Keeping the Neighbors Happy & The Value of Feeding Organic Chickens

In General Farm News on September 8, 2007 at 10:45 am

Operation “Keep the Neighbors Happy” — otherwise known as put up another fence to try to keep the turkeys in, was completed yesterday.
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Prior to the newly erected 60″ poultry fence, the flock of lilacs would hop over, or duck under their poultry net, and wander around the garden, pasture, lawn, driveway… and then meander across the road and… um… wander into the neighbors’ beautifully manicured, lush green lawn. If I were a turkey, I would head that way too. 😉 But, that is not a great way to be a neighbor with farm animals, so we purchased $166 worth of fencing material (300′ of 2″ opening poultry fencing that is 60″ high) and ten light duty metal fence posts. Using a bunch of existing fence posts (and just attaching the new fence to the other side) we conserved posts, and managed to have one left over to use to prop the door to the pasture closed. I am probably speaking too soon, but the new fence kept them in for more than five hours of turkey-plotting, and turkey-scheming. We’ll see how long this “small-hurdle” keeps the birds in! 🙂

The new-to-us pygmy goats, “Wild Bobby” and “Little Brownie” (they came to us with those names) are happy munching nettles and weeds in the pasture with the Belted Galloways and nine free-ranging chickens.

The piggies are happy that the turkeys might stay in their adjoining pasture. It was annoying to the piggies to have to stop wallowing in their daily mud-baths, and get up and waddle across their pasture to sniff the turkeys that had gotten loose and decided to visit the pigs.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The rest of the goaties enjoy the hot dry weather, which provides them ample opportunity to take dust baths and stretch out (legs out, head and neck stretched out) and look very, very dead… until they twitch. And then we breathe again… I guess they are still alive! Flower and Bambi the babies kids that were born last month are packing on the pounds, and practicing their triple lutz’ and getting a lot of air-time. I can’t wait to see them perform on ice! 😛

We are still getting an egg a day from the chickens. Our family believes that our extra cost and hassle involved in finding and purchasing certified organic feed for the chickens will create a better end product. As we pull our hair out in frustration over our constant need to herd our flocks (turkeys and chickens) — they are raised outside of confining cages, and are either free-ranging, or pastured during the day (and housed at night in spacious, wired-windowed houses to keep them safe from predators). Our chickens and turkeys don’t have any herbicides, pesticides, chemicals, or animal parts in them. Although we are not using certified organic feed for the turkeys, what they are eating is a New England produced grain that is free from animal by-products, and has a high enough protein content so that our turkeys will get the nourishment that they need. Turkeys need a very high percentage of protein in their diet — ours are eating a game bird bagged feed that we most recently purchased in Keene, NH… and it contains 28% protein.

We hope that all of this expense is of value. Is it?


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