My Favourite Things
This month we invited JULIE MOORE to select her favourite henkeeping products
My chickens aren’t lavished with expensive products as I wish them to live as natural a life as possible. Over the years, I’ve recreated an ecosystem that is as close to the natural habitat experienced by their ancestors, Gallus gallus. The products that I’ve chosen really make my life easier caring for my flock.
1.Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (‘ACV’) With The ‘Mother’
As I adopt a natural approach to the care and maintenance of my flock, I give ACV as a general all-round health tonic. As well as being loaded with vitamins, minerals and trace elements, it helps to promote healthy gut flora and aid digestion. ACV also improves feathers and shell quality under normal temperatures. Using ACV in waterers helps to reduce slime and bacteria growth as well as increasing the palatability of the water. Never use ACV in anything metal as it will cause corrosion.
Use raw, unpasteurised ACV with the ‘Mother’ (live bacteria and yeast) — pasteurising vinegar kills the good bacteria and yeast. Don’t buy ACV from the supermarket as this is generally pasteurised.
Add 20ml of ACV per litre of fresh water. If you’re using ACV for the first time, it’s beneficial to give the above dosage for 10 to 14 days to establish healthy gut flora. Follow this with maintenance periods of either two days per week or one week per month. Where to buy: A litre of unpasteurised ACV for poultry made from organic British apples can be purchased from durham-hens-poultry-supplies. co.uk/organic-apple-cider-vinegar-1l-187-p.asp for £4.99.
2. Oyster Shell
To ensure that my hens get the calcium requirements they need to produce strong eggshells, I offer oyster shell as free choice in a separate dispenser from their feed.
Each hen has different calcium requirements — I find
ABOVE: I offer oyster shell as free choice