OK The old orpington standard book is suggesting that milk should be given the Orpingtons for conditioning. That's very interesting. Has anyone practiced this? The impression I get was they would take some of the fresh milk from their dairy cows and pour boiling water in it and after it is cooled give it to their chickens for conditioning. Would powdered milk work? Would store bought milk work? Has anyone practiced this? If so fill us in on the info you have. According to the book. Most countries practice this for conditioning birds for show, but it is a rare practice in The United States.
Post by iaechickens on Mar 8, 2014 21:28:44 GMT -5
I have a book copyright 1921, that was a grand folks, maybe great grand folks. It was an extension publication courtesy the local bank. It suggests using milk as the protein source for layers, young chickens and for fattening/finishing. This was from a time when everyone had cows. For layers they would have used skim milk. A good way to market milk through the eggs! probably kept or sold the cream. I could see whole milk being used to fatten with the extra calories available. It did suggest staying with sour or sweet but don't go back and forth.
Interesting enough, an hour spent with that 70 page publication, yielded more useful information for a new chicken owner than 70 hours on BYC. LOL No offense to BYC
Post by reniespeeps on Mar 9, 2014 10:02:57 GMT -5
I do add powdered milk to the food dishes from time to time... also using calfmana...I think it is just good to give them extra vit D... specailly up here in the cold north when my birds don't get as much sun as they normally would.
I haven't tried any milk, but I have been following my brother's example. He uses layer pellets, cow mana, wheat (or some kind of grain), black sunflower seeds, and cat food all mixed into one giant barrel to feed his chickens. I believe the cat food provides the animal protein.
We have a dairy farm. I fed milk all winter with out any problems. The old-timers told me to let the milk sit for a few days and just skim the fat to feed for best results. I did that for the special birds. Fed regular milk to the rest mixed in their feed. I fed a wet mush with milk this winter as it seemed to limit the amount of water they needed. For show birds I would stop feeding a week or so before a show to keep their manure solid and the birds cleaner.
I ran into another breeder who has used milk to condition his birds. He expressed that he used to buy buttermilk blocks for his birds, but unfortunately those are hard to find now. It was suggested to use milk replacer for calves, if you don't mind the price. He expressed that milk really improves the feather quality in appearance.