep their word! If your not gonna do it don't say so! arrgh that gets me mad.
so far so good as far as sales go, --got 83 eggs yesterday, -- I don,t let the gators see me throw anything in the pond, --and never in the same place, -- if Gators asociate people with food, --then people will be on the menu also, --only had trouble with 1 that came up in the Yard and was acting hungry, he didn't want to go back to the pond when I tried to chase him away [the woman across the pond used to feed them] he got agressive, --so----he was yummy, ---
got 94 eggs ,last night, -- they are enjoying all the greens, -- Tia fed them several hundred lbs a day now for the last week, -- [her market garden lettuce bolted, -- [lost about 400] she is feeding all they will clean up, -- they sure like to see her come by, -- they are turning the lettuce back into usable fertilizer, --[ ready to go back into the garden the next day-- it's a perfect system,] --
Gator is great if it is not over cooked, -- as soon as it floats it is done, -- yummm
counting all the chickens,  they eat 500 lb/week, 15% layer pellets, --the cow eats about 50 lb of sweet feed, and 2 or 3 bales of hay, the rabbits eat about 2 bags [100 lb] /week, [that will change as soon as I butcher next week], -I have stopped breeding Rabbits for the season, -it will be too hot for the PG does to survive soon, -- and my freezer and pantry are full, -- so I will be feeding about 1 bag /month to the breedstock, --till breeding time, about Nov, then the feed bill will pick up again, -
I got 111 egs last night, --
I hope you can get enough for your eggs to pay for the nice chicken house and the all the feed the chickens eat plus other incidentals that arise from raising chickens.
You must have a few rabbits to eat that much feed every week. My rabbits get 1/2 cup of feed per day until after they have babies then their food crock is never empty until weaning. After weaning it's back on 1/2 cup per day. I keep their weight down to cope with the heat. And yes, I know what the heat can to a PG doe as I have lost a couple over the years.
I used to butcher at 8 weeks for fryer size rabbits, but now I always let them go to 12 weeks. I like the meat to food conversion ratio that takes place between 8 and 12 weeks. It may be all in my head but they seem to have so much more meat on their bones at 12 weeks and when stewed the meat falls right off the bone and taste just as sweet.
I stew them with brown rice. I cut up the rabbit into 2 1/2 portions for the freezer. I boil the rabbit portion for 30 minutes in enough water to then add 1 1/2 cups of brown rice boil another 45 minutes. It is the only way I have eaten rabbit for the last 20 yrs.
I find that if I brine the rabbits for a couple or 3 hrs in salt water ,before freezing, - the rabbit is as tender as any chicken, and not stringy at all, -- I also like my Rabbits a little older,/bigger, -- with the brining ,they are more tender than any 8 week old rabbit, -- I have 5 Does with litters, of 8 to 9 rabbits all about 6 to 10 weeks old, -- I have butchered almost 100 rabbits so far this season, -- all rabbits of mine also get 4 to 6 oz of feed depending on condition, -- fat rabbits die in the heat, --
I got 147 eggs last night and the market is still good, [so far] I also found the perfect disposal for He-Shu-Wu, -- an invasive plant species I would not suggest anyone plant in the south, --it will escape from a pot with ease, -- the chickens have devoured it with no aparent trouble, -- My cow will eat some of it, -- but does not like to much of it, -- but the Chickens can't seem to get enough.
I am allergic to the sun. The spring is such a dangerous time of year for me, because it's just so gorgeous outside! It will actually cut off the oxygen in my blood if I am in the sun, so I need to behave myself. ugh.
Yes, you go enjoy. I'm fine as long as I behave. MD is a bad one. No wonder you are having trouble. This world can be so cruel at times. How old are you cajun, if that isn't too rude to ask. I'm 54. Can hardly believe I am this old. How did that happen? Before long I'll be really old. Boy, do I have more respect for the elderly now.
I am 50 years young, or I like to think I am. LOL I should still be in my prime but I am going down a bit. Hate to admit it but I won't give in. I figure the only way to lose is to quit. I still get stuff done, just slower and I have to work harder and smarter. Also have to ask for help which chaps my hide! Folks don't mind helping but I hate asking. I make good use of my hand truck (dolly) to move things. Especially sacks of grain but it works good for full buckets and bales of hay too. I'd love to have me a 4 wheeled wagon with a dump bed. Nice one at TSC but it carries a high price tag. What I really hope I can get before I die is a motor scooter. I could die happy if I was a "biker"!
I'm 53 and feel like 80 sometimes.. I've worked way to hard and had a few too many injuries and they are catching up with me quick. I sooo need a dolly. I have some wine barrel planters I have to move.. and a lot of rock and paving stones..
LOL Cajun I'm too far from town to get a scooter.. but I'd like one. :)
It would really help me to get up the hills to the barns with my buckets and hay. I'd have to make trips over the mountain but what's the downside in that? LOL They get about a trillion miles to a gallon and 55MPH is plenty fast enough for me. Easy to hold up too.
I couldn't make it without my hand truck. Ours was given to us by a friend but I don't think they are terribly expensive. You should get you one. I used mine to move all my papvers for my SFG beds and my strawberry bed.
Cajun, I really do need to find a dolly... I know it would help sooooo much! I have so much to move down here that is just sitting up there at the old house.. they are gonna claim it if I don't bring it down soon!!
I just got an idea from the Frugal Living Forum on rain barrels.. I don't need it to collect rain, but I don't have water at the chicken coops... I have to ask and drag out their hose, and it is a major pain.. (going in their yard, into the driveway, un roll all the hose, drag it through their yard) Anyway.. I'm gonna get a garbage can with a lid to store water over there! Then I won't have to cart it from home or bug those people all the time! I'm so tickled.. cause in the summer, it is so hot, that was gonna be a major problem.
He Shu wu, -- is suposed to mean, -- Mr Wu has black hair, -- because his hair changed from gray to black when he was using the herb, -- [so the story goes] I planted the seed in a pot to see if it would grow here, -- it escaped and is covering about 500 sq feet -glad the chickens like it, -- it is sure prolific, --the cow was not impresed with it, --
I have had a few soft shell eggs get cracked, have more that get pecked from building up in the tray till the chickens can reach them [mostly one older chicken] loose about 5 or 6 /day to cracks and peck marks,[I boil and eat those] -- got 162 eggs last night, --
about egg size I talked about earlier in the home made brooder thread , I may have created a problem for market, -- by feeding the hens starter until they were a week or so from laying, to increase egg size[ by larger body size at onset of laying] I have had about a doz eggs /day already that won't fit into the market cartens, -- [over jumbo size] but my wife loves them, but not a doz/day] and they are just starting to all lay "normal" size eggs, -- I may have lots of eggs that will have to marketed somewhere else, --or trashed, --
From pullets???? That's wild! You could always recycle them by feeding them back to the chickens.. :) Funny how we always want big eggs, but I've found Serama eggs are awesome for cooking.. especially for "egg wash" where you only need a tiny bit to add to water. LOL
Back in the days when I bought and ate eggs, I only bought "Jumbo" sized eggs. I can't believe there isn't a market for them! If you can't sell them and there are too many to eat I agree with ZZ's about feeding them back to the chickens, or you could donate some to a food bank. Who would have thought jumbo eggs would be a problem, especially the way you feed yours!
The problem is $, -- it takes $20 to drive to town, -- I would have to have a good market to make a profit after the gas $, -- I don't feed raw egs to the chickens, -- believe it promotes egg eating in the nest, -- I hard boil the eggs before feeding crushed eggs to the hens, --
Definitely feed only cooked eggs, as you say. I have a neighbor who loves oversized eggs and will take as many as I get - but I have fewer chickens...Perhaps if you save them up for a while the trip would be worthwhile.
Every now and then I get a jumbo egg too big for the carton to close over. It's from my Golden Comet. We always eat it. I have 6 more Golden Comet chicks. Congrats on those great numbers. Love the cow.