Friday, November 9, 2012

Gnarly Bunch - Chapters 19 & 20 - 10/8/12 - 10/9/12



Ch 19

10/8/12

Daily update on the Gnarly Bunch:  Three eggs today, 2 very large, one medium.   It's very cold and damp today, so the chooks aren't ranging much and they didn't particularly care for the cold, FF given to eat today.  I can't say I blame them and I hesitate to chill their core in this kind of weather. 

So, for the winter, I plan to suspend feeding fermented grains and go back to my standard feeding method of just dry layer ration and whole grain mix.  I don't want to complicate things by planning methods of keeping the mash warm for them so the dry, which is what they have always been fed in the past, will have to suffice.  They have gotten a good dose of probiotics so far and will continue to get it in the ACV in the water. 

They really went after the dry feed ration on this chilly ol' day and it confirmed my thoughts on it... they don't want cold food on a cold day.  Same feed, one dry, one wet and fermented… the choice was clear. 

The dog, on the other hand, slurped up the cold mash that I dumped out on the ground and though it was a tasty treat... cold or not. 


Ch 20

10/9/12

Gnarly Bunch Daily Update:  One very large egg that was fertile... yay, Toby!   Now that they are filling out and settling in, I've noticed they aren't eating so ravenously now which is a good thing.  When they first came they were just frantic for food but that has gradually tapered off to a more normal intake for this group. 

As a free range flock, they are constantly gleaning protein and greens and this counts for a large part of their total intake.  I haven't had this small of a flock for some years, so it's hard to scale down my feeding portions but I think I'm getting the hang of their style and needs now.

The feed I put out yesterday evening was just getting finished up this evening, so I'm going to have to realign my thinking and realize that this flock has a better foraging field than my last place in which they lived and foraged.  There it had plenty of greens but no forest floor on which to forage in the fall.... so much more protein opportunities at the edge of the woods.  

I brought home some persimmons that I foraged (funny, I know) and they really liked them.... the dog liked them as well.  They were very ripe, beautiful persimmons and they had their fill.  I'm beginning to think these chickens are getting spoiled.....
 
Tomorrow marks their 3rd week since chicken hell and they are looking so good.  If it's pretty tomorrow I'll try to get some pics for comparison.  Funny thing is that now they are getting feathers back from their former life, they are also molting pretty badly so I don't know if we are coming or going with feathers.  I know the coop is full of them and they fluff off when they groom ~ the yard is speckled with feathers ~ but they are still getting more feathered than they were...how is that possible?  

Gnarly Bunch - Chapter 21 - 10/10/12
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