Friday, November 9, 2012

Gnarly Bunch - Chapter 11 - 9/28/12


Daily update on the Gnarly Flock:  I've noticed that the grain residue in their manure is lessened and I see much more organic matter in there.... beetle shells, some grass, etc.  They are drinking less but I'm sure it has more to do with the FF moisture than not needing fluids.  They are grazing the new clover several times a day now and seem to forage the property on a cycle, with 3-4 swings through the garden and that young clover throughout the day. 

I'm definitely seeing more feather growth on Raggedy Ann and the rooster but all combs and wattles remain too pale for my liking. 

I noticed some flax seeds not being digested in their droppings, so if I add more I will grind them first.  BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) seems to be their big treat, as always, and since it has a lot of protein, I may incorporate it into their FF more... it's just so darn expensive that I may reconsider that change. 

My FF mix is at a perfect ferment right now and I'm loving the texture and the smell... apparently so are the chickens.  They are cleaning the trough so clean now that it looks like I dumped it out.... no FF residue in the trough.  Going to have to increase that amount a little... noticed the rooster was hogging a lot of the entire feeding and not letting any hens into the feed until he had eaten nearly half of the entire portion!  That is seriously not like Toby at all and all I can figure is that he desperately needs those nutrients and will fight to get them.  Usually he is very mannerly and calls the hens into eat and steps back to watch and make sure no one else is getting hoggy.... I guess survival has become more important than chivalry right now. 
GOOD:  Toby was breeding hens today!!!     Go, Toby!  It's yer birthday!  Go, Toby! 

GOOD:  One large egg today and the shell was of normal tensile strength... and it was fertile!  Toby can still cut the mustard!  The yolk was huge and very orange, white was good consistency... fed it back to the chooks. 

Going up on the hill tomorrow and collect a bunch of acorns and grind them up for the feed.... lots of free fats and some proteins there.  The ferment should diffuse the tannins nicely and I'll add them judiciously to the mix. 
I never thought I'd be so glad to see a rooster doing his thing.... I felt almost guilty for cheering him on.  But the hens all squatted for him, so they weren't feeling too put upon... good for them for feeling good enough to submit, good for him for feeling good enough to get er' done!  

One week into the reconditioning of this flock and I'm pleased that things are progressing along....

I'm going to send a picture of his offspring to his former place of residence this spring....  and I'm going to put one sentence in the card.  "Seems like this rooster is fertile after all." 

Gnarly Bunch - Chapter 12 - 9/29/12


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