So, Lee was out in the garden last week with the hens and one of the girls laid a really big splat in front of him instead of the nice tight chicken poop like you prefer to see. Obviously we’ve put it off too long–we really needed to do something about the loose poop problem they have developed.
In the August/September 2009 issue of my Backyard Poultry magazine there was a letter written in response to an article on Fall Season Herbal Wormer & Alternative. The guy who wrote the letter said he hadn’t used a commercial wormer in 25 years and his birds always pass health checks from vets when he ships them out of state. Okay, I think, so I will try this and see if we can clear up these runny poops from our hens.
His directions were take five or six cloves of garlic and blend them with some water so you have a puree. Then put that mixture into 3 or 4 gallons of the chicken water. Take away all of their other water sources and leave it with the chickens for a 24 hour period. Or leave it with the chickens for 2 or 3 days of you suspect a health problem. He does this process once a week or every other week.
Since we seemed to have a problem we left the garlic water out for 3 days. I haven’t seen any squishy, splatty, runny poop since we tried this. I am feeling really happy with the results so far and plan on starting a regimen of putting out garlic water for them every couple of weeks.
In other chicken news, we have 2 Bob’s here that are looking really scruffy. Like we need to have chicken dinner scruffy. I can’t figure out a reason why so I am hoping that they are trying to molt. They just keep looking worse and worse. They will be a year old by the end of this month. Other than looking rough they seem to be okay. I still can’t find any mites on them.
And the last news I have on the chicken front is we have started to track how much food they are eating in a given time. It took our 11 hens 18 days to go through a 50 LB bag of food. We don’t know how much they eat when closed up, but our chicken book says they should eat about one third pound (per bird) a day. So that means that we saved about 24% on our feed cost by letting them free range.