I believe that if someone were to do a study on the intellectual prowess of farmers they would find that their levels of ingenuity and creativity are higher than average. In order to keep costs down, make due with what they have and put food on the table farmers are constantly trying to come up with new and improved methods of doing ordinary things. The creation and testing of hypothesis’ is constant.
My scientific experiment of the week was testing whether my chickens would drink goats milk and whether it would effect their health or laying abilities. I have read conflicting reports about chickens drinking milk – and there is an old saying that if chickens were meant to drink milk they would have nipples. I read a few other blog posts about chickens enjoying the occasion milk treat without adverse effects, but at the same time there is definite scientific evidence that chickens don’t have the digestive system to properly digest milk and that it would give them diarrhea (which can be helpful if trying to flush out the digestive track, especially if coccidiosis is a concern). Since I recently had a sick chicken (with what I suspected as coccidiosis) I figured I would give it a shot since a little cleanse couldn’t hurt. Additionally, since goat milk is more digestible than cow milk I thought (and later read in a chicken forum) that it may not have the same laxative effects that cow milk does.
It was incredibly entertaining watching them drink their milk (see video below). By the end of breakfast they all had milk mustaches and a full belly. Later that day, my five chickens rewarded my ingenuity with FIVE large eggs which is three more than I have been getting. Maybe its a simple coincidence but it sure made me happy. I will be watching for signs of diarrhea or any other complication in the next few days and will report back.