Here is something that should give you some ideas, I'm quoting from a book I've got. Here are a couple methods that I wish to integrate somehow into my own scenario.
The Worthington method: developed by Jim Worthington. This is simply that you allow hens ample greenstuff-this means allot of greenstuff, not just cabbage. You also let them have access to whole grain-wheat is best- and some high-protein food such as fish meal. Let them eat as much as they want of whatever they want, and you will find that they will eat a balanced diet, do not over eat, and lay plenty of eggs. What they eat will, in practice, average out at about 4 1/2 ounces of wheat a day each, and well under half an ounce of fish meal. For fish meal you can substitute any other high protein food: soymeal; chick peas; cracked beans; and meat meal or flakes. I knew a man who used to get fish heads and guts from his fish monger, boil them up, and offer them to his hens. They laid superb eggs. As for the whole grain, use good oats or barley if these are more plentiful than wheat in your area. Other garden produce that contains protein and is good for hens include: sunflower seeds, especially if you husk and grind them: lupine seed, ground or whole; peanut seed; alfalfa meal; crushed or ground peas and beans. If you feed your hens according to the Whorthington scheme, you must feed them on this diet from an early age and you must feed them from hoppers. All poultry must at all times have access to dust baths, fresh water, and sharp grit. Also, lime-rich material, such as crushed seashells, is very good for them.
The Balfour method: (this method is especially good if your bids do not have access to free range).
If you do not want to let chickens run loose, you can still keep chickens, using the Balfour method-so named after Lady Eve Balfour, who invented it. With this method you will not need a compost pile, because the hen run is the compost pile. You use an ordinary hen house. In front of it or around it you have a scratching pen, which ideally should be sheltered from wind. This becomes your “compost pile.” You throw into this area all the vegetable matter you can get; the more, the better. All the kitchen scraps all the waste material from the garden, plenty of straw, bracken, spoiled hay, grass clippings, lawn mowings, everything you can lay your hands on goes into it. Your hens spend hours scrapping around in this materiel because bugs abound in it. Apart from their scratching pen you should have two grazing pens or three if you can afford the space, these are just fenced pens with gates arranged in such a way that the hens can be admitted access to one of the pens while being denied access to the other. The two pens should be put down to a grass, clover, and herb mixture. You allow the hens to run in one pen for two or three weeks until the grass is eaten right down, then you admit them to the other. Because the hens are doing most of their scratching in the scratching pen they should not tear up the grazing pens too severely, if you find that they do, you can limit their grazing to only a few hours a day. The Balfour method has several advantages. Even though your acreage is very small, your birds have access to herbage, at the same time the herbage is not lethally damaged by the hens scratching. You should clean out the scratching pen every so often.
You can also use the “chicken tractor” method. Where you rotate an open bottomed coop/pen onto fresh pasture/forage whenever the spot they’re on gets worn down, this allows them fresh greens, bugs and seeds.
I hope you get some ideas from this, and can use it to benefit yourself and your flock.
Edited by fowlsessed - 4/25/12 at 2:13pm