May 31, 2017

May in the Bird Room -- Month by Month Journal

Month by Month

COMMENTS are enabled for these journal posts so please jump in with your advice or questions!
Things went well this month!!
      I do return my seed mix to the 'basic mix', instead of the enriched mix with all the 'goodies' I have been feeding for a few months.  The reason:  I don't want to push my hens too hard.  I don't want them laying larger than normal eggs, more eggs per nest than normal, or laying too closely together.  Each hen has her own 'schedule'... some hens lay an egg every day... other hens wait a day or two between producing eggs.
     I feel a hen that has been fed a healthy, strong diet will lay properly.  : )  I do continue the Ioford and DufoPlus combination.  And of course, there is cuttlebone and mineral powder in their cages.
    As they begin hatching clutches, I am careful to provide eggfood to parents twice a day.  I feed as soon as possible in the mornings, and again late afternoon.
    The precautions about spoiling egg or soft food are something to remember! 
    I do several things that I think help prevent my eggfood from souring:
  • Each time I add fresh soft/egg food, I remove any food remaining from previous feeding.
  • I wash the dish at least once a day.
  • I prepare the soft food immediately before serving to the birds. DO NOT SAVE the food in your fridge.  You may freeze small amounts in freezer bags, pressing out excess air before placing in the freezer.  It crumbles apart while still frozen, and may be placed in their cage frozen.  
  • Use fresh ingredients... including eggs and any other ingredients. Do not use any greens that have spoilage, oats that have been in a warm cupboard for months, or eggs that are anywhere close to their expiration dates.
    I use eggs from my own hens, and I am very fortunate that I know how many hours old they are!  : )
  • I feed in small, flat dishes with low sides... such as dipping saucers, lids such as spaghetti sauce or pickle jar lids, or espresso cup saucers.  I have heard of breeders using small paper plates, the plastic lids from Pringles chip canisters, etc.
    These flat containers let any left over food dry out... rather than stay moist!  This extends the time the food remains edible and does not need removing immediately.
    I would not recommend re-using the dried leftovers!!!