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What do you feed your chickens in the winter?

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  • #41
    Honestly, DDB has a very good point. If she is supplying eggs to customer who want eggs, those customer are going to be buying eggs. They have a choice - buy eggs from DDB who "forces" those poor scratching, pecking, bathing, running, flapping free range hens to keep laying, buy eggs from other "dumb schmuck" who forces his poor scratching, pecking, bathing, running, flapping free range hens to keep laying, or buy from the store, where at best you're getting "cage free" eggs from hens who are forced to keep laying, but probably you're looking at the hens who never see real daylight or real Earth and don't get to do squat that hens love to do but are STILL forced to keep laying.

    Which would you rather have it?

    My chickens are with lights too. We aren't even selling eggs - giving them away to family. That family would either be buying eggs from free range hens who are put under lights to keep laying during the Winter, or they would be buying traditional eggs from the store.

    People don't stop buying eggs just because it's Winter.

    Not doing something doesn't mean you're saving the world, because someone else is going to be doing it.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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    • #42
      If keeping chickens laying straight for their first two years (except for the molt) is abusive then so is horse back riding. And there you go down the slippery slope. Don't let your tail get scraped on the way down.

      It's chickens, it's what they do, especially in that first two years. My first year hens are still laying and I don't even have a light on them, they'll start up again in late February and I live in freaking Montana where it's dark most of the day. I have lights on some winters and some winters not; I've had hens lay until they were 12 and most of my laying hens now are 8-ish...they don't care if they're laying or not, in fact I think they like it better.

      For what it's worth-they get laying pellets and kitchen scraps and whatever mouse they can harvest.

      If I had power to the coop I'd have a light on them now-it keeps the predators at bay as well.

      I am CONSTANTLY amazed at the lack of practicality and common sense from some folks on this board.

      And have to say I'm pretty amazed with Bacardi's sour attitude on a regular constant basis! You just gotta laugh, Daydream, take it for what it's worth.
      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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      • #43
        Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
        Just as a head up to all...yes it is a full moon.
        Every day is a full moon for some folks.
        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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        • #44
          I'm just LMAO at the posts that are getting a big fat red thumb
          ______________________________
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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          • #45
            Thanks JB and Cowboymom. I was beginning to wonder if I was truly a chicken abusing monster or not. Considering how hard I try to make my animals happy and comfortable, it came as a bit of a shock. I have one dingy old hen who has to lay her egg in my Gator every day...and I humor her by keeping some hay in the back of it. Seriously, I LIKE chickens.

            I also now believe in RARA's...seriously. If someone can object so strongly to keeping a light in my chicken coop to encourage them to lay in winter, than farmers are in real trouble regardless of how they operate. Slippery slope indeed.

            What is funny is that if you look in my coop at sunset, they are all lined up on their perches ready for bedtime...light on or not. I shut the doors at dusk and the light is on a timer to go off in a few hours, so I see them every night looking back at me tucking them in. I sometimes wonder if it makes that much difference.

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            • #46
              Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
              I hate to say it but I'm beginning to wonder if Bluey is right about RARA's and the slippery slope sometimes. Geezzzz...seriously find a real cause to bitch about...there's a whole lot worse going on out there!
              Careful now! Next thing you know you will be best buddies with her!
              Originally posted by BigMama1
              Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
              GNU Terry Prachett

              Comment


              • #47
                I wanted to add that I had a very disturbing interchange with a card carrying PETA vegan on Facebook the other day. Wow...I was accused of "murdering" animals and believe me, these people make NO distinction between farming methods...so a free range chicken is not considered any more of a "happy slave" than a CAFO slave chicken. Those are words he used..."slave...murder, etc..." and that we are killing the planet with our "ways" also. As I said earlier, you can't make this stuff up.

                So perhaps I was a bit hot off the trigger and oversensitive to the criticism of Barcardi's first post about my chickens, and it was probably due to this guy earlier in the week.

                We all need to be careful not to enable this slippery slope stuff any more than necessary. I'm all for happy food animals and try to do my best with my own farm and it's residents but we all need to realize that there really are psycho people out there who would rather we all ate veggies than to be able to keep chickens for our own use for eggs and meat.

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                • #48
                  DDB, we're probably abusers as well for buying hens of breeds that have been bred over generations to shorten the egg production time. Original hens did not lay an egg every 25-ish hours - that's a man-bred deal.

                  Cows did not evolve to be the milk producers they are today. Is it cruel to milk some of them twice a day to 1) keep milk coming and 2) keep the udders from getting painful?

                  There are many, many things that are done today that are not how Nature intended. Some of them are not good in the slightest. Some of them are the best things ever. Most of them are certainly not the worst things in the world.

                  To take everything back to "the old days" doesn't make sense.
                  ______________________________
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                    Careful now! Next thing you know you will be best buddies with her!
                    I keep waiting for her to show up! Seriously, we probably agree on more than we don't..except grass fed beef of course! I've now squared off with a RARA face to face so I'm a lot more open to wearing a tin foil hat than I used to be.

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                    • #50
                      Gosh, no one seems to appreciate that I agree with DDB. I apparently abuse my hens by keeping a light on from 6am to 9pm, and feed them crack! Oh, well. My 10 ladies seem happy with the situation, I'll continue it, and sell my eggs to my customers to cover the feed the hens eat.

                      I didn't realize light therapy for chickens was such a controversial topic!
                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
                        Gosh, no one seems to appreciate that I agree with DDB. I apparently abuse my hens by keeping a light on from 6am to 9pm, and feed them crack! Oh, well. My 10 ladies seem happy with the situation, I'll continue it, and sell my eggs to my customers to cover the feed the hens eat.

                        I didn't realize light therapy for chickens was such a controversial topic!
                        What? You want a thumbs down fr your post?!
                        Originally posted by BigMama1
                        Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                        GNU Terry Prachett

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Alagirl--I posted that I use a light in my chicken house..and got several thumbs down responses (I really hate that feature--just post what you don't like about something--have a conversation for goodness sake!). That's what I was referring to. I am still amazed that a chicken feed thread has turned into such a freaking train wreck! Must be leftover election angst. People get so het up about inconsequential matters. I don't care if you light or don't light your hens, heck, make 'em little tinfoil hats for all I care. Oy.
                          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                          • #53
                            Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
                            Alagirl--I posted that I use a light in my chicken house..and got several thumbs down responses (I really hate that feature--just post what you don't like about something--have a conversation for goodness sake!). That's what I was referring to. I am still amazed that a chicken feed thread has turned into such a freaking train wreck! Must be leftover election angst. People get so het up about inconsequential matters. I don't care if you light or don't light your hens, heck, make 'em little tinfoil hats for all I care. Oy.
                            LOL, I think it's an early New Years resolution to work out more, so they are doing their thumb exercises.

                            I am sure glad I didn't turn it into a drinking game, I would have alcohol poisoning by now

                            ( sure would like to know if people were so trigger happy on the red thumb if their name appeared next to it)
                            Originally posted by BigMama1
                            Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                            GNU Terry Prachett

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by kasjordan View Post
                              I hate winter with my chickens. Miss the eggs, DESPISE buying them from the grocery store. I know I could put them under lights but I don't want to, figure they can use the break. I feed them layer mash or pellets all year round. Every time we clean the fridge, they get it. Any leftovers from dinner we're not saving, they get it. Thanksgiving dinner at his parents house, I overheard DH telling his mom he would take a chicken baggie lol.
                              They do LOVE kitchen trimmings, don't they? My dear mother used to keep a little plastic bucket on the kitchen counter, and all the safe meal-prep scraps & leftovers went into it for the feathered gang. Every time they even caught a glimpse of my mom with that bucket they'd go NUTS.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                I've decided I'm just never going to check my notifications again. Some of the things I've gotten red for were just questions for pete's sake. So, either people are fat-fingering the thumbs on their phone (I almost did) or they're just being obnoxious with the thumbs, which means it doesn't mean anything.
                                ______________________________
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  It really is meaningless as long as people can do it anonymously. At least on facebook, you are identified when you "like" something You "dislike" something by ignoring it.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    ^^^^ I liked that comment
                                    Draumr Hesta Farm
                                    "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
                                    Member of the COTH Ignorant Disrepectful F-bombs!*- 2Dogs Farm

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
                                      They do LOVE kitchen trimmings, don't they? My dear mother used to keep a little plastic bucket on the kitchen counter, and all the safe meal-prep scraps & leftovers went into it for the feathered gang. Every time they even caught a glimpse of my mom with that bucket they'd go NUTS.
                                      I do the same thing. Our chickens just have to catch sight of the "bucket" regardless of who's carrying it and they come running, half flying in their hurry to get there! It's really funny. It also makes it easy to get everyone home if their pen gate accidently gets left open! (Our house isn't in a development, but 1/2 acre isn't enough for free roaming 9 hens so we have to be sure they stay home!)

                                      And for what it's worth, I keep a red heat lamp on in my coop over the winter--mainly for warmth, but it also keeps them laying a bit more than they would without the light. We have one hen who's a pet, although they all have names. Goldie is 8 years old this year.

                                      Sheila

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by Chestnut Run View Post
                                        I do the same thing. Our chickens just have to catch sight of the "bucket" regardless of who's carrying it and they come running, half flying in their hurry to get there! It's really funny. It also makes it easy to get everyone home if their pen gate accidently gets left open! (Our house isn't in a development, but 1/2 acre isn't enough for free roaming 9 hens so we have to be sure they stay home!)

                                        And for what it's worth, I keep a red heat lamp on in my coop over the winter--mainly for warmth, but it also keeps them laying a bit more than they would without the light. We have one hen who's a pet, although they all have names. Goldie is 8 years old this year.

                                        Sheila
                                        Good for you!! The red lights aren't as much of a concern since the birds don't process that the same way they do regular white light - it still computes to them as a certain amount of darkness. Like you said, they're more for a little extra warmth than anything else.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          one place I know feeds whole beets to the chickens.
                                          Those things are as big as a rugby ball and look quiet funny being pecked up a bit at a time (but they have a bit of a zoo, so not only the chickens eat that)
                                          Originally posted by BigMama1
                                          Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                          GNU Terry Prachett

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