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How often can I feed my chickens table scraps/treats?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I recently got a flock of 12 chickens and set up a table-scraps donation bin at work and with friends. There is always grower feed available (they are about 4 months and haven't started laying yet). I sort through the food scraps that I get and discard (compost) whatever is moldy, beyond redemption, or toxic.

 

I usually get a few things every day, and it amounts to about 1-5 pounds of fruit, vegetables, and grains (corn, wheat, or oat). Should I just give everything to the chickens as I get it, or should I be allocating the scraps out in a more controlled way? It's definitely fruit-heavy (grapes and watermelons, given the time of year...), but I don't know if I should be overly-worried about it. Their poops seem pretty normal still, too.

 

Do you regulate the amount of fruit/vegetables/grains your chickens get? If so, how much do you feed per chicken per day? Are these all considered treats?

 

Also, how often do you feed your chickens mealworms? I've seen advice saying anything from "every day" to "sparingly" so... I'm not too sure which to go with.

 

Thanks guys :D

post #2 of 8

The thing to consider with scraps is the nutritional content.  Fruits and veggies are fine, but in quantity they will in effect reduce the protein content of their diet, for example.

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Reply
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I guess I'm just wondering how much is too much?

post #4 of 8

It's too much when they reduce their laying, they get fat or they don't mature properly.

 

2-3# is probably about right for now.  The higher moisture content of fruits and vegetables will help in the heat. You can always freeze the excess for later.  At 4 months I'd be finishing up the open bag of feed and switching them over to layer.  You might get lucky and get your first egg in 1-2 weeks.

post #5 of 8

I feed mine whatever I have. I figure they're omnivores, they're designed to have a varying diet, just like we are. Yesterday my flock got a mid sized watermelon, a couple baseball-bat zucchini, some swiss chard leaves to big folks keep asking me if it's rhubarb, some huge gnarly yellow crookneck and tomato trimmings. It was a produce heavy day for sure! But you know, some days I eat way more fruit/veggies, some days more meat, some days I eat almost nothing but grains. It all balances out. I've never fallen for the idea that milled "feed" is the end all for chickens and that's where they should get most of their nutrition. Being a nurse, I liken that to telling a healthy person they should get most of their nutrition from Ensure sickbyc.gif. I mean, it's balanced and has all the nutrition a person needs, right?

Rachel BB

 

"and I'll praise You in this storm, and I will lift my hands,  for You are who You are, no matter where I am. Every tear I've cried, You've held in Your hands....You never left my side. Although my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm"

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Rachel BB

 

"and I'll praise You in this storm, and I will lift my hands,  for You are who You are, no matter where I am. Every tear I've cried, You've held in Your hands....You never left my side. Although my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm"

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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by donrae View Post

I feed mine whatever I have. I figure they're omnivores, they're designed to have a varying diet, just like we are. Yesterday my flock got a mid sized watermelon, a couple baseball-bat zucchini, some swiss chard leaves to big folks keep asking me if it's rhubarb, some huge gnarly yellow crookneck and tomato trimmings. It was a produce heavy day for sure! But you know, some days I eat way more fruit/veggies, some days more meat, some days I eat almost nothing but grains. It all balances out. I've never fallen for the idea that milled "feed" is the end all for chickens and that's where they should get most of their nutrition. Being a nurse, I liken that to telling a healthy person they should get most of their nutrition from Ensure sickbyc.gif. I mean, it's balanced and has all the nutrition a person needs, right?

x2 lol.png

Chickens: 1 Sicilian Buttercup, 1 Blue Andalusian, 2 White Leghorn, and a Fluffy lil' Silkie. 

Finches: 3 zebra finches ( Curry, Avire, and Soapy).

 Ferrets: Silvie and Blackie (also known as Booger).

 RIP : Sugar, Puzzle, Yeller, and recently Butter who were taken away by a fox.

Soapy who died on 10/12/13 and Mellow who passed away on March 26, 2014.

http://6chickens7finches.blogspot.com/

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Chickens: 1 Sicilian Buttercup, 1 Blue Andalusian, 2 White Leghorn, and a Fluffy lil' Silkie. 

Finches: 3 zebra finches ( Curry, Avire, and Soapy).

 Ferrets: Silvie and Blackie (also known as Booger).

 RIP : Sugar, Puzzle, Yeller, and recently Butter who were taken away by a fox.

Soapy who died on 10/12/13 and Mellow who passed away on March 26, 2014.

http://6chickens7finches.blogspot.com/

Reply
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok, sounds like I will just keep doing what I've been doing but keep an eye on protein levels :) Thanks!
 

post #8 of 8

I give mine all our veggie scraps.  They love it and they still eat their regular food too.  Now that some of the plants in my garden have seen better days, I let them forage for worms.  Some times I help by shoveling up the deep dirt to get to the good stuff...seriously spoiled chickens!

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