Organ Meat Treats

I forgot to show everyone what we did with the leftover, thawed organ meat…

I sliced it into small pieces and put it into the food dehydrator for dog treats.  The dogs love them and would like to have them cut into larger pieces… ; )

Organ meat treats

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Fermented Feed Day 2

We lifted the towel off the buckets of fermented feed this morning – did it smell!!  I don’t know what smelled worse, the fermented feed or the sardines in the dogs’ raw food…Isabella loves fermented feed!

I took the bin out to the chickens and Isabella came right up, no hesitation today!

Girls belly up to the binSeconds later, all the girls bellied up, finding their spot around the bin.

Before I could let myself out the Girls in the bindoor of the chicken run, a couple of them had jumped into the bin for easier access.

Canine Ancestral Diet

Our dogs are all getting older and their bodies are showing signs of ill health. One of our Jacks has been on porcine enzymes all her life because she is challenged with digesting proteins.  The other Jack Russel eats dirt, rocks, and poop.  Her poor digestive tract is exhausted.  The Papillon is on thyroid and blood pressure meds.  Our Weimeraner is the healthiest, but he also the youngest.

We recently had a new vet come to the house to evaluate the dogs to let us know if there were any alternative methods we could employ to help them stay healthy.  Her top recommendation was feeding the dogs raw food.  She suggested that we read “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet: Healthier Dog Food the ABC Way” by Steve Brown.  ‘A’ stands for the Amount of fat, protein, and carbs based on the ancestral diet of dogs, ‘B’ is for Balancing the fats, and ‘C’ is for Completing your dog’s nutrition needs by feeding your dog fresh, whole foods.  Sounds like Paleo, if you ask me…

Raw dog food ingredientsWell, we know that health begins with food.  Therefore, we committed to feed the dogs raw foods once a week to see if it makes a difference.  Tonight was the first night we made a batch of food.  The ingredients for our four dogs (approximately 137 pounds of total dogs weight) for one day are 20.3 ounces of organ meat (heart, liver, kidneys), 19.3 ounces of fruits and vegetables, 10 eggs, and 6 cans of sardines (packed in water).  We used green beans, a tomato and a sweet potato for the fruits and vegetables in this batch.  And here’s what it looks like blended… Raw Dog Food blended
Not so visually appetizing, but we’ll see what the dogs think tomorrow morning!  Stay tuned for more paleo dog updates!

 

Fermented Chicken Feed

We have been talking about fermenting our chicken feed ever since we purchased our baby chicks. There are many benefits to eating fermented food, both for the chickens and for humans: more available probiotics and digestive enzymes, boosts the good bacteria in the digestive tract, makes food more palatable to chickens.

We finally started this week by purchasing a bag of corn, oat, barley grain mix (COB) and a bag of wheat berries.  The rancher we purchase our grass fed beef from suggested following the recipe given at Scratch and Peck.  To start, we used 1 pound of grain (approximately 2 ounces for each bird) mixed with a gallon of water in a bucket, then let it sit at room temperature for 4 days.

This morning, the 3rd day, we drained the water from the grain mixture, poured the liquid back in the bucket to start the next batch of fermented feed, and placed the grains in a short plastic bin to take out to the chicken run.  I placed the bin in an area of the chicken run where the girls could gather around all of the sides.  Like all new things, the chickens stood a foot or so away from the bin, looking, pacing a bit, and looking again.  Isabella, one of the White Leghorns, went up to the bin first to take a taste.  She took one grain and placed it on the ground outside the bin, then another, then another.  Soon, the rest of the girls bellied up to the bin and started eating.  Sandy, one of the Buffs, took one grain and ran 6 feet from the bin, ate a little, then dropped it to the ground, ate a little more, then dropped, and then finished it.  I have never heard the girls so quiet…

TRoxy cleaning fermented grainshey didn’t finish all of the fermented feed this morning so I sprinkled it on the ground under the tree.  I brought the bin in to clean up for tomorrow’s feed.  As soon as I placed the bin on the floor, Roxy helped me clean up.

 

22 weeks old

It’s been quite a while since I posted pictures of the girls… since they were 6 weeks old and their feathers were still coming in… Look at them now

Buffy & SandyBuffy and Sandy
Buffy has the taller comb on the top of her head.  Sandy’s is still very close to her skull.
Punky is in the foreground.

Sandy, Maggie Mae & IsabellaSandy in the back
Magge Mae in the middle
Punky up front eating
PunkyHere’s Punky, always on the move.

One of the dirt baths is halfway under the misters.  It is Punky’s favorite place in the afternoon, playing in the wet sand!

GracieGracie in the coop.

 
CharlotteCharlotte, ever so majestic and regal.

Isabella, Maggie Mae & BuffyIsabella, with her comb over, in the foreground
Maggie Mae behind her
Buffy behind both of them

Water Barrel Drinking System

Before we left for our 10 day vacation, we devised a watering system that could last the entire time without worrying about the chickens running out of water.

Water BarrelWe took a 55-gallon food-grade barrel and drilled three small holes in the bottom.  Water barrel nipplesWe then screwed in gravity-feed nipples.  These nipples are designed to move up and down.  When the chickens peck at the nipple, they move up and water is released.  We set the barrel up off the ground just high enough for the girls to reach.  When we got home, it didn’t seem like the barrel water was emptied at all.  Maybe the chickens hadn’t figured the system out yet.  I know with our African Grey Parrot and Cockatiel, it takes them a long time for them to approach anything new in their cage.  Maybe it’s the same with the chickens.

Today, when I was out in the run, Water Barrel drinkingalthough it’s a bit hard to see in this picture, Maggie Mae was drinking out of the nipples!  This will really help in the heat of our summers!!

oops…

After I posted the last entry, I looked online to find out what color eggs the Buff Orpingtons lay,  According to My Pet Chicken, the Rhode Island Red chickens lay darker brown eggs.  Our light brown eggs are probably from the Buff Orpingtons.  For more information about egg color by breed, go to My Pet Chicken.