Saturday, December 21, 2013

Oatmeal To The Rescue

Oh no, low temperatures this weekend is bringing a real chill to my aviary! Cool temperatures are part of my pre-breeding program as it helps keep the hen from premature laying before she has reached full breeding condition. But when birds are housed in colder aviaries, they require more energy to keep warm. So what do I do? Each cage gets a hardy dish of oatmeal!

Earlier in the week when the weather was somewhat warmer (high 55 F to low 20F) but cooler than I like for shipping, I needed to ship a box of birds to Colorado. So what do I do? Instead of bird seed in the container, oatmeal! I also packed cucumber and orange wedges and the birds did arrive just fine!

Sometimes, an occasional bird will favor a foot. Seeing only redness and no obvious reason for the problem, the likely cause is too much protein, So what do I do? Oatmeal to the Rescue! Within 24 hours the bird is fine and of course, I also have dropped the protein levels.

On occasion, I have noticed banding age chicks that are being fed well, develop loose stools that can lead to serious problems (nestling diarrhea), dehydration, sealed vents and death. Immediately, I drop back the protein levels and Oatmeal to the Rescue!

So you what do you do when you find a sharp breast bone. Too thin birds will not breed and should they breed, additional weight loss will likely result in their death. So what do I do? Oatmeal to the Rescue!


Anonymous said...

Very interesting.
Is it true oats 'bind' calcium in the diet and keep the hens from utilizing it ? Spinach too ?
Oats are really a staple in many animal diets .

Anonymous said...

Old Fashioned or Quick cooking?

Linda Hogan said...

I use the old fashioned oats but either is fine. The birds chew and they when the pieces get too small it is waste.

Linda Hogan said...

Compounds such as phytate (in cereal grains), oxalates (in spinach rhubarb and related vegatition) and phosphates will decrease calcium absoption due to formation of complexes. In published scientific studies on chickens this fact did not effect their eggs.

Doreen said...

What causes killer hens? Laying eggs but beat the heck out of male when placed in with the hen.

one hen that accepted male had 2 nests of 4 eggs with only one baby
hatching out of each and full size dead chicks in shell. When this hen was put back in aviary she was unable to fly for about a month. I am thinking...calcium deficiency? Doreen

Linda Hogan said...

A couple of things come to mind. First if the intended partner is not in full breeding condition the one that is ready will attack the other. Second too much hard boiled egg and or vitamin E. Try giving the male all the goodies and let the hen beg him to feed her through the wire. Once that happens, put him in the cage with her. Likely they will mate and then if she attacks him afterward, take him out and re introduce him daily the same way.
Calcium is important for a proper shell which definitely can be the problem along with a number of other factors when we see dead in the shell.