Frugal Tips for our Livestock

BarredBuff

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I was thinking today as we processed our meat chickens, that it'd be really good if we all shared tips on saving money with our animals. Plus we have several new members on the board that may find these useful as they venture into SS. This includes ways to cut feed costs, health tricks, equipment alternatives, etc.

So here are a few of mine that I have figured out over the past few years.....

1. The 2 for 1 Special: House your rabbits near your chickens, that way if you have any spilled rabbit feed in the cages the chickens will catch underneath, hence the 2 for 1 special :p

2. Dual purpose breeds are your friend, not only do they (or potentially) perform two or more tasks their young ones will as well. So after one of your hens has reached her laying prime she can be canned up for soups and stews.

3. Feed rabbits hay! This cuts down so much on your monthly bill for them!

4. Supplement your animals with scraps and yard waste, appropriate for each species of course.

5. Free range your chickens and ducks, my feed bill is the same it was when we kept them in the run and house. But I have also doubled in number too, so it definitely pays off.
 

Wannabefree

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Good tips Buffy :)

Also, you can recycle egg shells by baking them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes to kill any bacteria that may be on them, and grinding them to feed back to the chickens as a calcium supplement. You can also use this to put around your tomato plants as well if you have excess, it prevents blossom end rot.
 

i_am2bz

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Ah, thanks WBF, I didn't know you could cook them to get rid of bacteria, never thought about that.... :)
 

BarredBuff

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I didnt know you cold cook them to kill bacteria, interesting. Must save egg shells.
 

Wannabefree

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Yeah and it makes them much more brittle and easy to get a fine powder for the tomato plants too. I sure thought you all knew that!! ;)
 

BarredBuff

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I did know it was good for your maters, but making them a powder, thats a good little pointer Cindi lou.
 

Marianne

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I just rinse out the egg shells, dump them in a coffee can. When it's full, I set it aside to dry for a couple weeks or so. Then they smash up really easily. I don't worry about bacteria. I washed the eggs before I cracked 'em...and those hens are out pecking in the dirt anyway. :D
 

Beekissed

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Or you could just throw your shells in the back yard and watch the fun! I've never baked any shells but I have saved them in a colander on the counter next to the stove....that's about as close to the oven as my shells ever make it.

I'm wondering why bacteria is such an issue when the eggs come from your own flocks? What bacteria could the eggs have picked up from the time they dropped from the butt until the time they hit the table? :hu
 

BarredBuff

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It would be an issue if you ground it up to put in their feed. Do you have any good tips for us , Bee?
 

Beekissed

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So...I'm still confused, BB. You bring the eggs from the nest, use the inside, dry it out and crunch it up and place it in the feed...but you have to eliminate any stray bacteria that might have gotten on the shells in the meantime? From whence does this harmful to chickens bacteria come and why does it harm the chickens? This is the very first time I've ever heard of any bacterial threat from my home flock's egg shells....could you tell me more?
 
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