November in the Chookyard

chookwheatSoaking grains to feed your chooks makes them super nourishing and easy to digest (the two things go hand in hand). Chooks eat less soaked grains than dry, a sign they are being nourished. Sure its a bit of extra effort, but if you’re eating the eggs don’t you want them to be little super foods? Don’t you want your chooks to be as healthy as can be? With the warming weather our chook diet is changing. In the winter I soak a mix of barley, corn, oats and wheat – the corn and barley are very warming grains, so I don’t use them in the summer. I move to wheat,oats, sunflower seeds and sometimes millet, soaked with a bit of cider vinegar till they just begin to sprout. There are many grains/ seeds to choose from, you can create your own mix.

I add a few pinches of kelp or nettle to the brew before I feed out, and they also get some protein rich food like yoghurt or raw milk, comfrey, bones to peck, mice from the trap and always fresh ground to play in (this supplies fresh bugs for protein). I know my chooks are super lucky, but they work hard for me so its a win win relationship.

Comfrey is an excellent chook food and an important part of my chook management. It is protein rich and contains amino acids, calcium, potassium and vitamins. When the chooks are ranging the orchard they eat every leaf down to the ground, but if I am picking it and feeding it to them they aren’t that keen unless I chop it up (go figure). For lovely yellow yolks I recommend you get a dose of comfrey into your chooks.

Protein is the key for good egg supply, and overall good variety is the thing. Besides which can you begin to imagine how dreary life would be being fed the same thing everyday.