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What is the best food to feed chickens

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I was wondering what the best food to feed chickens is, right now I am feeding standard lay ration pellets but I'm not sure how much it is doing for my chickens is there anything that I should or could feed to my chickens that they could benefit from?

Roman

MY Chickens: Golden henfeathered Campines, Dark Brahmas, Self Blue Dutch bantams, Barred Rocks, Exchequer Leghorns, Partridge Rock bantams, White, Black & Black Tailed Buff Japanese bantams, Welsummers, Australorps, Red Pyle, Silver Duckwing, Golden Duckwing, Black Breasted Red, Crele OEG bantams, Black Minorcas, Hungarian Yellows, Bob White Quail, Button Quail and Oriental Frill Pigeons.
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MY Chickens: Golden henfeathered Campines, Dark Brahmas, Self Blue Dutch bantams, Barred Rocks, Exchequer Leghorns, Partridge Rock bantams, White, Black & Black Tailed Buff Japanese bantams, Welsummers, Australorps, Red Pyle, Silver Duckwing, Golden Duckwing, Black Breasted Red, Crele OEG bantams, Black Minorcas, Hungarian Yellows, Bob White Quail, Button Quail and Oriental Frill Pigeons.
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post #2 of 11

I was told by my local Farmer's Co-op that gamebird feed was best because it is high protein.  I bought a little sack of powered/crushed oyster shells to add to the feed, just a little mixed in. 
I'm learning right now, but thought I'd share what I was told.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

thanks I am using oyster shell now and I was told to try adding turkey starter or dry cat food for protein.

MY Chickens: Golden henfeathered Campines, Dark Brahmas, Self Blue Dutch bantams, Barred Rocks, Exchequer Leghorns, Partridge Rock bantams, White, Black & Black Tailed Buff Japanese bantams, Welsummers, Australorps, Red Pyle, Silver Duckwing, Golden Duckwing, Black Breasted Red, Crele OEG bantams, Black Minorcas, Hungarian Yellows, Bob White Quail, Button Quail and Oriental Frill Pigeons.
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MY Chickens: Golden henfeathered Campines, Dark Brahmas, Self Blue Dutch bantams, Barred Rocks, Exchequer Leghorns, Partridge Rock bantams, White, Black & Black Tailed Buff Japanese bantams, Welsummers, Australorps, Red Pyle, Silver Duckwing, Golden Duckwing, Black Breasted Red, Crele OEG bantams, Black Minorcas, Hungarian Yellows, Bob White Quail, Button Quail and Oriental Frill Pigeons.
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post #4 of 11

right now I am feeding standard lay ration pellets but I'm not sure how much it is doing for my chickens


Well, it's keeping them alive and healthy, what more are you *expecting* it to do? tongue

Seriously, I'm not sure what you mean "best" -- best how?

"Most likely to be nutritionally complete?" For that IMO your best strategy is to feed mostly a good commercial ration but also let them free range and/or supplement with a not-excessive quantity of a wide variety of plant/vegetable/fruit/meat scraps. And offer a calcium source free-choice (crushed oystershell, or their own eggshells dried and crushed and fed back, or both)

"Most like their diet in nature?" That would be free ranging, but it doesn't work in all situations b/c of predators etc and in many places chickens cannot get a year-round sufficient/balanced diet just from free ranging, especially if you have a goodly number of chickens.

"Least likely to contain manmade things that you find objectionable?" That would probably be a home-mixed ration compounded intelligently out of organic grains (i.e. don't just make something up, use a proven, published formula and/or learn a whole lot about poultry nutrition so you can exercise good judgement (this may include having the component grains analyzed, as different crops of a given grain will have different nutritional content). However it is harder to balance this nutritionally for micronutrients and you may face some difficult choices regarding getting the protein content high enough.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat

post #5 of 11

I finally found a feed store that sells Purina Layena. Its all vegetarian feed. No animal byproducts.
I use the pellets.

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12Under1Roof 

I finally found a feed store that sells Purina Layena. Its all vegetarian feed. No animal byproducts.
I use the pellets.


"Animal byproducts" is hardly desirable, I agree, but chickens are omnivores, so I prefer a feed that has animal protein, like fish meal.

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

Reply
post #7 of 11

Oats and mealworms are good for them.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys!

Pat, I was asking about what foods to feed them that would be nutritionally complete, lay ration has been keeping them alive and well but I just wanted to know if there was anything better that I could be giving them that they could benefit from.

MY Chickens: Golden henfeathered Campines, Dark Brahmas, Self Blue Dutch bantams, Barred Rocks, Exchequer Leghorns, Partridge Rock bantams, White, Black & Black Tailed Buff Japanese bantams, Welsummers, Australorps, Red Pyle, Silver Duckwing, Golden Duckwing, Black Breasted Red, Crele OEG bantams, Black Minorcas, Hungarian Yellows, Bob White Quail, Button Quail and Oriental Frill Pigeons.
Reply
MY Chickens: Golden henfeathered Campines, Dark Brahmas, Self Blue Dutch bantams, Barred Rocks, Exchequer Leghorns, Partridge Rock bantams, White, Black & Black Tailed Buff Japanese bantams, Welsummers, Australorps, Red Pyle, Silver Duckwing, Golden Duckwing, Black Breasted Red, Crele OEG bantams, Black Minorcas, Hungarian Yellows, Bob White Quail, Button Quail and Oriental Frill Pigeons.
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post #9 of 11

The lay ration will contain some sort of calcium supplement anyways.  It is a complete nutrionally balanced  feed for laying hens.

Mine is a 17% protein feed &  the instructions state to FEED AS THE SOLE RATION TO LAYING HENS

In other words, nutrionally this meets an egg laying hens complete requirements.

My birds are strictly show birds & yes they get to freerange & get treats such as sunflower seeds & grapes.

I do offer oyster shell as a free choice item, & grit, since my birds spend the winters entirely indoors in a controlled environment.

No need to reinvent the wheel if your birds are already healthy IMO.


Edited by LittleChickenRacingTeam - 7/23/09 at 3:41pm
post #10 of 11

free range i probably trhe best

weather will be weather,   weather ya like it , or not
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weather will be weather,   weather ya like it , or not
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