Since I am doing updates I will continue and tell you about what I have worked out on sprouts. Once more the temperatures are dipping into the single digits and there is no green in sight, okay except the evergreen trees. Even though the chickens are free range there just isn't much to scrounge up. I do find them in the hay stack pecking at the alfalfa leaves but with slim pickens, I think I need to supplement their diet. That means I am back once more sprouting wheat. It does not make sense to do so in the summer since they barely eat any grain during that lush time of year but now they are heavily downing the grains in the coop and the pocket book feels it. That ups their maintenance costs especially when they are laying fewer eggs because of the decrease in sunlight.
Just three plastic gallon ice cream buckets at a time though because it seems to be about all I can squeeze in time for. It is hard enough to keep them rinsed once a day let alone any more and keep up with the needs of the grandkids. This means that the stock does not get sprouts daily but a few times a week instead. This isn't all bad since it helps keep their interest peeked.
The change is that I am not only feeding the chickens but some to the goats and a handful to each of the rabbits. It satisfies their hunger with less feed in comparison to the same feed dry. With the increase in nutrients and lower costs it is a win, win deal.
Whitey, our buck, goes nuts when I pop the lid and he gets his first whiff of the wonderful stuff. With life waa.....y too busy recently I fed too much commercial feed and my rabbits are obese. One of my New Year goals is to feed the rabbits a little less packaged rabbit food and a whole lot more of a natural diet. That means for now a big helping of alfalfa / orchard grass hay each morning. I also started trying my hand at growing wheat grass this week. Just one tray at first. The blades are barely up so we shall see how that goes. I am hoping the kitchen garden will have some extra produce along with some from the winter and summer gardening planned in the future with rabbits in mind.
Most things are still in the planning stage but for sure rabbits will be a part of our diet. I butchered a few and was really impressed with how much meat I got in a short period of time. It also was yummy and needless to say nutritious.
Three new indoor rabbit cages came this week and when I have them assembled then we can put all the rabbits in the chicken coop. Yeah!!! for I will seldom have to worry about their water freezing or if they are comfortable enough when I know I definitely don't want to go outside. I have one rabbit hutch to rebuild and one already in a spot in the garden so that will bring the total to 7 cages. I would like a couple more outdoor ones and we shall see how that goes since the one outdoor one I need to rebuild is quite large.
I asked at the feed store today if they had any millet or barley for I have not tried sprouting those grains, alas, they did not have any. I will head the other direction in a few days to a different feed store for my favorite rabbit food. It put weight on far, far better than the other three varieties I tried. I will inquire there. They say that rabbits like black oil sunflower seeds. My goats do too and the chickens also. Maybe I should pick up a couple bags as two of my daughters are wanting totes made from the empty bags.
I think I will try oats again and start one bucket tomorrow. They were not quite as easy to sprout as wheat but variety is always a good thing. Maybe I should try some oat grass too. Hmmmm..... so many things to try and so little time. Good thing there is a time and season for everything under heaven because one simply can not do all things all the time.