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Red Mites in the Poultry houses - as the weather warms up, you need to take preventative measures to control these insects.  They don't generally live on the birds, so you probably won't see them during the day - they normally live in the cracks and crevices of the house, especially any gaps down by the end of a perch.  They come out after dark, once the chickens are roosting, crawling out to find the birds & sucking their blood - nasty!
There's two ways of controlling these beasties - either mechanical/organic means or chemical.  The mechanical means is using something like DE/Diatom(Diatomaceous Earth) .  There's a really good article about how to use DE on the PoultryNZ website.
If you choose the chemical means, be aware that its generally accepted that eventually you could well get chemical resistant red mites - also you need to be careful using these chemicals, for yourself and your birds - but I find if you've got a heavy infestation, I roll out the chemical warfare and once I've broken the back of it, then you can look at swapping to a mechanical means of control.

But the bottom line is, get onto sooner rather than later, red mites are a nightmare if left.


Hi Ian,

Just letting you know that, after feeding our Appleyard breeding group of 5 ducks and two drakes,  for three weeks, with your Heritage Breeder pellets, prior to collecting eggs for the incubator, we got 23 ducklings hatched out of 24 eggs.   We had 100% fertility and a major increase in hatchability of the eggs from these ducks, through feeding them with your product.
 
Last year, also using your Heritage Breeder pellets, we got 15 ducklings from 21 eggs, which I thought wasn't bad going, as the previous year, when the ducks were on ordinary laying pellets from another feed mill, we got 6 ducklings out of 24 eggs and 7 of the eggs had been infertile.
 
So I reckon the recipe you use in the Heritage Breeder pellets must be the main reason we got such a good hatch this year.
 
The remaining duckling was backwards in the shell and even though I opened the shell and lifted it's head out, so it could breathe properly, it later died.   As often happens with backward presentations.
 
Anyway, just thought you be interested to know how we got on.  I've put a posting on the LifeStyle Block Forum, about the excellent hatch we got after using your product.  I figured your company deserved the publicity. :-)
 
All the best,
Inger Keymer
 
 
Thanks  Inger    
Always nice to get such feedback.   We are always tweaking our recipes to try and improve,  as you can see by the results this year from the previous.  We have a couple of new recipes on trial which will be on the market soon.....  so watch this space   
Thanks again Benj and Ian



Feed what’s required not what’s available
By  Ian Duker
Ever read the ongoing concerns from poultry enthusiasts on various chat sites and from the breeding and showing fraternity about the problems of poor fertility, disappointing hatching, dead in the shell chicks, weak chickens and infertile roosters.  It goes on and on, year after year.  Why is this happening and how can we help remedy this situation?
First, let’s step back and have a look at “WHY”.
After Breeding, Showing and Judging Poultry & Waterfowl over a number of years this has always been a major concern to me as to why the birds on display are so far away from The New Zealand Poultry Standard in type, size, general health, dull plumage, smutty feather markings etc. It is so often easily blame on our small limited gene pool but I say lets improve and work with what we have instead of simply making excuses. Determined to start somewhere and frustrated at the lack of helpful remedial advice and practical knowledge from a lot of so called and self proclaimed experts in this fraternity I decided to look further afield to people with no hidden agendas.
Looking outside the square I found three or four people only too willing to share their specialised expert knowledge, experiences and life’s long passion and commitments to poultry, waterfowl and the like.
I’d like to share with you some of what I have learnt from my “Learned Friends”
Parts of it you may not like or agree with, find it harsh or the like but the overall result I think is very rewarding and understandable and very worthwhile considering as to trying to get the Standard and general health of our birds back on track. Keep in mind this is in my view and any positive ideas and discussion is very welcome via our website www.feedmemilling.co.nz  thanks.
In this article I intend only to focus on Birds but we are also doing the same with a lot of success with most other animals. Scientifically formulated feed for these animals is also available.
             1; FEED WHAT THE BIRD NEEDS NOT WHATS AVAILABLE
So many of us (I used to do it) go into the nearest Feed Store and for various reasons buy what’s available or in the “monthly specials” and say that will do.  Most of the poultry feed available is professionally and expertly made for laying hens. A very good feed for layers but as a lot of us are not only in this interest and hobby for eggs, we also want our Heritage Poultry to look pristine, healthy, happy and well prepared in the best possible condition for laying, breeding and in some cases showing. This is when a couple of years ago I decided to build our own Feed Mill and teamed up with Benj one of my sons to see if we could set about manufacturing what we believe a more suitable feed.
           2; DIFFERENT FEEDS FOR DIFFERENT STAGES FOR THE BIRDS
I was once explained by one of my “Learned Friends” and it has always stuck in my mind that feeding Layer Pellets (which are most suited for commercial layers like Brown Shaver and Hyline Brown which produce an egg a day for their limited productive life expectancy) in comparison it is like feeding Race Horse Feed to a Clydesdale....it doesn’t work.
We have through our two well known and proven expert poultry and bird nutritionists got recipes for different stages of our bird’s development.
      A; Breeding/Mating.......it is most important that the correct feed is fed at this stage. When pairing up for mating we have found that with our breeder mix being fed as recommended it  is not only producing good fertility but also building a strong embryo which is resulting in trouble free hatching and strong chickens. One of our many feed backs we had recently was that after not being able to get Clucky Hens and time running out as to what he regarded as time to sit the eggs he decided to try his incubator which he had given up on a few years ago, sat 48 eggs and hatched 47 healthy chickens. Another person made the comment that never before had he not only got close to 100% hatching but they were so healthy he said he could of put a straight edge over the top of their heads with no gaps they were so even in size. That brings me to another point that there are two crucial stages in a chicken life that should be taken into account if you are wanting to improve the standard of your birds
Firstly at time of hatching and at 10 weeks of age; All birds showing any sign of weakness, deformity, smaller or a lot larger than the others as well as those that don’t hatch on the given day, i.e. 21 days for most chooks, 18 for bantams and 28 days for ducks etc. should not be kept for the purpose of improving your flock. If you do you are only locking in breeding, hatching and development faults. These birds will never develop or catch up to the others no matter how they are treated or what they are fed.
      B; Hatching to 10 weeks of age...... we have two crumbles formulated for this important stage.
“Coxi Chic”......this product has a low level of a coxistac medication included. (not to be feed to young waterfowl and the like}
As in most occasions coccidiosis out-breaks occur as a result of and lack of good management control.
Therefore we have included a low level of medication in this mix to help the chicken from getting an attack but not high enough to stop the chickens own immune system to develop.  If you are unfortunate and your chickens do suffer a bad attack of coccidiosis it can be treated by adding Coxiprol at the recommended rate to their water as soon as the first signs are noticed. Even though these chicks if caught and treated soon enough can be saved they will never recover completely and  their laying and breeding will be seriously affected. I would strongly recommend these birds never be used to breed with.
“Crumble”....this product has no medication included and is suited to waterfowl etc and those people who for personal reasons don’t want to feed any medicated crumble to their chicks.
Crumbles of all types should be of consistent size and as free as possible of dust and fine particles.
Both these crumbles have been formulated as being suitable for turkeys, quail, pheasants, geese and the like as well.
     C; Grower Pellet (10 weeks to point of lay)
At about this time of a Birds development it is paramount that the feed diets are changed so as to prepare the bird to its best possible condition for its adult stage of life.
Such is our “Grower Pellet” so designed.
If you start feeding layer pellets before the bird is ready to lay at this crucial development stage it will have a detrimental effect on the birds later performance and well being
      D; Heritage Layer Pellets ... these pellets are formulated specifically for these birds with the view of their overall needs to perform happily to their best possible results. i.e. they live longer, lay more eggs and for longer and look healthier as well
      E; Cockerel/Cock Pellet....ever wondered why some of your male birds awkwardly strut around stiff legged like they are on show in some military parade,  some combs are so big and pulpy they look ridiculous and some seem lifeless, clumsy and no attitude or randiness at mating time or in the show pen. So you put it down to being “infertile” or just “the breed”, but no feeding the wrong feed can and does attribute majorly to these problems. Feed our “Cockerel/Cock Pellet” and experience the difference.
     F; Show Finisher Pellet.... this pellet fed as per instructions will put the final preparation into your birds to be the envy of all your neighbours, friends,  visitors or competitors at any show or display. These pellets do not affect the laying performance of birds.

SUMMARY; At Feed Me Milling we are genuinely working to manufacture feed that is to the poultry or animals requirement for its best possible performance, condition and wellbeing. We are constantly researching old specialised mixes and advice and including them in our feed mixes where practical.  
 
 


Manawatu Poultry & Pigeon show successes for birds fed on Feed Me Milling feeds....



“Thank you to Feed Me Milling. Healthy and successful show birds at the Manawatu Poultry Show - Sandra”



We have Chicken Layer pellets,  Breeders mix, A multi Layer mix. In fact we can formulate a feed for whatever bird you desire.

Heritage Layer pellets - the standard layer pellet is an excellent feed for a bird that produces an egg a day for their expected lifespan (about a year).  But as a lot of us are breeding Heritage poultry with a different focus, not only egg production, but a happy healthy hen who will be producing rich quality eggs (approx 200 eggs per year) and for a longer natural life expectancy.  Our Heritage Layer pellets are also suitable for the Commercial layers (such as Hyline or Shaver) but you will notice a notable improvement in their overall health and general appearance.  Some of these birds we are using for breeding, which leads us onto our next feed....

 Breeder's Mix - this has got all the quality of the Heritage Layers mix (and can be used for these birds), but with extra vitamins and minerals, to a view of producing an egg which has the vitality and strength to hatch.  Feedback from the Breeder's mix is that its producing a healthy embryo resulting in good strong chicks that hatch on time and do well.


There are two chicken feeds available, which can also be used for meat birds, quail, turkeys, pheasants, guinea fowl with a higher protein level - recommended to feed till approx. 10 weeks old.  These feeds are a crumble with minimal dust.



Coxi Chick - this feed has a coccidiostat in it
Crumble - this feed does not have a coccidiostat - this is recommended for feeding to waterfowl (ducklings etc), or for personal preference.

Grower pellets - this mix has been formulated to feed after the chicken Crumble stage to the point of lay (when the first eggs are produced).  It lays down the foundation for good body development for egg and breeding production.


Layer Multi and a Grower Multi - this is for the owner who wants to see the whole grains in their feeds - it has 50% pellets and 50% grains, which is a mix of kibbled maize, barley, peas, wheat and molasses.
The straight Pellet mix is a complete diet and people must be aware that adding kibbled grain does reduce the nutritional value of the feed.




Poultry Show dates for the North Island (and specialty clubs) 2017:
Wellington    May 13/14   (NZ Waterfowl, Pied Budgerigar, Silkie Club of NZ)
Taranaki       May 20/21  (NZ Wyandotte)
Whangarei    May 27/28   (Australorp/Langshan/Rock Club & Mediterranean Club)
Hastings        June 3/4     (NZ Show Homer Society, Silkie Club of NZ)
Manawatu     June 10/11  (Dutch Breeds Club, NI Game Club, NZ Orpington)  
Wairarapa     June 17/18  
Auckland      July 1/2         (Pied Budgerigar)
Waikato        July 15/16     (NZ Pekin, Rhode Island Red, Rosecomb/Sebright)

These shows will have Heritage breeds on show and there will be poultry for sale as well.

Poultry Show dates for the South Island 2018 (proposed)

West Coast           12th & 13th May
Timaru                  19th & 20th May
North Canterbury  25th & 26th May
Dunedin                26th & 27th May
Nelson                  2nd & 3rd June                   
Milton                   8th & 9th June
Ashburton            15th & 16th June
Christchurch         22nd & 23rd June
UPFA                   22nd & 23rd June
Waimate               6th & 7th July
Invercargill           14th & 15th July
Oamaru                20th & 21st July
If you need more information on the shows, please contact us.



The local A & P shows quite often have poultry on show
North Island shows are listed at:
http://www.showdayonline.com/index.php?country=New%20Zealand&state=North%20Island
South Island shows are listed at:
http://www.showdayonline.com/index.php?country=New%20Zealand&state=South%20island

Note:  Kumeu & the Auckland Easter show have poultry, with birds for sale at Kumeu


Raising Ducks on Feed Me Milling feeds:

ducklings - feed chick crumble (no coxi)
ducklings (once big enough to eat a pellet) - feed grower pellets
adult ducks - Heritage Layer or Breeder pellet

Khaki Campbells (proficient egg laying breed) raised on Feed Me Milling feed