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Chicken news

Behind the new defenses

My hens will soon be five months old, so they should start laying before long. I decided to go ahead and switch them to laying mash. Until now, they’ve been eating a Purina starter mash. I was delighted to find out that the roller mill at Walnut Cove, where I buy chicken feed, mixes their own laying mash. It looks like a good mix, because it has a calcium supplement and no animal byproducts.

I found one of my hens dead Saturday morning. She was inside the wire with no broken skin but with clear signs of neck trauma. I’ll never know what happened, but I think she probably was strangled by a raccoon that reached through the wire and caught her by surprise. I spent the day Saturday putting up 1/2-inch hardware cloth. I also doubled the electrical defenses and installed a higher-power, always-on fence charger. Poor chicken. The only good to come of it is that, with four hens, there’s more room in there. Given the quality, and the cost, of the chicken defenses required around here, I don’t think I’ll be able to build them a larger coop any time soon.

The Walnut Cove mill’s homemade layer mash

The Monitor Roller Mill at Walnut Cove. It’s an institution in these parts.

Inside the roller mill

One Comment

  1. mountain madness wrote:

    A good friend of mine here in Florida builds solar powered electric fences strong enough to keep deers away from the garden…

    Friday, July 24, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

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