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Here are some snippets of information that can help you with hatching and raising your chooks
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- Chooks need greens! They're a great source of vitamins and help to give the yolks that amazing golden colour. But please treat them as a supplement to their normal food source as chooks do need to have a well balanced diet. Now about Kitchen Scraps. Yep, certainly feed them your scraps, but feeding your ladies to often can dilute the nutritional content of their normal food sources
- Commercial feeds are formulated to give your chooks all the nutrients and don't forget they are a complete feed
- Did you know that chickens are Omnivores? That doesn't mean they can tuck into a piece of topside, but they are most happy when they have a balanced diet consisting of both meat and vegetables. Whilst free ranging, they're constantly foraging for insects, worms, seeds and other plant material
- When you add new birds to your flock, be prepared for some aggressive behaviour from the older chooks for a few days, they all need to work out a new pecking order. If you're concerned about the newcomers, move them out of the coop, let them recover and then try again a few days later
- Did you know the importance of lighting in the coop? Well chooks need a minimum of 15 hours of light each day for maximum egg production
- Hens normally need about 250 mm of perch space each on the perch. So a rule of thumb is if you have 4 chooks, you'll need a little more than a metre of perch length.
- Egg laying is a very private time for hens, so nesting boxes need to be located in a dark spot of the hen house
- Did you know a hen in a normal back yard location can live up to 8 years. But that doesn't mean that this lovely feathered friend of yours is going to lay an egg every day
- Three layers can provide you with about 18 or more eggs each week! What a great day to enjoy a poached fresh egg for breakfast. By the way, here is the best way to poach an egg.
- First make sure its at room temperature
- Second please make sure its fresh. These are two of the most important issues
- Next, get a fry pan or saucepan of water to boiling point with a splash of white vinegar
- No need for all the swirling stuff, If your eggs are at room temperature and fresh, they'll poach perfectly
- Gently crack the egg into the water and just watch as the white gathers together surrounding that perfect golden globe of yolk
- Put two poached eggs with some fresh stone baked sourdough bread and you have a meal with 25% protein, 6% Calcium, 21% Phosphorous, 14% Iron, 581 Kilojoules, 32% Vitamin A, 11% Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), 29% Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), a whopping 40% Vitamin B12, and 8% Vitamin D. And if you've free ranged you hens, there are a whole lot more essential minerals and trace elements
- If your eggs are dirty, should you wash them? Well if you have maintained proper hygiene standards, your eggs will always be clean. If not, because the egg shell is porous, washing has the potential to allow harmful bacteria inside resulting in a food poisoning risk. So try dry cleaning them with a soft kitchen scourer.
- Did you know that Chooks have excellent eyesight and can see in both Monocular and Binocular
Now here's a neat trick, try adding some raspberry juice into the water, but it must have at least 25% real juice. Pickfords have a real juice formula that is readily available in most supermarkets. Raspberries are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which are great for chickens.
And another thing to do. Garlic, yes garlic is a great health benefit to poultry. It boosts their immune system, it protects against viruses, kills bad bacteria and re-balances their system. It also helps in egg production for better quality eggs and finally deters red mite. Now how much to give them, well as a guide 1 fresh clove crushed in each litre of water about twice a week.