05 October 2008

Feeding the Dinosaurs

Hedgewizard speaks to a very important problem in "The Second Famine Year" -- the price of animal feed, and Chicken feed in particular.

Locally prices have gone up by over 50% in the past 6 or 8 months, so I've been focussing on growing lots more greens specifically for the chickens. They love Endive, which is great, since it is so quick and easy to grow, and equally easy to produce masses of seed. The Ladies also get all the older lettuces as they come out of the ground, and I've just sowed a row of grain-sorghum to give that a try as another feed source.

Another plan I must soon get around to implementing1 is to build a Kale-Ark in the chicken-run. The idea is to plant a bed of Kale (and the Chooks love all of the Cabbage tribe!) and protect it with a wire-mesh tent. Then, as the plants grown bigger, the Chooks will be able to peck at the leaves that poke through the mesh without destroying the plants. At least that's the Theory2...

At least Hedgewizard has the option of buying organic feed!  No such luck around here, so our chooks are fed on non-organic crushed maize for their staple diet.  I've checked and the supplier assures me that it is GM-free, thankfully, since so many SA farmers have swallowed the GM hype, as have the geniuses in the Dept. of Agriculture. :-(

Interestingly, there seem to be a strong correlation between the amount of greens they get and the number of eggs we get, so the sooner we can ween ourselves off bought-in Chicken food, the better!

[1] As soon as I finish painting the house, digging new beds, fixing the chainsaw, making more compost, port the blog to a new platform, cut firewood for Summer, deconstruct the broken shade-house, construct a greenhouse in its place,...

[2] "In theory, theory and practise are the same, but in practise they never are."

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