Welcome to my blog - a diary about living with donkeys, notes about care, my training sessions and the absolute pleasure of donkey companionship.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

New Diet for the Hens

I was given a wonderful little book recently called Fresh Eggs Daily by Lisa Steele.
She's a chicken farmer and also a herbalist and it's this combination that really excites me!  She grows and uses herbs for a wide variety of things - to encourage egg laying, to discourage parasites, to freshen the coop, keep flies away and improve the nutrition and general health of the flock.

I don't have a big stash of dried herbs at the moment, although I do grow quite a variety.  But this is definitely on my list for this year.  Grwo more, dry more!

One thing I have done though is mix up a feed based on what she calls the "Breakfast of Champion Layers!"

While it certainly adds to the cost of the feed, it feels so wonderful to be offering this to my merry band of ten hens. And it will improve the quality of the eggs for sure.

Here's what I mixed up yesterday:

To a big bag of 16% Organic Layer Mash, I added:
  1. Hulled sunflower seeds (Purchased in the wild bird feed department)
  2. Organic whole oats
  3. Cracked corn
  4. Flax seed
  5. Food grade Diatamaceous Earth (personally I would never feed this to mammals but the hens can handle it)
  6. Brewer's yeast
I have a lovely mixed flock made up of  3 Americaunas, 2 Blue Opringtons, 1 Chanticleer, 1 Black Australorpe, 2 Silver Grey Dorkings and 1 Light Brahma.  Here they are enjoying a new batch of feed:

Quite a variety of eggs!


  1. Oh cool! I am going to share this with my friend who has hens.
    Just out of curiosity. . .why would you never feed Diatamaceous Earth? I have never fed it either, but people who do rave about it. I don't know much about it at all.

    1. Hi Allison, I know lots of people that feed Food Grade DE but I just don't feel comfortable with it myself. I don't think there is scientific proof that it works to rid the body of intestinal parasites, so I'd rather do fecal floats and deworm accordingly. The hens eat grit and oyster shell though so I feel they can handle it - just my opinion.

    2. Thank you. I am unconvinced about it, from the bit that I know about it.