Wednesday, 8 May 2013
New Feed, New Fence, New Freedom!
Last week this low production took a turn for the worse and one hen started laying very thin-shelled or shell-less eggs which were getting broken in the nest boxes and going to waste. Some days we had no eggs at all. We referred the case to 'Doctor Anne' who asked us all sorts of questions and homed in on diet. I have been feeding the local feed merchant's "standard" grade layers pellets but lately have found that their 25 kg sacks contain a lot of pellets broken down to dust size, so that the feed looks like it might be the sweepings from the end of a production run. At Anne's suggestion we have started the hens on Pedigree Foods' Organic Layers Ration. We have also discontinued the 'mixed poultry corn' which contains maize (and might, these days, be the GMO version of maize) and are going with local feed-wheat. It may take a few days for this new nutrition to work through but today (almost certainly by chance) was a 2-good-egg day. We will tell you how we get on. We are also going to fit the birds' legs with coloured leg-rings so that we can identify the non-layer and, if she doesn't watch it and these baby chicks come up to laying age, she may find herself in the stock pot.
After a while they calmed down and set to eating. I texted Carolyn to say the field was now ready and soon, Charlotte showed up with the other horse, Romeo (he of the cart pulling). We let him go into the field and the others were so delighted to have him back that they went racing around again. It is a brilliant funny sight to see three Thelwell style ponies galloping about as a group as fast as their little legs will carry them.
Happy Horses (and happy roses and rhubarb!).