Daniel

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Once you bring guineas to you farm, you’ll hear a constant chattering as they move in a group across the yard. These sounds are determined by their sex.

Females: Guinea hens make a two-syllable sound that people compare to the words “buckwheat” or “come back.” To me it sounds like a rusty door swinging back and forth. But the point is, it’s a two-part sound.

Males: Roosters can only make a one-syllable sound, which the hens are also capable of. It’s a “kik-kik-kik” sound, and they will do it pretty much nonstop.
 
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Daniel

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My guineafowl actually seem less interested in flying the fence now. But this advice for small pet birds -- to bring the cage to the bird -- may help with relatively wild, hard-to-catch poultry, such as by bringing a large dog crate or chicken brooder:


Whenever possible, bring the cage to the bird. For a missing bird, place the cage near the site of the fly-away. If your bird flies out through your front door, for example, place the cage on your porch or doorstep. Whenever possible, hang the cage outside so that it appears just as it would indoors.

Add large amounts of your bird's favorite foods and tasty treats in or around the cage to lure the bird back home. Someone should always be at the ready near the cage to pounce with a towel or net. Use large pieces of food that are easily visible, and leave the cage with the door open, possibly rigged with a quick-release trap door latch to quickly lock as soon as the bird enters.

Whenever possible, bring the cage to the bird. For a missing bird, place the cage near the site of the fly-away. If your bird flies out through your front door, for example, place the cage on your porch or doorstep. Whenever possible, hang the cage outside so that it appears just as it would indoors.


Add large amounts of your bird's favorite foods and tasty treats in or around the cage to lure the bird back home. Someone should always be at the ready near the cage to pounce with a towel or net. Use large pieces of food that are easily visible, and leave the cage with the door open, possibly rigged with a quick-release trap door latch to quickly lock as soon as the bird enters.
If the bird is stressed and looking for its flock, then a better temptation than food may be another bird in a nearby, closed enclosure. But anything that resembles the former coop may be enough as a temptation of safety.
 

Daniel

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New chicken layer feed with 19% protein (instead of the standard 16%), partially from the addition of tasty bugs :)

1664336367722.jpg

Coupons: Poultry Feeding Program Trial | Purina Animal Nutrition
 

Daniel

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...It’s so easy to “dye” the color of a yolk that a Santa Fe, New Mexico farmer, Matt Romero, is known for his legendary flame-colored egg yolks, which he gets simply by feeding his hens the leftover red chile peppers from his farm.

Other farmers “hack” their way to darker yolks by feeding their flocks marigold petals (which produces deep yellow yolks) or even using synthetic chemicals like Rovimix Carophyll Yellow, Canthaxanthin, Xanthophyll B, and Lucantin Red to achieve the dark yolks they think their consumers prefer.

This is why you should be leery of cheap eggs from the supermarket whose yolks come out orange.

On the flip side, there’s cause for concern if store-bought “free range” or “pastured” eggs have very pale yolks. It could mean the egg producer is only giving the hens minimal access to the outdoors, like a single door out to a patch of grass.
 

Daniel

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Using PEX to prevent outdoor water pipes from freezing:


 

Daniel

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Because of things like evaporation, spillage and leakage, monitoring changing water levels can’t be entirely accurate. It’d also be very difficult to predict how much each individual chicken is drinking on any given day. Looking for evidence of consumption from a large container, like a 5-gallon bottle, could appear that a small backyard flock is drinking next to nothing—the eye is not the best judge.

Picky eaters aside, the absolute best indicator of whether chickens are drinking enough water is actually in how much feed the flock is eating. When chickens are dehydrated, they completely stop eating because they cannot swallow or digest. When chickens are eating feed rations vigorously every morning and every evening, the flock is certainly drinking enough water.
 

Daniel

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A hen may consume up to 340 calories of metabolizable energy per day during winter to keep warm. But in summer, she may consume only 260 calories of metabolizable energy per day. Therefore, a higher dietary protein level should be fed during summer when temperatures are high.
 

Daniel

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For my scissor-beaked hen, I sometimes give her wet cat food (fish or beef based) to supplement her caloric and protein intake as well as to prevent anemia. As a bonus, the wet food helps with hydration in the summer.
 

Daniel

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