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Author Topic: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???  (Read 1915 times)

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« on: May 19, 2017, 09:13:54 am »
How did people feed their chickens before they had GMO Argentina or Brazil grown soya beans that nearly ALL livestock in the EU is being fed now?
How did they manage to still have 200 eggs per year and get chickens to lay over the winter? We all know Romans kept chickens, they had no soya beans or corn or potatoes.
I'm sure they didn't just feed them wheat or oats?
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.
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chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 09:22:28 am »
They still feed in the old manner here- wheat plus unrestricted free-ranging, which gives them the opportunity to pick up grubs to make the protein levels up. Of course the foxes get a few!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 09:24:38 am »
Free range + kitchen scraps including veg and bread + wheat.


Did folk in the past keep their hens laying through the winter?  Even my grandparents used isinglass to preserve eggs when there was a glut, for use when the hens weren't laying.
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macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 11:34:58 am »
I remember watching victorian farm or Edward Ian farm program on bbc once upon a time and the guy managed to get them lay through the winter using "secret recipe" feed from that time. I wander what it was?
Have you seen that guy in America who has a compost business, collects waste from restaurants puts it on a massive pile and has lots of chickens who turn it all the time eat whatever is available (vegetables, flies, worms) and then sells it as compost. He doesn't feed them anything else and still manages to sell eggs.
I really want to find a sustainable way of feeding my small flock without buying (or reducing) commercial GMO layers pellets yet still get eggs and some meat from them. It is more straightforward with goats -  just feed them tree branches and brambles, even geese are doing well on grass and a bit of wheat.
I read somewhere that turkeys manage to find more of their own feed while free ranging
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Eve

  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 11:47:21 am »
Hundreds of years ago chickens didn't lay 200 eggs and over winter.


When egg numbers were natural the birds could live off natural food. Egg numbers are now unnaturally high and need to be supported with an 'unnatural' diet.


Same as how much faster livestock grows e.g. table birds or pigs. Nothing like the old natural pace, and also requires the support of an adapted diet.


I'm talking about modern farming, of course, not about the 'old' breeds that some of us can keep free ranging. But the chickens we keep are the result of hundreds of years of selective breeding to enhance certain traits, even the old breeds.


Backinwellies

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Re: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 12:44:07 pm »
Kitchen scraps ofcourse ... which we are now not allowed to feed!
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Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 01:09:48 pm »
<<< I remember watching victorian farm or Edward Ian farm program on bbc once upon a time and the guy managed to get them lay through the winter using "secret recipe" feed from that time. I wander what it was? >>>


Probably something awful.  They used some scary chemicals and additives in Victorian and Edwardian times.  Just because it's 'old fashioned' doesn't mean it's better, and in fact it's often worse.

I expect those hens in the programme were young, and maybe some were hatched in the summer so they would naturally come into lay towards the end of the year.

You could make sure your hens have access to freshly turned earth each day, so they could scratch for worms and insects, to keep their protein levels up.  However, worms themselves can carry parasites which are harmful to hens.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 01:11:29 pm by Fleecewife »
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YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 01:42:44 pm »
Ye olde chickens also had access to middens and rubbish heaps, for meat scraps and maggots.
You can apparently replicate this by hanging a bucket with holes drilled around the bottom edge, in the bucket goes meat scraps. Flies come in, lay eggs, and maggots rain from the holes. Delightful!

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2017, 02:29:24 pm »
Ye olde chickens also had access to middens and rubbish heaps, for meat scraps and maggots.
You can apparently replicate this by hanging a bucket with holes drilled around the bottom edge, in the bucket goes meat scraps. Flies come in, lay eggs, and maggots rain from the holes. Delightful!


Thats a great idea.  You could keep an old dead chicken and let the maggots in.  As we know the biggest scavengers ever are hens theyll happily eat their pals on the sight of blood.  All gone so blinkin PC now and as for DEFRA well ...... pigs happily lived on scraps and could be kept cheaply until the big industrial farmers came in and spoilt that.  You wonder how our ancestors managed to evolve perhaps they were better at things than we make out.  Modern ways are not always best practice.

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2017, 02:40:23 pm »
When I've had young birds at the beginning of winter they've laid well right through the winter, so I'd guess they made sure to have enough new layers in the autumn to keep them in eggs 'til spring?
Thanks to Mr fox I'll have young birds next winter myself.  Again.  >:(

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2017, 03:26:06 pm »
Ye olde chickens also had access to middens and rubbish heaps, for meat scraps and maggots.
You can apparently replicate this by hanging a bucket with holes drilled around the bottom edge, in the bucket goes meat scraps. Flies come in, lay eggs, and maggots rain from the holes. Delightful!




That's a great way of feeding koi too  :yum:
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Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2017, 03:49:24 pm »
Our hens will spend all day on the FYM heap, given half a chance.  It's a mix of chicken, pig and sheep muck, along with the bedding from all three.  If you turn over a spadeful there are hundreds of brandling worms, which must be high in protein.

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2017, 04:05:56 pm »
Our hens will spend all day on the FYM heap, given half a chance.  It's a mix of chicken, pig and sheep muck, along with the bedding from all three.  If you turn over a spadeful there are hundreds of brandling worms, which must be high in protein.
That's brilliant! I haven't seen any flies for years! Since I have muscovy ducks especially. I let my ones in the garden after harvest so they can turn the compost before the next season and eat a looooot of worms
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2017, 08:45:05 am »
We used to, before layers pellets, feed ours corn and they did quite well off that. Now I have found they're not paying well off just layers pellets, so I have started to mix it with corn, half and half twice daily their ration, works an absolute treat :)
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devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Feeding poultry without layers pellets???
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2017, 09:29:34 am »
Ours always free ranged and were given a little whole wheat morning and evening. In winter Ma would boil up potato and other veg skins , chopped in an old pan with  a saucer and mixed with left over bread etc.
I remember only occasionally having to go for eggs during the winter. We also had eggs preserved in isinglass. I fancy a fair few hens went into a stew during the winter!!

 

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