Lisa K.V. Perry
lisakvperry at gmail.com
Tue May 20 09:58:34 EDT 2008
On Tue, May 20, 2008 at 6:24 AM, Gene GeRue <genegerue at ruralize.com> wrote:
> On May 19, 2008, at 10:43 PM, Marie McHarry wrote:
> > It's only necessary to feed chickens in winter in my
> > experience. The rest of the year, they'll get fat on bugs, grubs,
> > weeds, and whatever else they can get their beaks around.
> We had chickens for 8 years and only fed grain in winter, otherwise they
free-ranged around the garden (but not in it) and in the blueberry field.
They were fairly healthy and laid eggs in the hen house, we didn't lack for
eggs while they free-ranged. We didn't opt to keep the light on in winter to
ensure a certain number of light hours for regular egg laying, unless it was
extremely cold, then the lightbulb was on for heat. So, yes, we had less
eggs in winter but it was okay.
We never lost a hen to a predator from the air, perhaps because they were
often in the blueberry bushes or strolling by the garden fence (partly lined
w/ fruit trees) and hidden from above. Chickens will eat blueberries, not
many, but it's the funniest thing to see them hop up to nab a berry.
Youngest son and I would like to get poultry again, but husband and oldest
son are against the idea. Once or twice a year we visit family (gone a long
weekend) and usually go to the beach for a week in late summer. It was
always a problem of getting care for the hens when we were gone. If we could
peacably resolve that issue, we'd have a few hens or ducks again.
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