Okay people!! This article is about how I feed my girls a balanced, healthy diet.
1. Never EVER give your chickens junk food. Chickens are very hardy creatures and could probably handle a little junk food, but it is best not to try.
2. They must ALWAYS have access to clean, fresh water.
3. Feed ýour girls balanced, high quality layer feed. I recomend mash over pellets, because it is better for them. Mash is like a pellet that hasn't been pelletised. So your flock will prefer it and it is better for them. Also make sure it has at LEAST 14% protein, so your chickens can lay wholesome, scrumptious eggs!
4. Your girls need grit! Both regular stone grit, and shell grit. The shell grit contains calcium which forms the egg shell and they need regular grit to store in their gut to grind up food. Have a full bucket of both that your girls can help themselves from available at all times.
5. Treats. Do not give your girls human food. But for treats in winter some scratch mix, cracked corn and cheese are ideal. Do not feed this to them in summer as it actually heats them up internally so it is not great in summer. In summer watermelon and berries are ideal. Also they love mealworms and greens all the time. Often you could just empty your kitchen scraps into you chicken pen and they will eat what they want and the rest they will scratch into the ground overtime.
6. Greens are vital for that delicious, orange yolked egg. Your chickens need at least a handful of greens EACH PER DAY. So if they can't get it for themselves, you will have to bring it to them. Things like cauliflower casings and cabbage, also parsley are ideal and chooks love them!
7. Do not be alarmed if you see your chicken eating a mouse! Chickens are omnivorous and will eat leafy greens and chase after bugs. A mouse will not kill them and it is quite helpful to you if they do eat them.
8. Do not give your chickens raw or cooked chicken! They WILL eat it! Also don't give them meat, or any kind of animal matter, it is actually quite good for them, but it is against RSPCA approved standards and I think it may even be illegal in the UK. So it is best just to save meat scraps for the dog.
9. Follow the rules above and you will have happy, healthy, productive hens!
Fresh water is vital.
Good quality layer mash Iayer mash is essential.
Free range foraging is a great way to let your girls help themselves to greens, and protein like bugs.
Often though, if they free range they may hang out pretty close to home!
Just some shots of the girls around the yard.