Something to Cluck About….

A big thank you to Ev Gilmar who is conducting her own performance trial with ZMM  Z-1 Zeolite at her chicken operation in Salmon Arm, British Columbia. Ev Gilmar has been in the chicken business for many years. Upon her move to Salmon Arm, she built a new chicken facility incorporating all the things she had learned through 23 years of development on Vancouver Island, open-air housing and extensive free-range pasture (with special forage mix formulated expressly for chickens). Her new facility has its own water system and a power supply with enough power to have all the heaters and lighting that may be required.

“The post and beam building has no floor, rather I laid down 8 inches of ¾” drain rock. I was just about to bed it with sand so imagine my delight when I discovered I could buy my beloved zeolite from ZMM Canada Minerals Corp., a local producer, at a price I could afford. Now I could generously bed the whole house with 4 inches of my precious rock! Gone are my humidity problems, no lice or mites, and the air quality is just like outside.  The ‘girls’ seem to love it as much as I do.  They dust in it, peck through it, eat it, and just plain enjoy living in this dry warm chicken palace no matter what the weather. The 1/4 inch zeolite particles hold the droppings up into the air until they are desiccated and become dry powder and disappear. Not only are the droppings air-dried but the zeolite adsorbs the moisture and ammonia. I wait in great anticipation for clean-out time when I can take all of a year’s worth of this nitrogen-rich fertilizing material to my garden area. The large particles break up the clay and let the air in and the nitrogen in the particles slow release as the plants require it. When it rains, the zeolite will adsorb the moisture and again, slow release it as the plants use it, rather than it just soaking away and disappearing, carrying the nutrients with it.”

Ev has a selective breeding program to restore the old Barred Plymouth Rock to former productiveness – both meat and egg. She has tried many different methods of housing, feeding and other maintenance factors in chicken production. She has been successful as her mature roosters now weigh over 10 lb. and the hens average about 7 1/2 – 8 lb. (as opposed to a local show bird maturing at 8 lb. for the males and about 5 1/2 – 6 lb. for the hens). As well, egg production is around 180 – 190 per lay period. These birds are known simply as the “Gilmar Line”.

“My first picture shows some very happy chickens. On October 4, 2017 I bedded this house with 4 inches of -2+4 Zeolite – still dry, no smell, heat gain through day for night release. My chickens bask and dust in dry bedding. Cleaning crew will be called in the spring!”

 

Chicken Heaven – November 14, 2017

Chicken Purgatory – November 14, 2017

“This picture shows conventional management:  This adjacent house, bedded the same day with hay and topped up with more hay three times since – wet, soggy, smelly. The chickens only go in there when there is too much snow on the ground and some roost there at night because the main house is a tad crowded. Really needs cleaning out.