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#21 [url]

Aug 15 11 5:15 PM

Where and how do u administer oyster shell? Is it something they will self regulate?

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#22 [url]

Aug 15 11 7:21 PM

Ciel, the hens will eat the oyster shell as they need it for calcium to make
egg shells. I just nail a little tuna fish can to a fence post at their 
eye level and put oyster shell in it every now and then as it gets empty.
10 hens use maybe 10 pounds a year.

I also throw out grit on the ground. That helps them digest food. Chickens hold their food in a pocket ,
a "craw"  some people call it. The grit grinds up the food in the "craw" so the chicken can digest it.

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#29 [url]

Sep 5 11 1:52 PM

Great picture Ryan!

Can hardly beleive it but got two more hatched- so that's ten from the fluke clutch that I though wasn't going to amount to much.

Thinking of an egg biz!

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#30 [url]

Sep 14 11 12:32 AM

Hens all sold in the last three days. Anyone who wants to start a small home business should start 
selling chickens. A lot of people seem to want them right  now. I could have sold 30 chickens if I had that many. 
What I do is every other year I bring in about 40 chicks and  sell off about  half of them
when they are a couple of months old . That usually makes it possible for me to 
import new chickens for a small amount of cash.  

At some point we are going to be unable to import chickens or eggs and the bloodlines
we have on the island are are going to be what we have for a long time.
(This is already true for ducks and geese)
So anyone who brings in chickens should try to alternate the hatcheries 
they use. Get as many bloodlines going as possible. 

In other words try to order from some hatchery other than Murray McMurray.
That is the one the feed stores use.

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#31 [url]

Sep 15 11 9:04 AM

So did you check to see what chicks cost you to raise? I would think that they would eat that $8 up in 2 months.I have 8 that are about 3 weeks old and they eat day and night. They eat some greens but chick starter all the time. I think it was $23 per 50 lbs, maybe 3 weeks??

I see a lot of unwanted roosters that are given away, why don't you eat them you know they may be tuff but our cooker will fix that.


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#32 [url]

Sep 15 11 9:57 AM

Bill , rooster soup is good and we often throw one in the pressure cooker or crock pot.
I find many people cannot deal with killing and butchering the birds. 

And yes, I did not make much on $8 chickens but I sold them to people not on the forum 
for $10.  If I had kept them for 
another 2 months I could have sold them for $20 each. There are people out there who want an immediate egg laying bird and are willing to pay for it. 

If you really want to make money on chickens you need to grow your own 
feed . I am still working on that.

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#33 [url]

Sep 15 11 10:35 AM

So what are you trying to grow that 20% protein? I can grow greens but what don't give them the protein they need. Bugs worms something like that? If I could catch mongoose's and feed them I could solve two problems. Scraps just don't do it, but then we don't have many of those and dam little meat. They do get some fat over scraps.

PS: In all my try's I have never trapped a mongoose, and I have tried a lot. I now feed them and they get sick and die.


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#34 [url]

Sep 15 11 11:13 AM

More and more my food forest design simply resembles ideal bird habitat. . .which makes for good Jay habitat, as I'd rather eat eggs than sweet potatoes.

It's worth considering that chickens evolved without a grain based diet, and it's got to be possible to provide their needs(at least on some level) without. We find they go ape for bananas and poha berries, stuff we've got tons of(literally) and that makes for a lot of calories. It's hard to beat bananas for cheap easy carbs in quantity. They also like eating the downed stalks. Not a lot of protein there, but I imagine the decomposing fruit and the hordes of fungal gnats that get after all that might. I have wondered about a modified pheromone trap for fish feed--that's something that might add a lot, especially if one was raising some small bait fish--fast breeding-- for chicken food.

Hoping that once the koa start to drop seed that will provide some bird fodder as well, having observed that healthy koa forest is lousy with pheasants--and without a doubt the chickens will plant a koa or two for me also. Maybe even this season as some of the trees are pushing 20 feet now and probably might be mature enough to do so. We'll know in a couple months. No blooms yet.

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#35 [url]

Sep 15 11 11:37 AM

My chickens also eat lots of things not on the standard chicken diet.
Avocado, Mountain apple, banana, and acerola cherry all grow in their 30x 70 foot area.
Comfrey around the outside of the fence gets pecked at frequently.
Green waste from the aquaponics also goes to the chickens.
I grow a green vine called swamp cabbage in the system. It grows faster than water cress and the chickens get most of that also.

BUT they still eat a lot of layer pellets and scratch.

Bill, I catch mongoose with a have a heart trap. The trick is to bait it with peanut butter.
The mongoose fiddles more with the bait and then the trap is tripped.
After you catch him you can drown him in water and if you have a strong stomach.......
chop him up and feed him to your chickens. Sounds brutal but it is protein
for your birds.

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#36 [url]

Sep 15 11 11:45 AM

i'm with you on the raising of bait fish as chicken feed - i actually use a tropical fish (convict cichlids) as they are breeding machines - i'm not too sure if the pet stores in hawaii sell these or not - but i'd be inclined to use them there if they were - these years chickens (red stars) are some serious greens eaters - they're eating okra leaves and a variety of pepper leaves like candy - anybody find a good use for those pheasants?

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#37 [url]

Sep 15 11 6:04 PM

"Bill, I catch mongoose with a have a heart trap".
So what is heart trap? I have tried peanut butter but still have not got one. As far as killing one I could hack him to hell.


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#38 [url]

Sep 15 11 6:45 PM

Chickens LOVE maggots,  High protein, you virtually make them out of thin air, and they make for great eggs.  Kill a mongoose, rooster, politician, whatever, and cut it in a few pieces and leave it out on a piece of plastic in the shade in a cage for a day or two for the flies to lay their eggs.  Then roll it up in the plastic until the maggots hatch and get nice and fat, you will have to learn the timing of your local flies.  Then feed the whole mess to the chickens.  Chickens love meat and will happily eat mongoose or roosters.

For calcium for their eggs the oyster shells need to be crushed small enough so they can get it down, if you buy it in a store it is usually a good size.  If you feed their egg shells back to them be sure to crush the shells well - if a hen finds out that eggshell is good to eat she will start eating her own eggs.

I haven't tried feeding anything having to do with fish to my chickens, but the hogs out out once and got into the trout food, which was made of fish meal.  It was quite a while after that, several weeks, before the hogs were butchered and the meat tasted just like fish - the oils from the fish feed had gotten into their fat and meat and stayed.  Completely inedible, even the dogs wouldn't eat much of the meat.  Maybe one person experiment with feeding fish food to just a few chickens and see how that affects the flavor of the meat/eggs.  The fish bones would be a good source of calcium for the egg shells.

There are no failures - just experiences and your reactions to them.

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#39 [url]

Sep 15 11 7:07 PM

Never, ever, feed chickens any part of their eggs, including shells!  Chickens do need a certain amount of protein, but like humans, not as much as most people think, and yes, most of their protein needs are met by eating insects if they can free range.  Our chickens favorite foods were the centipedes and other garden insects.  Of course, chickens that cannot free range need pellets and grain, and if you think about it, that is the same for humans.

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