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Re: Natural forages for poultry

Hi Gregg

Nice post!

Well you can just dump the soft stuff in with the animals, though it may be
easier to fence out the areas where they can't run than to keep lugging stuff
to them.  whatever.  We are getting an old camping tralier (read caravan in
other contries) abandoned on a place we are buying next to ours.  I plan to
use it as a portable chicken coop, eventually drawn from place to place with
an Asian water buffalo.  (There is a small third wheel on the front drawbar
jack that I will replace with a larger one or maybe a double wheel like an
old John Deer).  

Busting up black walnuts is a job.  I've asked several engineering friends to
design a wind powerd hammer that would do this but thus far no luck.  I'd see
the deal as adding the husked nuts to the hopper and as the wind draws the
hammer up a few nuts are delivered into the smashum chamber.  then the hammer
falls.  It doesn't have to pulverize the nuts, just open them so the chickens
can peck out the stuff.  As the hammer rises, the crushed nuts get dropped or
expelled, the smashem chamber closes, more nuts get delivered to it, etc.
  Kinda like an internal combustion engine, isn't it.

If there is a permaculture engineer out there somewhere, please work this
out.  I avoid actually inventing things whenever possible.  The device needs
to be able to keep chickens away from where the nuts are crushed or we'll be
crushing chicken heads too.  If one has enough wind, continual operation is
unimportant.  The nuts aren't the only feed.

We have a species of oak that drops acorns a bit bigger than 00 buckshot.  I
figure turkeys for sure and maybe chickens will eat them too.  Somewhat
larger acrons, about the size of a 16 guage slug, are being eaten by our
calves now.  I figure to grow patches of grain and let the chickens go in
them and to move the m about with the mobile home to the locations where I
want them to clean up.  I'm going to experiment with electric fence and heavy
breeds for keeping them in the target areas.  Since we are new here, I'm
currious as to how many we will lose to alligators.  

Also, I hope to develop a parabolic solar cooker for cooking predators that I
catch stalking or killing my poultry (e.g. racoons--I can only eat so many of
these.)  I'll cook 'em up and feed them to the chickens.  I heard somewhere
that everyathing works both ways."  We also plan hackberry, wild plum,
partridge berry, mulberry, etc., as part of the forage, plus running birds
after cattle to get the goodies that inhabit the manure pats. (egrets, move

We published an issue of our journal, TIPSY, on poultry forage a while back.
 We still have copies.  Email me privately for details.

For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since
1982), Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and now correspondence
permaculture training by email. Copyright, 1996, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway, P.O.
Box 2052, Ocala FL 34478 USA  YankeePerm@aol.com  

We don't have time to rush.

In a message dated 1/15/97 7:54:35 PM, gregj9@intellinet.com (Greg Jarrett)

>I would be very interested in others' experiences with feeding nuts and
>other tree crops to poultry.  I want to integrate a small flock of chickens
>into our market garden area, so they will generally not be free-ranging, but
>I would like to reduce our dependence on corn & soybeans for feed.  We are
>in the Ozarks, and so have a lot of black walnut, hickory, honey locust,
>mulberry and persimmon trees.  
>How much of a layer ration can you build out of mast?  How about for
>broilers?  Is it a reasonable outlay of time and energy to gather and grind
>(hammer mill?) enough nuts to make a dent in your feed bill?  Any experience
>you might share with me on this would be helpful.  I have read some of the
>permaculture literature on this, but don't know any of the practical facts
>about it other than that hens do love a black walnut if you crack it for
>Any other feed alternatives to corn/soy would also be of interest.
>This is my first post, so tell me if I screwed up somehow.
>Greg Jarrett
>Fox, Arkansas  USA