To have a healthy bird you must feed it healthy meals! For Orpingtons like mine that means high protein foods so they can build muscle
instead of fat. Most chicken feed is only 16% protein and that is an exceptionally small amount of protein for growing and producing Orpingtons.
This feeding mix works great with all chicken breeds especially the big breeds, I just used Orpingtons as an example because that is what I raise.
Along with free-ranging daily for greens and bugs, here is what I feed all of my Orpingtons on a daily basis:
These measurements fill a 7lb. feeder.
4 cups Purina Layena
4 cups Purina Flock Raiser
1 cup Cracked Corn
1/2 cup Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
1/4 - 1/2 cup Calf-Manna.
For a hen in lay I would recommend also adding free-choice oyster shell for calcium needed to produce eggs.
Calf-Manna is my very favorite supplement that we have added recently. It contains tons of wonderful healthy ingredients and vitamins that are crucial for growing a bird the size of these Orpingtons.
Here are the ingredients that are in Calf-Manna: Crude Protein Min 25.00%
Soybean meal, corn, hominy feed, feeding oatmeal, dried whey, dehydrated alfalfa meal,
linseed meal, brewer’s dried yeast, vegetable oil, fenugreek seed, anise oil, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, biotin.
I also give them a daily treat mix consisting:
2 cups Cracked Corn
1/2- 3/4 cup Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup Calf-Manna
For the treat mix I just put 4-5 piles on the ground in their run so they can get it before they go in for the night.
They also get other treats when available:
Watermelon, Tomato's, Apples, Pears, Bread, among other table scraps that we may have.
Another step we have recently taken to keeping healthy birds is Apple Cider Vinegar!
ACV has many advantages to it: It contains many vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and substances to improve the health of your flock.
It also improves the digestive health of your chickens by maintaining proper pH balance in the digestive tract. Increases egg production, kills germs that cause respiratory illnesses among chickens, and keeps your chickens’ water free of harmful bacteria.
Another great advantage to using ACV that I have heard about is that since it lowers the pH level in the chickens, it also lowers in the
pH level in the eggs they lay which means you may have a higher female to male ratio when it comes to hatching chicks! More pullets are always better!
Be sure to purchase organic unfiltered, unpasteurized, naturally fermented ACV for its medicinal features. ACV ranges in color from light golden to orange. You’ll know you’ve found the right stuff if you see sediment, referred to as the "mother of vinegar" in the bottom of the bottle.
Do NOT buy white distilled or distilled Apple Cider vinegar, as it has none of the beneficial elements listed above.
We add 2 tablespoons per gallon of water daily.
And that is just a few of the ways we keep our Orpingtons happy and healthy at Lots 'A' Cluckin' Farm!