Poultry Spice, Poultry Zest, Garlic, Apple Vinegar, Verm-X, Liquid Tonic etcc

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OpiumEater

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Which do you use and which do you not bother with, and why???

I've been using Small Holders Layers Pellets since getting the chickens as it's meant to have all they need in it. I still give them mixed grid in a separate container even though their mixed corn has that in it. But wondered if I should be giving additional supplements. They get greens from the garden, free-range for about an hour a day, and a bit of corn in the afternoon.

Thanks

Christine
Alice - Australorp
Bernadette - Barnevelder
Dora - Silver Grey Dorking
LilliBet - Cream Leg Bar

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andy and deb

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the only other thing we give ours girls is soya beans , cooked and chopped up, for extra protein to prevent feather pecking or as much as they were without it ...

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Kenilworth

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You will normally find that most ready made food mixes will have all the nutrients they need and normally this would be enough for a healthy hen.
We give our hens layers mash rather than pellets has all the same ingredients but  we were advised as it's that little bit more awkard for them to eat it takes them that little bit longer  and thus less time to get bored and into mischief!!!!! :tongue2: ;) 

They also have any green leftovers (no meat) from our table and a hand full of wheat and corn which they adore in the afternoon.
One note during winter we tend to switch over to growers mash just to give them a boost in the colder months. It doesnt seem to effect their egg production any more than the darker days anyway, and if it did i wouldnt be too overly bothered as they could probably do with the break anyway ;)

We put apple vinegar into their water every time it is refilled, though make sure your water container is plastic if you do this! It supposedly has several attributes including keeping down worm infestations. When we started using it, it certainly improved the look of the birds coats as well.

We use Verm-x for worming, gets bit of a bad press on here but was recommended by our very good local poultry center and friend who has kept chickens for decades. We havent had any noticable problems in the 5 years of use. Remember that like humans a small amount of worms are actually benefical to the chicken its just when it becomes a large infestation that problems occur. Like i said we use Verm-x because it works for us that doesnt mean it will for everone.

We have a seperate grit and oyster shell containers like yourself. Something we were told to do to when our hens were laying thin shelled/soft eggs was to  improve their calcium intake. Along with the oyster shells we were advised  to recyle our old egg shells, we put them in the oven at about 180% for 10 to 15 mins to dry the left over white/yolk , you dont want to give them a taste for fresh egg now do we!! and then crush up and add to their feed container, seemed to work a treat.

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andy and deb

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how much apple cider vinegar do you put in with the water ?

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arugula

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We used to buy acv by the 5 litre container and a capful in the drinker from time to time was a good amount. :)
"They say a snow year's a good year" -- Rutherford.

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andy and deb

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Oki Doki , cheers

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OpiumEater

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Will definitely get some AVC possibly, as they are growing feathers back and look a little tatty.

Now what about all the other stuff everyone?

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henamoured

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I use poultry spice when I think they need to be encouraged to eat more (not normally a problem !), or when I've had soft eggs (as it's 25% calcium), or in the winter when it's very cold because ... well it smells nice  :D

I don't know whether it makes much difference, although I do think it helps with the soft eggs.

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Lindeggs

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I use garlic in their food because it is meant to help boost the immune system.  I also take garlic myself in winter for the same reasons.

I also use Apple Cider Vinegar for my chickens (and for myself!)  With the chickens it is supposed to help balance the pH in their digestive system, which encourages beneficial micro-organisms and discourages bad ones.  It can also help them to regulate their calcium uptake as the lower gut pH dissolves calcium more readily.  I read a research paper on this recently which I will try to find and reference here.

Most of the other products mentioned aren't available in NZ so I've done no reserch on them and can't comment.  The only other thing I have tried is chopped up pumpkin seeds (supposed to help reduce the worm burden).  I also have tansy and wormwood growing in the garden, so the chickens can pick at them if they get the urge.

I have also been researching the use of Bokashi EM as a probiotic supplement and am looking forward to trying that in the future.

Now after saying all that, I have decided not to rely on these methods alone to control worms in my chickens.  About five weeks after I got them I found they had a rather heavy dose of worms so I used a chemical wormer.  Perhaps if I was a more experienced chicken-keeper I could manage the worms without chemicals, but at this stage in my chicken-keeping career I think I would be running too much of a risk with their health.

But as mentioned, I'm sure the supplements aren't doing the chickens any harm, and I think they are likely to be doing some good, so I will persist with them in addition to chemical worming.

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OpiumEater

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Thank you to everyone that answered, will definitely add some of these into our current routine.

Off to find a health shop  :D

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arugula

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If you're going to buy acv, Are you aware that its the horsey one you buy? Also, probably more correctly known as unfiltered or unpasteurised. Don't buy the one from the supermarket. ;)

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Kenilworth

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In reply to Lindeggs regarding natural remedy's/supplements.

I was told that chickens if they have the plants/resources available are very good at self diagnosis and medication, ie they knew when to eat the right herb/plant at the right time. I'm guessing the trick is to feed into this and try to provide these resources so they are at hand  when the  chicken needs them, though i'm sure this isnt as easy as it sounds. :wacko:

Chickens have survived and prospered for a long time without the need of humans pumping them with chemicals and i think we sometimes need to take a step back and let mother nature get on with what she is good at.


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Dominic

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All the need is layers pellets/mash and water.
If they are out on grass, they will likely need grit as well.

Mine have food and water in feeders, and grit in a small plastic tub that hangs on the cage

Mine also have Poultryspice/Rooster Booster, a teaspoon added to the food every couple of days, and ACV, currently in its own little plastic tub.
I've got a few other bits and bobs, but havent used any yet.

Personaly, my advice would be use VermX if you want, but as soon as you notcie a worm problem, Flubenvet.
We use chemicals in this garden, just as god intended

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OpiumEater

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I use Flubervet, so probably won't bother with Verm-X. They had the roll of turf laid today, and it's the best 2.95 I've spent on them. Don't know how long it will last, but they love it. Will do till they can free range on the garden again.

The pecking block has also gone down a storm, so along with the hanging veg, don't forget to duck!!

As they have a good quality layers pellets, fresh water, grit/oystershell and corn in the afternoon, I know they don't actually need anything else, just wanted to make it more interesting for them.  :D :D

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Lindeggs

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In reply to Lindeggs regarding natural remedy's/supplements.

I was told that chickens if they have the plants/resources available are very good at self diagnosis and medication, ie they knew when to eat the right herb/plant at the right time. I'm guessing the trick is to feed into this and try to provide these resources so they are at hand  when the  chicken needs them, though i'm sure this isnt as easy as it sounds. :wacko:

Chickens have survived and prospered for a long time without the need of humans pumping them with chemicals and i think we sometimes need to take a step back and let mother nature get on with what she is good at.


Kenliworth, that describes my general philosophy very well, and when I first got the chickens I fully intended to let Mother Nature take charge.  However I think there are also times to acknowledge that (for whatever reason) things have become imbalanced and human intervention is required.

In my case, I 'imported' the chickens from a breeder in another part of the country so perhaps they hadn't had the chance to build up resistance to my local parasites.  Or perhaps the stress of a long car journey in mid-summer meant their immune systems were compromised.  Or perhaps the unusually high density of wild birds at my place meant there are more intestinal worms lurking, ready to be ingested.

Whatever the reason, I decided that I would intervene with a chemical wormer rather than let Mother Nature (and natural selection) take their course.  That's a choice every chicken-keeper needs to make depending on their circumstances, and with as much informationas possible at their disposal.



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