Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Winter is Coming Fowl Doings

In our last installment, we had just managed to rescue all of Broody II's chix...after that close call, I decided they needed more supervision for a while, so we put them in a giant dog kennel and they've been living in the mud room..

On warm sunny days, we haul the kennel outside so the chix can get some sun and fresh air...

Ozzie and Orchid call a temporary truce so they can go check out Mama and babies, so cute!

Ozzie and Archimedes decided that they wanted to roost on the back of the rocking chairs in the garden...

the chairs are right in front of the window in my craft room...

they can't see me in the reflection of the window...you know that weird feeling you get when someone is watching you...Ozzie is having it right now lol!

Look closely at this photo...look on the roof of the run-both the cats love to lay on top of the chicken run, so funny!
 
Since I got the new Americana rooster, I've been leaving everyone locked in the coop and run until he built up his confidence a little lol!

I decided he'd become bold enough to go outside, I let the whole flock out-Sam the 4th was a little hesitant at first, but some of the hens hung out with him and encouraged him-now he's a total convert and wants to free range all the time!

Since 'Winter is Coming' and sooner rather than later in this neck of the woods, I'm prepping the girls for the long winter ahead. I've bumped up their protein intake in their layer pellets and have been making them a weekly mash. I make one big batch and then split it between all the chickens; roughly 50. It's really easy to make, and very good for the chickens! So I mince 4 or 5 cloves of garlic and add about 1/2 c olive oil. I heat the olive oil in the microwave on 30 second increments

until it gets warm, the I let it sit a couple hours so the garlic can infuse the oil. Then I mix it into about a cup of cornmeal, which they lovelovelove; my chickens all like garlic, but chickens who aren't used to it to the taste might be a little stand-offish, which the cornmeal should completely overcome!

then I mix in a can of tuna packed in oil- garlic, olive oil, corneal and tuna, yummy...lol! Then I mix a few spoonfulls into each flocks layer pellets. The garlic is a good general tonic and gets rid of any internal parasites, olive oil is good for feathers and discourages mites, the tuna is a really great protein, so it's just a general internal and external tonic to build them up for the long winter...

Also, they loooove it and come running when they see the mash bowl coming!

I've been giving them this mash for the last couple of weeks and I already see a difference in their feathers-they are very shiny and glossy!

I also add a mashed garlic clove to each waterer, along with a splash of apple cider vinegar, and a couple drops of Thieves and Purification essential oils. The apple cider vinegar and the essential oils also get rid of any internal bugs, and my chickens just look healthier and happier when I put the essential oils in their water...yep, there's essential oils for chickens too lol!

We also spread diatomaceous earth around the inside of the coops, and in the areas the chickens like to take dust baths in the runs-the DE gets rid of any external mites that might want to come and live inside the coops-and on the chickens-during the winter!
It'll be a looong time before the chickens get to find yummy bugs and seeds to eat outside, so we gotta start out the winter strong and healthy! Until next time, happytrails!
 

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