Originally Posted by Fancychooklady
Annie pumpkin and squash seed are quite high in protein. Chicks have a much higher protein requirement , 18-22% but once they reach 20 weeks of age 15-16% is ideal . Protein, amino acids , calcium and phosphorus are crucial for healthy birds. And healthy birds lay healthy eggs. Snacks and table scraps are fine but a well balanced diet should begin with a good quality layer pellet. Scratch or free range mixes don't contain sufficient calcium or protein. For those of us that have mixed flocks ie ; roosters in our flock , it's important to keep the calcium below 2% and offer calcium ' free take ' for the layers.
Again thank you for your reply Fancychooklady ....
I must have given the wrong impression ( although I still think / believe from what I have learned ) that more protein is better when they are moulting. Hence I stop cooked meat, and reduce giving them eggs etc. when they are laying.
The main and absolute source of feed for my girls - approx. 90+ % of food --- is Barastoc Layer Pellets. They get my rice - cooked vegies - rolled oats - bran - my own fresh garden greens - etc. about twice a week in dog bowls. ( they love it ). They get a couple of handfuls of scratch mix on the ground about twice a week ... mainly for interest sake for them. Something to do.
Pumpkin seeds are a very very rare treat - I do give them chopped ( or mashed cooked ) pumpkin in their bowls, and when it comes to mind they might like some pumpkin seeds, I pulverise the seeds and add them to scratch or my own ricey chook mix. Yoghurt and water melon etc. are only given when I think about it or have some on hand. Certainly not a regular thing by any means. Maybe once a fortnight in the summer ?
I add crumbled hard boiled eggs to the mix about once a fortnight. And they get grated cheese in the mix about once a week or sprinkled on the ground. Washed outer leaves of kale, cabbage, lettuce, cauli and brussel sprouts - chopped up - they get when I have used them for ourselves. .... all other vegies are cooked ( carrots, peas, beans, cauliflower etc. ) they are never given raw beans .... I hang 1/4 a cabbage in a bird netting bag on their fence - but this too is a very rare event.
They free range for a few hours when weather permits, at which time they catch tiny bugs, worms after rain, and eat quite a bit of grass and clover. Probably out in the garden 3 times a week, average.
But their main diet is Barastoc layer pellets. I believe that is good, and works well for my 2 big girls. I delight in rainy days, as it gives me the excuse to keep them in their coops, where they become bored and eat more - of the pellets only.
It is only 3 yr old Mindy I am having concerns about. I will be clipping and cleaning her dirty butt today, and she is squatting like crazy. ..... she also has eaten up a storm last night / this morning - from her layer pellets only. She is the one who will eat scratch mix, and avoid every bit of sea shell that is in it. Also avoids finely chopped up egg shells. For a chicken who can barely see through her Araucana face feathers, she is very clever at picking and choosing !! "Free take" is not in her vocabulary.
Trust that shows my dietary bizzo for the chooks, more clearly. After trying the calcium, I will get some oyster shells and grind them to powder, no matter how long that takes.
I have no rooster, nor do I intend to have one at any stage.
Cheers and thanks .....
Edited by Anniebee - 11/8/15 at 6:38pm