Goats, rabbits, chickens (pages)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chicken Feed- Pass the Beans

I'm simmering a pot of beans on the stove. They smell good, but they're not for me. They're for Jack and Mable. Here at the farm we subscribe to the natural food method of feeding our animals. That simply means I do not leave it to Purina, Pedigree or any other pet food corporate conglomerate to decide what makes my animals healthy. Take a look at the stats...there are more ailments and disease affecting our pets than ever before. Then take a minute to research how pet food is made; it will literally turn your stomach. I decided years ago not to leave my health in the hands of someone else; to take responsibility for my own nutritional needs. After all, what the government says is safe today will be recalled next week. I'm an intelligent person; I can figure out what I need to do to stay healthy.

When we moved to Rocky Creek, I decided to do the same for our animals. Back to the beans. As with everything else, nutritional needs of chickens vary depending on which author you are reading, so I take in all the info, and like I do with my diet, I decide what my chickens need.

I give then a regular diet of corn, laying mash, mixed grains, oyster shell, herbs (of course), seaweed, table scraps and BEANS. (I'll go into the whys and wherefores of each of those on another day.) The beans give them a midweek protein boost. The beans I'm cooking today are navy beens with a protein content of 24.5%. I like my Mables to have around 17-18% protein and Jack around 20%. I'll put the cooled beans in a pan and let them have at it. Soy beans have a greater protein boost of around 27% but I have a love-hate relationship with soy so don't use it as often.

When feeding poultry beans YOU MUST COOK THEM. Beans contain trypsin which is very harmful to poultry when fed in a raw state. Cook about a cup of beans per dozen chickens for 15 minutes. They must reach a temperature of 180 degrees to take care of the trypsin. So, bring them to a boil and let them simmer away. Wala...a protein feast.
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