Cold days feeding...?

Beekissed

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I’ve heard of rats, but never had any. As far as mice, I have corn fields across the street and animals behind me so they are plentiful. That being said, not too much of a problem. The wild birds only come at migrating time, right now lol. But they don’t tend to take too much. They have unharnessed and freshly cut corn fields anyway. As far as mice, my chickens eat them I have some BIG boys. The chickens usually eat all but a few crumbs of food by the morning. But because of goats they don’t get any in the day when they are hunting and out of the coop anyway. The ducks are spoiled pets, and since I got my drake a mouse wouldn’t dare go near their food lest he become it and I usually have leftovers in the mornings for chickens to clean up. When I had outdoor rabbits they were off the ground and I never had problem with rodents. For the first few months when they were on the ground with a hutch and run my buck was, ahem, “protective” over his food and I never found evidence of anything bothering them. They also didn’t eat much because they had grass. So, unless a mouse manages to get in the feed before it’s out, not enough losses to consider. Besides, my chickens eat the few mice that dare try to hide in the goats shelters and what not.
Extra protein, right? :D =D
 

Nao57

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I’ve heard of rats, but never had any. As far as mice, I have corn fields across the street and animals behind me so they are plentiful. That being said, not too much of a problem. The wild birds only come at migrating time, right now lol. But they don’t tend to take too much. They have unharnessed and freshly cut corn fields anyway. As far as mice, my chickens eat them I have some BIG boys. The chickens usually eat all but a few crumbs of food by the morning. But because of goats they don’t get any in the day when they are hunting and out of the coop anyway. The ducks are spoiled pets, and since I got my drake a mouse wouldn’t dare go near their food lest he become it and I usually have leftovers in the mornings for chickens to clean up. When I had outdoor rabbits they were off the ground and I never had problem with rodents. For the first few months when they were on the ground with a hutch and run my buck was, ahem, “protective” over his food and I never found evidence of anything bothering them. They also didn’t eat much because they had grass. So, unless a mouse manages to get in the feed before it’s out, not enough losses to consider. Besides, my chickens eat the few mice that dare try to hide in the goats shelters and what not.
I'm curious how rare or common is it for chickens to eat mice?
 

Beekissed

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I'm curious how rare or common is it for chickens to eat mice?
It's common. I've never had mice in any of my coops...but then, I don't free feed either. I feed fermented feed and only once a day, what they can clean up in that day's time.
 

Nao57

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It's common. I've never had mice in any of my coops...but then, I don't free feed either. I feed fermented feed and only once a day, what they can clean up in that day's time.
Thinking about how greedy they are for food, it makes sense that this could happen. I swear they are almost more greedy for food than my ducks.
 

Nommie Bringeruvda Noms

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My outdoor critters all have free access to some form of feed. Hay for the goats, laying mash for the chickens and ducks. On days when they don't get groomed, the goats also get a 'ration' of about 1C grain, heading into foul weather, but only about 1/2 - 3/4C (depending on which breed/size - the Nigoras barely get a scant 1/2C - the Boer & Nubians get a rounded one or more in consistently warm weather, depending on how they look, how hungry they seem to actually be, beyond the usual 'Nommie, y'know ima dai, wiffout a whole bucket to myself' kind of behavior), unless they're in milk. On days when they get groomed, they get free feed while they're on the stand. If they're in milk, they get a bit of blackstrap molasses mixed into the free feed, while milking. The molasses is mixed it at a rate of (about) 1T/pound of feed, and sometimes, the boys get it as a treat, too.

We made a mistake (we didn't think to quarantine them, for the first month), when expanding our herd, this summer, though, which ended up nearly costing us one of the new does, and left us having to do damage control/prevention, with the rest of the herd. So, while all of them are on increased rations for winter, that one doe (whom we had planned to breed, this month) is not only not being bred, she's on a daily ration of nearly double the rest of the herd's, to strengthen her, before it gets much colder. But, with good hay available 24/7/365, and us moving the fencing around, as they clean up an area, they don't seem to need that much extra.
 

wolf

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So I wanted to ask how much extra feed do you do (percentage wise) to your herds, flocks whatever on really cold days?

Winter just started here. I want to go into it right with no losses over the winter except butcher losses that are planned. So I'd like to pick your mind on this.

In particular I'm asking about ducks and rabbits, but actually I'm interested in what you do for other animals also even, such as sheep and so on.

I also wish you all good progress and safety for your herds over the winter.

One of the things that prompted this...I noticed my ducks 'barking' for feeding time earlier than normal on cold days. And as the cold increased they'd 'bark' for lunch more and more early slightly ahead of schedule, but still close to the regular feeding time. So this makes me think their bodies are burning the food a bit faster. (Barking for lunch 30 minutes earlier than normal turned into 45 minutes earlier than normal; but still within reasonable closeness to their normal eating times.)
Birds' motabilism runs faster than hoofstock's and they need extra calories to maintain body-heat - so my poultry get cracked corn mixed into their pellets in winter. I don't change anything for graining the sheep. They just get a couple extra hay-bales cause the pasture-grass is dormant.
 

Nommie Bringeruvda Noms

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Oh, yeh, the chickens & ducks! Lol! Their feed is free-access. I do bump up their black fly larvae, when they can't free-range - by about double. Their free-ranging ability is incredible, and the difference in their eggs is insane, it they don't get to do that. It's the only way I've really noticed the weather's affects on them.
 

messybun

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@messybun what breed of chickens do you have?
I’m afraid you asked for this one lol.
Sebright, silkie, bantam mixes, Easter egger(One old roo and I finally got a hen) Brahma, harlequin, sexlinks, Americana or barred rock(I can’t tell the difference), buff Orpington, and then I have one that I don’t know the breed of but he’s over my knee in height. I know I’m missing a few in here that I just don’t know the breeds of, I also have a number of barnyard mixes that I’ve hatched.
 
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