cabinover wrote:................................. but almost impossible to hard boil and peel when fresh. Give them a couple weeks before trying or you'll be frustrated..............................
A tip that makes them very easy to peel. Be sure the water is boiling when you drop in the eggs. Drop them in one at a time. If it quits boiling before all the eggs are in--STOP. Cook those and bring the water to a boil for the second batch. The thermal shock of cold eggs into boiling water breaks the bond of the shell and makes them peel very easy.
Second tip that works after cooking as above, place your hard boiled eggs in a plastic container with a lid and shake for a few seconds. Open it up and remove your already peeled eggs.
We used the layer mash pellets from Tractor Supply, didn't like them. There is a local feed mill about a half hour away from me. The feed is ground fresh every week. They sell crumble, not pellets. It costs less per bag, the birds like it better, and they actually eat less because it is more nutritious. Not as convenient, but worth it IMO. I would encourage others to look for something similar nearby.
I store the feed in a stainless steel drum. I built a feed and water dispenser using a five gallon food grade plastic bucket and 15 inch galvanized hog pan from Tractor Supply. For the water I drilled a 3/4 inch hole in the bucket lid for filling, and a 1/4 inch hole in the side of the bucket about three inches from the top. Fill the hog pan and bucket with water, set the bucket in the hog pan upside down. That leaves a ring of water all the way around they can drink from, but they can not bath in it. A piece of plywood about two feet diameter or two feet square set on top of the bucket and weighted down with half a cinder block keeps them from defecating into the water when they sit on top. For winter, set it on a cinder block with a light bulb inside the hole in the cinder block to prevent freezing.
The feeder is similar. A plastic bucket with several 1 1/2 inch holes drilled in the side near the bottom. A hog pan with a wood block inside and secured with screws through the bottom. Set the bucket upright on top of the wood block and secure it with screws through the bottom of the bucket into the wood block. Remove the lid to fill it with feed, then close it back up. The feed will gravity out the holes into the pan as needed. Again, this leaves a ring of feed they can access but not be able to soil. And the plywood/cinder block on top keeps them from messing up the feed in the pan.
I bought the galvanized pans at Tractor Supply for less than $3.00 each, but now I cant find them on the web site. Here is a link to Amazon that is similar to what I used, but the price with shipping is a little excessive.https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing ... dition=new