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Over the winter, 20 birds will go through a $6.85 bag of layer pellets in about 10 days, about $2.00 worth of cracked corn, and another $2.50 in straw.
Over 10 days, the hens produce about 12 dozen sellable eggs.
It literally takes me less than 15 min a day to care for my flock, even when we're raising chicks.
The Romanov sheep are from the Voga Valley, northwest of Moscow. Genetically unique to British and North American breeds of sheep, the Romanov is a "pure gene," not a "cross" of anything. They are HIGH PERFORMANCE sheep producing quads, quintuplets and even sextuplets; this is normal performance for a ROMANOV EWE. The North American record is seven live healthy lambs, the breed record is nine! Romanovs reach sexual maturity by the time they are 3 - 4 months old, they will breed any month of the year and combined with the aggressiveness of the newborns allow for a very high production ewe.
Sheep producers in Australia, United States and western Canada have successfully used donkeys as guard animals, protecting sheep from predation by wolves, coyotes and dogs. The Ontario Predator Study reported that about 70% of the donkeys being used, were rated as either excellent or good in terms of providing flock protection.
In order for donkeys to provide the best predator protection possible it is important to first understand how they protect the flock. The livestock guard animal, regardless of species, is really no different than a security guard, in that in order to provide protection they must both be in the right place at the right time. The more time the guard animals spends with the flock the more likely it will be present when needed. The donkey's natural herding instinct means if properly bonded to the sheep, it will stay with the sheep most of the time. The donkey's herding instinct combined with its inherent dislike and aggressiveness towards coyotes and dogs, can make it an effective livestock guard animal ... if managed properly.
Donkeys rely predominantly on sight and sound to detect intruders. When approached, sheep will tend to move so the guard animal is between the intruder and themselves. The donkeys' loud brays and quick pursuit will scare away predators and may also alert the shepherd. In most instances donkeys will confront and chase dogs or coyotes out of the pasture. If the canines do not retreat quickly the donkeys will attack them by rising up on their hind legs and striking with both front feet. A solid blow can injure, kill or at the very least discourage the predator.
And last, I will add some preprinted/laminated signs on bardbed wire barricades labeling the area "CDC Avian Flu Culling Area" with some biohazard symbols and an explanation that the area is contaminated with Avian FLu due to chicken culling. After all, with no modern communication people would have to take it serious.