Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Feed Trial

A zillion chores to do before we could leave for Casper for our son's surgery. One of which was to unload this sack of feed, 2,000 pounds of it or 1 ton. We of course couldn't lift it so we borrowed a tractor to do the lifting.
With livestock feed being so expensive and new costs with extra mouths to feed, we have been looking for ways to save. An opportunity arose to buy this feed and we hope much more of it in the future. It is a combination of peas, wild oats (the dark wild rice like grains you see), oats, and wheat. They call it screenings because the grain is small and the chaff is still incorporated in the mixture. In other words, it hasn't been cleaned. For human consumption, they clean the wheat 3 or 4 times. Cleaning does not involve soap and water but the removal of the dirt, and chaff. In the olden days, that meant tossing it in the wind and letting it carry away the chaff which was light but today it also sifts the smaller grains from the larger ones.

Wheat being high in protein is an excellent feed for chickens. Remember the egg white consists of mostly protein but I also plan on feeding some to the goats and beef. It has proven and excellent feed for beef as my dad and brother can attest.

Snowflake is practicing the penguin walk. (It) not knowing what sex, squatted and then shuffled backwards while flapping its wings, a hilarious move which sent our oldest grand daughter into peels of laughter. Unfortuneately, we found Snowflake dead this morning in the chick cage of unknown causes. I suspect of the pasties though it was only a light smear. Being gone yesterday for our son's surgery, left them unattended. Such is life. All is well with our son but the surgery was a long wait, 5 hours, which was at first suppose to be 2 1/2 to 3 but due to some complications ended up being much longer.
The hatch wasn't nearly as good with 75 percent hatching and loosing two. A couple glitches in the incubation period really made a difference. I put some eggs of a friends in and she had ony a 50 percent hatch. She feeds lots of corn and not much else. I'm thinking the protein is really important. I did loose 1 chick during hatching and Snowflake. What I find interesting is that the chicks born to the Buff Orpington rooster and the Austrolorp hens were all black
with some having a hint of brown or they were black with only a hint of yellow. Look at Snowflake here. The chicks from the Austrolorp rooster and Buff Orpington hens had lots of yellow intermixed with black. Yet the combination of breeds was the same, Buff Orpington and Austrolorp. Not that there aren't a few other hen combinations such as my Wyadottes and Barred Rocks but the change in color with the two breeds is facinating when switching the roosters. I think I could get in to genetics if it weren't for all the nasty Algebra that goes along with it.

I must say that this batch must be more intelligent than the last for I catch them reading the paper more often. lol Or is that sleeping?
This is definitely a full blooded Austrolorp chick. Well, I think it is.

Since this is the only yellow chick, I believe this is a cross between the Buff Orpington rooster and a Buff hen. Semen can last up to 20 some days. It is just after 10 days that the chances of it goes way down.

My 16 month old grand daughter is asleep in my arms. My how you learn to multitask with little ones and so I'd best go lay her down and skidaddle getting some things done before she awakes. Hopefully, I'll get to work on the garden today. It's time to plant and I'm not anywhere close to being ready. Well, peas and cold weather crops at least. The weatherman is promising high 60's and even some 70's. Of course not many of his promises does he keep but one can hope. As long as it isn't snowing and the wind howling it has to be an improvement.

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