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#78137 - 04/18/08 03:54 PM Re: scratch vs. laying feed?
Ckvchestnut Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 346
Loc: Canada
Well that sounds great! I thought I did see somewhere that they carry the gamebird feed, maybe that has less protein than the chick starter I posted about. Thanks for the link I'll be checking it out.
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Ckvchestnut

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#78138 - 04/19/08 04:54 AM Re: scratch vs. laying feed?
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
I guess every country is different when it comes to what is allowable in rendered, animal by-products. Take England and the mad cow desease for instance. Strict rules regarding what could be rendered and fed to other animals might have prevented this huge problem.
In NZ there are pretty tight controls on what is rendered. Meat meal here means mostly offal and bones that are waste product from the freezing works. Sometimes it might mean whole cattle, that have "gone down the shute", meaning the cow may have had something that meant she was not fit for human consumption, such as Facial excema, or TB. In this case she might be called a "boner" but diseases like these perish in the cooking, unlike CJD. Bone meal goes into Blood and Bone, a soil conditioner, and the offal ends up in products such as chicken feed and dog biscuits, but never cattle supliments. My chicken mash has bold warnings on it "Not to be fed to Ruminants" I have no problem with the thought that some of the offal may be putrid by the time it gets to the boiling down works. Cooking tends to sanitise it and there is no unpleasant smell in the end product, just good quality protein that my hens enjoy.

They are on reduced layers ration at present since only two are laying. They get cracked corn, kibbled barley and molasis instead, as I prepare them for next seasons laying.
Today my hens had a ration of the pressure cooked fish which I prepared yesterday, as a top-up. They had scoffed the lot in less than an hour. I was very amused at Little Nasty who delicately picked out the fish bones and snapped them into little pieces before she swallowed them. (Pressure cooking makes them brittle)She's had a big boost of calcium.

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#78139 - 04/19/08 06:58 PM Re: scratch vs. laying feed?
J. Meyer Offline
Chicken

Registered: 01/17/08
Posts: 122
Loc: South Dakota
My friends: This is off topic, and I apologise for that. Some background on me:

I farmed for 15 years, until it became necessary to either upgrade my machinery and get a lot more land (this would have meant going into mega$$$ in debt). I chose to go to work for a large seed company, and worked there for 20 years. I still have a herd of purebred beef cows, and now work at several jobs and am a volunteer EMT on an ambulance company. Still live in a very small agricultural town.

I have witnessed the "chemical and biotech" revolution first hand. I have sprayed herbicides, and worked with biotech corn and soybeans for years. Here are some of my observations:

1. Without biotechnology (Bt corn and Roundup ready soybeans), farmers would be using much larger quantities of herbicides, and they will be much more toxic than the ones that they are using today.

2. Bt, (Bacillis Thuringiensis) is a naturally ocurring bacteria that lives in soil. Humans have been consuming it since time immemorial. The Bt gene has simply been transferred from the bacteria into corn plants.

3. Bacillis Thuringiensis is only toxic to the larva of moths and butterflies. It has no effect on any other living organism that I know of. It kills these larva by blocking up their digestive systems, and they starve to death. The protein in Bt has no effect on adult moths of butterflies.

4. The corn borer moth (the target of Bt) is extremely destructive to the stalk of the corn. It tunnels inside the stalk, and cuts off the flow of nutrients to the leaves and ears. It allows molds and bacteria to enter the stalks and weaken them. This not only cuts the yields, it also causes the stalks to break off and fall down and the combines cannot pick them up.

5 A secondary target of Bt is the corn earworm. They eat the kernels while they are being formed. These pests cause less damage than the borers, but are nasty pests nonetheless.

6. Before Bt, we used to spray for these pests with insecticides. These chemicals were extremely toxic (toxaphene, malathion, and several others that have been proven to cause cancer and other illnesses).

7. Roundup herbicide is much safer than many of the other chemicals it has replaced. It works in plants by stopping the production of an enzyme that the plants need to grow. The roundup gene allows the plants to metabolize the active ingredient(glyphosate)in Roundup, and therefore it does these plants no damage.

8. Roundup has allowed farmers to eliminate many tillage trips over their fields, thus saving a lot of diesel fuel, and not spewing a lot of Carbon Dioxide and other pollutants into the air. Roundup has also revolutionized the chemical industry by eliminating many chemicals that were far more toxic than Roundup.

9. Organic farming---I applaud the idea. The problem is that if every farmer were to go organic, there would be widespread starvation worldwide. I have a neighbor who tried it for many years. He fought weeds, insects, and worked himself nearly to death fighting them. He still believes in the concept of organic, but the reality of the marketplace forced him to go back to "traditional" crop growing.

Now---I know that many of you will refute what I have just posted. That's fine. However, I want you to know that my family has lived in this area of South Dakota for generations. My father is now 92 years old, and has eaten locally grown produce and meat from the livestock that we have raised all his life. My wife and I have done the same, and so have our children. We have not grown any extra appendages on our bodies, and our minds seem to be fairly unaffected by these "poisons" that we have ingested over the years.

If any of you would like to visit South Dakota, and see for yourselves how modern agriculture works, please feel free to contact me.

Sorry this got so LOOOOOOOONG!

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#78140 - 04/19/08 07:36 PM Re: scratch vs. laying feed?
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Thanks JHM47, I am last surviver of several adjoining family farms--from 1906. While the dairy (small by today's numbers, but it sent two families of kids through college), operated just with the family, for 25 years. At first, Manure spreaders took care of fertiling-- for the first 50 years--and one brother-in-law also had the honey-wagon to spread natural fertizers from his hogs. Of course, it was not enough. We raised all our hay and grain for the dairy, and always had some grain left to sell. Now, the grandson of a neighboring farmer, takes care of the farms on shares--weather is the only factor regulating yields, which are excellent--all sprayed and fertilized for the LAST 50 years(ouch, this year!) I miss the beef, pork, MILK that we had for all those years, but I have EGGS! When I can, I purchase local meats and have hunters who share wildlife with me--very nice!

Our equipment, like yours, became too small, but was celebrated when it was new! The equipment my farmer uses is HUGE, does some fields in an hour that we took 2 days to do! Actually, we still had two Teams of Percherons 58 years ago, and while we did not "farm" with them any longer--for several years, used them to haul hay from stacks in winter. It was sad to see the last team go (but we kept driving/riding horses for our pleasure)--and my granddaughter has my last riding gelding-- I brought him in from Scotland as a colt--Welsh Cob. He is a super horse--she does, not just riding, but uses him for Skijoring and Archery on horseback and driving- Farms are still the greatest places to live IMHO ! And friends DO come to visit from every direction. Actually, have a friend coming from SC to pick up some breeding birds!! Hope the last of the snow will be gone. Thanks again JHM47 for telling it like it is--on the farm! I, too hope to make it to 92 (and not far to go) CJR

Well, no one can tell all the stories a farm knows!

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#78141 - 04/20/08 04:42 AM Re: scratch vs. laying feed?
J. Meyer Offline
Chicken

Registered: 01/17/08
Posts: 122
Loc: South Dakota
CJR: Thanks! I was very afraid that my post would result in a lot of people condemning me for my views. I have tried to tell the truth as I see it, and I'm sure that some here will have a much different opionion. That's fine with me, but I have actually LIVED this, and some who post here have only read things that are basically untrue.

Yes, farm life is truly wonderful. My wife and I lived on a farm and raised 4 great kids. Two are now doctors, and one is a schoolteacher. The other son is still in college. I feel that the experience of living on a farm gave them the work ethic to persevere and excel in college. They also helped to deliver countless baby pigs, calves, lambs, kittens, etc. This couldn't have hurt them when the older ones got into medical school. They were also EMT's on our local ambulance service when they were in high school, snd I feel that may have helped also.

Anyway, I LOVE Montana. We have visited Glacier Park a couple of times, and also enjoyed stopping in many of your little towns on the way. The people in Montana are very much like South Dakotans; friendly, honest (almost to a fault), and willing to do anything to help someone who needs it.

Thanks again for your nice post,,,,,,,,,jhm47

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#78142 - 04/20/08 06:14 PM Re: scratch vs. laying feed?
Ridekool Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 313
Loc: Canada
I agree, without some kind of pestisides/herbicides farmers would have a bugger of a time...more so then they do now (all my uncles farm; beef, dairy and/or hogs) 100% organic grains sound great...but my birds play in the fields AFTER they get sprayed (bad I know, but they just don't listen) Having them eat 'normal' grains is fine by me...easier on my bank account too smile

A big THANK YOU to all the farmers out there. My critters thank you for feeding them and I thank you for feeding me smile

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#78143 - 04/20/08 06:31 PM Re: scratch vs. laying feed?
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
Biofuel is now making an impact on chicken feed "down-under" It has risen by 10% in just the last week. Bread varies between $2.00 and $4.00 a loaf depending on the grain content, and milk is almost the same price as Chanel #5. laugh No, I'm exagerating slightly here! :p It's $4.50 for 2 Litres in the supermarket, for standard milk and dearer at dairies and gas stations. I get it at fruit world where it is still $1 cheaper.

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#78144 - 04/21/08 06:53 AM Re: scratch vs. laying feed?
M. Molaison Offline
Feather

Registered: 04/11/08
Posts: 20
Loc: Georgia
jhm- I got to laughing at your post. I think it's rather funny how freaked out people get over "genetically modified" corn- what they don't realize is, EVERYTHING THEY EAT is genetically modified unless they're harvesting it from the wild!!!!!!!

Man has been genetically modifying the plants and animals we raise for food (and keep for pleasure or work) since the first humans settled and became farmers. Look at the wild ancestors of today's vegetables and fruits and tell me we haven't genetically modified them. Corn, for instance, looks nothing like it's wild ancestors.

Look at our dogs and cats. Have you ever seen a wild Jersey cow? Well, how do you reckon today's domestic animals came to be? We messed with their genetics, that's how. We just did it the old-fashioned way, and took centuries or more to do it, instead of using modern science and doing it in months or years. The end result is the same- the plant or animal has a special trait we humans like, that makes it "better" in some way.

And don't even get me started on "organic" farming- I think you and I are in agreement on that topic! It strikes me as particularly funny because, from a Chemist's point if view, almost ALL the fertilizers and pesticides we use, whether natural or man-made, are ORGANIC compounds, by the scientific definition of the word.

Ok sorry, waaaay off topic but I just couldn't resist...

Melissa

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#78145 - 04/21/08 07:30 AM Re: scratch vs. laying feed?
IPF Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 466
Loc: Canada
GM (genetically modified), like organic, has taken on a meaning distinct from the original dictionary meaning of the word. "Genetic modification" is generally accepted (both popularly and scientifically) to mean that the organism has been altered by genetic engineering in the laboratory, most often by the insertion of DNA from another (often unrelated) organism. This is where roundup-ready canola comes from, or Bt (caterpillar-killling) corn; also that glow-in-the-dark tobacco that hit the news a while back. Those big un-tasty tomatoes and the cows that give gallons of milk a day are not the result of laboratory tinkering, but simply, generation after generation, folks saying "let's keep the seed from that nice big one for next year's crop", or "lets cross our best milking cow with the neighbour's bull; his bull's sisters all give lots of milk too". Of course the process is intensified in modern breeding programs, but that's all that's happening - selected individuals mated to other selected individuals, then the the "better" (by whatever measure you choose to use) offspring are retained to provide the next breedding population. Over long periods, these differences in degree become differences in kind, and the tomato you see in Safeway doesn't much resemble its ancestor. However it is not "genetically modified" in the currently accepted meaning of the word.
If choosing a mate you like the look of, or keeping the offspring with the best traits for your breeding stock, is genetic engineering, we all do do it. (Did you marry a random man or woman?) But it isn't.

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#78146 - 04/22/08 07:47 AM Re: scratch vs. laying feed?
M. Molaison Offline
Feather

Registered: 04/11/08
Posts: 20
Loc: Georgia
I do see it as genetic engineering, just a more primitive form. Just IMO, I suppose. I know better than to think everyone is going to share my POV! smile

Look at it like this- we can selectively breed a plant to have desirable traits, and over many generations we will eventually achieve the pest resistance, or larger size, or herbicide resistance. It just takes a long time. OR we can go into the laboratory and quickly modify the plant's genetic code to accomplish the same end. Either way, you've engineered the genetic material of that plant to be the way you want it to.

We're all entitled to our opinions... I honestly wouldn't want everyone to agree, because the result of disagreement is often innovation, and that can be good for everyone! smile

Have a nice day smile

Melissa

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