If you notice the lighter colored area, that is all moss. Just after I noticed the circle a few minutes ago, all of a sudden 8 hens and the rooster came running over to it. So I got a few shots of them working. I love it!
So I should probably tell the reason why my chickens free range. Aluminum. What?! Aluminum in their commercial feed. WHAT?!?! YUP. I had some blood work done last year and they found my aluminum levels dangerously high. Well after I did some investigating online, I discovered a family in Utah suffering from aluminum poisoning also. Turns out, they linked it to the eggs they were eating. Their chickens were not let out, they were only fed bagged feed. Well, their feed was tested and turns out it has aluminum in it. AND the FDA has approved this practice!
As most know, whatever an animal eats, that is what is in its meat. .or in this case meat and eggs. Well, I didn't have to worry about eggs during winter as they stop laying for 2 months, but during this time, we finished using up our feed in bag and as usual still gave them kitchen scraps. And we kept them cooped during winter due to all the rain. Wet chickens are pathetic and they take shelter where they can find it when it rains hard, including on my front porch! YUCK! I don't like chicken shiz. It stinks, it sticks, and it is slippery!
So, when the feed was gone, I started giving them some of my grains that seemed to be starting to turn a little rancid. And yes, still giving them chickens scraps daily. They actually liked this better! They started eating better, had more energy, and started scratching more.
Finally the rains let up enough to let them out. They followed me as I shook the grain container, and we went to a mossy patch somewhere on the property where I would sprinkle the grain. And they would find every morsel, and bugs and other fun things to eat. Including WEEDS!! Hurray!! The best part? The eggs have rich dark orange yolks, and the eggs taste amazing! The flavor is just amazing!
Trying to be self sustaining is hard, you have to sustain it! Gardens, animals, home.. wow.. but you know, if my ancestors could do it without power.. I can definitely do it with power, and then if I have to, I can do it without. Either way, it makes me much more comfortable knowing how to do what I am learning.
We have been doing chickens for 12 years now. WOW, 12 years!! I have butchered chickens, I have cooked chicken, and we have collected hundreds and hundreds of eggs. And we love it!