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Cow manure

Discussion in 'Fruits & Vegetables' started by Gardening with Rabbits, May 8, 2018.

  1. May 16, 2018 at 1:39 PM
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    It depends on what the garden produce is. How many creepy crawlies are included in that might make a difference too. Like all living things, chickens need certain nutrients. And they need to be in a rough balance. The closer to the ideal the nutrient mix is the better the chickens will do, but your question is whether or not it is possible, not how well they will do on that diet. So yes, it is possible, just like it is possible for humans to survive on some pretty poor diets. That does not mean they will thrive. If the native rock is limestone it's even possible they could get enough calcium from that for the egg shells. But if all they have is garden produce don't expect a lot of eggs or very large eggs.
     
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  2. May 16, 2018 at 4:37 PM
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    I was thinking meat birds that are butchered very young
     
  3. May 16, 2018 at 7:31 PM
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Deeply Rooted

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    how many? all animals have a basic carrying capacity. that is, a range that they need to get enough food. i don't know anything about chickens other than i've seen a few free range and didn't notice the area getting over-used, but if you put a larger flock then they can strip an area of all greens and bugs.

    some people i know put many of them in boxes and fed them for a while and then they've have a bunch of people come over to help out and slaughter them all at once. i considered the boxes inhumane treatment and was glad to not be in the smell zone often. what i considered even more sad was that they didn't even bury the goodies from the chickens so none of that was being recycled or composted for garden use. it all just seemed rather strange to me. the guys who picked up the trash hated it when that time of the year came around.
     
  4. May 16, 2018 at 7:42 PM
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    Not talking free range talking feeding from high producing garden
     
  5. May 17, 2018 at 1:22 AM
    bobm

    bobm Garden Addicted

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    It also depends on what breed of chicken one is raising. I can feed a Cornish X chicken high quality commercial feed and butcher that bird at 35 days of age to yield a 1 1/2 lb. game hen. Now , take a Rhode Island Red.( formerly the commercial meat chicken ) and feed it the same commercial feed and due to it's genetics, it will take 2-3 times longer and maybe get a scrawny carcass. Now take that Cornish X and feed it veggies from a high producing garden, since veggies have a high moisture content and the chick can eat so much before it's crop is full, then add the time to digest the veggies and then followed by excreting very wet fecal matter before it can eat again. This takes time so that bird will not grow nearly as fast as the one fed commercial feed resulting in unsatisfactory carcass in a much longer time frame. One can get pretty hungry between chicken dinners. Also, time is money. :old
     
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  6. May 17, 2018 at 3:21 AM
    baymule

    baymule Garden Master

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    I think you would have to have a big garden. To raise meat chickens, you'd need a high protein feed. Most vegetables are not high protein. I am feeding my Cornish Cross a 24% crumble feed. I tried giving them some corn as a treat, the poor things didn't know what it was. They didn't eat it, they just pooped all over it.

    @seedcorn the chicken feed I buy doesn't claim to be organic, just non GMO and non soy. The eggs taste good. I have a few egg customers (helps with the feed bill) and they all love the taste of the eggs. But before I started using this feed, I used regular layer pellets from Tractor Supply. There was a difference in taste between my eggs and store bought. So, does the Texas Naturals feed I now use really make that much of a difference in taste, or are the eggs just better because they are FRESH off the farm?

    http://texasnaturalfeeds.com/
     
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  7. May 17, 2018 at 3:38 AM
    seedcorn

    seedcorn Garden Master

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    Yes & yes... :)
     
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  8. May 17, 2018 at 11:30 AM
    Jared77

    Jared77 Garden Addicted

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    @Nyboy you have a few limiting factors. As Bob mentioned you have genetics dictating rate of growth that define a breed, and calories/protein/fat also as a limiting factor.

    If you are not able to meet the demand for calories, protein and fat that the birds rate of growth need you will have reduced growth rate. I've seen a few threads in the past with people who deliberately slowed the growth on cornish crosses in an effort to get them to breed. They got the slower growth but I can't remember if they were able to reproduce.

    Seedcorn is spot on. Until people are willing to pay the price, and a price that the grower can sustain a living on, people are going to cut corners where they can, or simply not bother. The profit margin is so small to begin with, it gets down to pennies or fractions of pennies per lbs.

    Its just not realistic. Its why I don't do my own meat animals. Be it chicken or rabbits or anything with a hoof. As a family we consume enough meat to consider it, however when I can buy cheaper meat per lbs at the store not including labor, its not worth it. Even if it is more healthy and a better option. I only have so much $ and the reality is I just can't make it a priority. Its also why we eat a lot of venison. I don't have the long term investment in raising it.
     
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  9. May 17, 2018 at 1:16 PM
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    For some reason pink seems a good color to highlight with this morning. :hide

    Jared, the Cornish X can reproduce if you limit the diet enough to keep them alive but you also include the right nutrients. It's a real science, feeding them the right mix of nutrients and the right amount of feed. The hens will lay a pretty good amount of eggs, though they are more medium than large. Their mothers and grandmothers are production birds whose job is to lay a lot of hatching eggs so laying a lot of eggs is a trait they breed into them. Size of the eggs isn't important as long as they are hatchable.

    The hens can get pretty large anyway but a regular full-sized rooster can cover them and fertilize the eggs. The males will also get huge, if you don't know what you are doing with the feed they can get so big they can't breed. You might need to use artificial insemination with them.

    The parents of the Cornish X would make great meat birds without crossing them, the genetics are there. They have to limit their feed so they are able to reproduce. These videos show how one producer does that and quite a bit more about breeding them.





    @Nyboy I don't know what mix of produce you are talking about. It is possible you could keep Cornish X chicks alive and even grow them on garden produce if you get the right mix. You might consider it cost effective if you are feeding them garden scraps or excess. I would not try it for all the reasons they have mentioned. People do supplement chicken feed with what they call treats, like garden produce, even with Cornish X. But those treats are limited so their main feed is the bulk of what they eat. It is not the sole diet.

    To grow they need vitamins, minerals, fiber, fats, protein and more. They need certain amino acids that come from animals and are usually added as supplements to chicken feed. We are talking about organics on another thread. Those amino acids are so badly needed that the organic rules allow artificial supplements to be added to chicken feed. Man-made, not natural. That's how important they are. Those are the funny words on the analysis on the label. What produce are you going to feed them that contains all this, especially proteins and minerals in the quantity they need?

    Another issue is that the Cornish X are specialists. They have been bred to produce a lot of meat in a very short time. They are very good at converting what they eat into body growth. But they are not very robust. They are pretty delicate. They are not bred for longevity. Their body is fine tuned to produce a lot of meat on a pretty special diet. If you get too far away from that their bodies may not be able to handle it.

    You can try, you might even have something you consider success. I don't know where this is coming from, it sounds like a nephew thing. But I think you are setting yourself up for real disappointment.
     
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  10. May 17, 2018 at 1:27 PM
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    Ridge you are spot on my nephew asked me about it. He believes government will collapse and everyone will be on own. Sounds like rabbits would be better way to go for meat.
     

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