Which might not be so bad, since that’s the most nutritious part. I grow my own greens for them (collards, lettuce, spinach, chard, kale) but I also suppement the chickens’ diet with alfalfa cubes that I soak overnight in water. This is too big for me to use, so we trade it with the neighbors, who have a dairy, for several small cubes. Predator proofing would have to be done, but it seems like it would hold up well in my humid climate and would be easy to disinfect as needed. Timothy and grass hay are mostly roughage and not something to feed to hens (although they might like to scratch through it and find a seed or two.) They wouldn’t have lasted long! Support this website – find out how... more >, Copyright © 2005–2020 Terry Golson. Now I just need to hunt around to see if I can find something smaller than a whole bale which is way too big for me too. The results showed that chickens given alfalfa meal had lower (P < 0.05) feed conversion ratio, mortality, abdominal fat yield, and yolk cholesterol content, and higher (P < 0.05) breast muscle contents of inosine monophosphate, total amino acids, essential amino acids, non-essential amino acids, delicious amino acids, yolk protein, albumen protein, and yolk color compared to those given no alfalfa … There’s a chance of crop impaction. However, I like to feed things that take a bit of work for the hens to get. Some days they really go for it, other days not touch it. (TODO)raising bugs for chickens. But, my hens have free-choice pellets. Since our only “livestock” are my chickens, we let a rancher friend hay it, in exchange for one large round bale. I bet that your giving them the right amount. Granular Kelp Meal Fertilizer is a granular seaweed product derived from Ascophyllum nodosum. I boil up a giant pot of alfalfa and water (I do this outside as it’s a bit stinky!) When to plant tomatoes outdoors in your … Needless to say, the chickens do not allow grass to grow in their yard. Bought in hay form it does not have to be wet (I wouldn’t, as hay tends to mold) but if purchased in the cubes it helps to dampen it. Wow! let it cool and then put it in their fount. I am inching closer to my own chickens! My girls LOVE alfalfa..I rake up the left over bits that fall through the pallets after feeding the horses. If your hens are hungry, or if they’re terribly bored, they might try to eat the stalks. endobj Measure 250 pounds (110 kg) of cracked corn and 150... 2. It’s nearly impossible to get alfalfa hay here. Perhaps I’ll find that tool at a flea market, but for now they are getting all of it, the easy to eat leaves and the long stalks. I don’t feed green cut grass, as I’m sure they’d gobble it down and get blockages. I’ll let you know if there’s an uptick in the egg count. 3 0 obj Here’s some general fertilization guidelines and recommendations for Bermuda grass lawns … As far as hay goes, because of the rabbit and the goats, my hens have access to it, but it hasn’t been a problem, again, because they have much more appealing food in front of them. I blogged about my life with chickens and what I’ve learned here for ten years. Alfalfa meal is not only a good source of protein for chickens (about 17% protein), but it is also high in trace minerals. But concerned because I have a hen who’s ate straw and got sour crop. Where did you get that idea? Hiya Terry, Mine love alfalfa tea! additives of alfalfa meal had a little impact on meat quality parameters except the significant difference (p ≤0.05) in fat between groups with 4% and 6% alfalfa meal proportion. (By the way, coarse yellow straw is not a foodstuff, not even for cows. My 30 chickens and I live in California about 25 miles east of San Francisco. I watched for awhile, and not a single hen even pecked at the stems. endobj It’s January. Mine actually like and eat the alfalfa pellets, but Erikson’s sells only 40 lb bags – but the extra is a good soil amendment too…, Hi Terry, 3. %���� Also, the leaves are the most nutritious part, and they’re not eating the stems (which your hens are, as they’re ground into the cubes.) thanks! If you’re looking for advice about a specific issue, you’ll likely find the answer in an FAQ or by doing a blog archive search. All rights reserved | Website design by Edge Design. I’ve read that feeding hay can cause an impacted crop. But, they are high in fat and protein and can cause problems when tossed by the fistfuls like some people do. %PDF-1.5 Although feeding greens, like cabbage, is a good addition to the winter diet, it doesn’t have the protein that hens need. She does that in the nest box as well. 8. Works great. 2018 Published 1. My old girls get a little each day. The goats are fed a second cutting grass hay. No fools, my girls! If I had a farm a hundred years ago, I would have had a chaff cutter which would have chopped the coarse stems into edible bits. You are right to worry about impaction with tough, long food items. Feeding meal worms and sunflower seeds is not the answer, as they can be too concentrated and do more harm than good. I miss having the alfalfa. I’ve never bought alfalfa, but knew that most grain stores would have it. Have never heard of it. I’m careful to not give them whole scallion stalks, which they might try to eat. nevermind, just saw your comment! �7���#)x̼�HbXE�z��GFMX��g=�A"R��< They ignore inedible stems. Bag - 50 lb. The 12 Gems laid only 5 eggs this week. Measure 25 pounds (11 kg) of rolled oats,... 3. x��}Y����;#��E�����U���%)��gK�,9����"���9<3����ĕ��jf�އ 5��( �H����W7��_������Oon��ޝ���������y��o����9�}~�yq����?���/N��O���|7h�)�������clwu���?~�;� m&�� m;����خ7������r7�����3��O�������[�6�oz������v����/Lo������)��1�1�&������fo�6��N�����q� 3�`;��}�;l����Qlcc�wS�G�N5�iFg���^&����2dĺ~%R�9L��;�[x娊��A��1a�q We are figuring out how to grow our own alfalfa next year. endobj Please let us know how it works. So, for now, without the chaff-cutting tool to make all of the alfalfa plant useful, there will be some waste and they’ll just eat the leaves. They’ve already deemed it delicious. One thing though, mixing treats into pellets causes waste – the hens toss out what they don’t want in order to get to the good stuff. That’s not to say that I don’t discount the issue. I’m not going to use light to encourage laying, but I do have another way to boost production. �*>�����5.5�.H�x�J�’���W�w��᳋�����~����&臞s7VM�� �`�Nc���4�٢=t�1� z� BTW, follow me on Pinterest. I let it soak overnight, by the wood stove in winter or just on the hearth the rest of the year, in a large flat Fortex tub. As another reader pointed out, alfalfa is great for amending garden soil. p���HK�m���5� �z�8����j�-$=.��}@\?���țxֵ{� 0����������������w�'li��4Ԅ�^�����^�����|{�?0~����G�\����Ͽ4 zl��^�߿F�l>�������e� [~eZN8��Y��0��?� Hay is made by cutting and drying grasses. I’ve fed alfalfa mash year round for years. <>>> 4. Our winters are ‘green’ as this is the time of the year the grasses grow because of the rains. It’s dark. I shook the hay over the ground in the outside run. Also will you give the hens alfalfa every day or just once in a while? According to my sources, alfalfa is supposed to boost the hen’s off-season diet and encourage laying. This winter I bought 2 large timothy bales for a wind break for them. Too much work for me :) BUT I wonder if it would be a good tonic for an ailing hen? They have a compost pile to scratch in. I’ve been really curios to try alfalfa. I have been wondering about feeding alfalfa to my hens. Alfalfa grows in a field and on stems like hay, but the plant is a legume. That’s why I wish that I had a chaff cutter – to mince the stems until small. A general rule is one box per 5 hens, but that doesn’t work for small flocks. I’m designing a new coop for the spring. The general advice is not to feed tough stems to hens. Alfalfa contains calcium, nitrogen and other vitamins and nutrients. However, alfalfa supplies protein without the danger of overconsumption, and delivers nutrients in a form and amount that is perfectly suited to a hen’s metabolism. Even Agatha (she’s the Speckled Sussex on the far right) stopped being fascinated with my camera and put her head down to eat. The goats heard me shaking out the alfalfa. Thanks. For the past year I have used alfalfa as the bedding in my Coop. Fortunately they don’t eat it, but one hen will stand by it, pull out pieces and throw them over her shoulder. Alfalfa meal can be recommended as a feed additive for chicken. The alfalfa looked coarse, but a close inspection showed much dried green leafy matter. Pam is a real farmer! [����}�ɓo���S�Q��A;���n� Interesting! In the meanwhile, the hens are delighted about this feed trial. We often use alfalfa meal to help with the yellow color of egg yolks. Keeps them busy, out of trouble, and they don’t gorge themselves. The stems are wider and coarser than hay. This trick is one that I’ve read about in many of my vintage poultry books and magazines: they all advocate feeding alfalfa in the winter when green forage isn’t readily available. This year however, because of drought, the field wasn’t even worth cutting. Too much duckweed? Ours is way too small for the flock of 7 that we have. You’ll find a lot of pellets tossed on the ground and wasted that way. Now I just grow alfalfa fodder for the hens.

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