Monday, July 5, 2010

Arsenic in feed

Arsenic, in the form of a chemical added to chicken feed called roxarsone, has turned up in people who eat the eggs, The feed manufacturer claims that the company doesn't use any arsenic compounds in its feed. However, when the chickens were fed another feed they were sure didn't have arsenic in it, and the kids ate those eggs, their arsenic levels declined.

This presents a problem for small flock keepers. How do you know what's in the feed you buy? Do you have to buy organic feed, at a much higher price, or raise your own to be confident?

In the meantime, here's a recipe for chicken feed from my book:

This regimen has been successfully used by traditional poultry keepers for many years:

Start chicks on a mixture of starter crumbs and finely chopped hard boiled eggs for two weeks. This is a good use for infertile hatching eggs.

At two weeks of age, add chick grit, wheat and finely cracked corn. Gradually decrease the amount of chick starter until it is only about half the ration at three months of age. Then mix of a ration of:

5 lbs. wheat
1 lb. corn
1 lb. barley
1 lb. oats
1 lb. black oil sunflower seeds
1 lb. buckwheat

Mix half and half with grower crumble starting at three months of age. At six months, transition to half and half layer pellets.

I'll be visiting with King Feeds in King City tomorrow, July 6. The original reason for the meeting was to discuss their plant conversion to organic standards. I'll ask about arsenic compounds and report back.

No comments: