A chicken's summer diet, please read :)

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by reneeeWA, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. reneeeWA

    reneeeWA In the Brooder

    Oct 21, 2012
    North East Nevada
    Hi everyone,
    Happy Monday :) I was hoping to get some feedback from you guys on what to feed your chickens during the Summer months. I cannot find much of anything online or surprisingingly in this forum-maybe it's my search methods I don't know. Anyway, I'm kind of a newbie with chickens and I read somewhere that they eat less feed during the Summer and that you should tweak their diet a little bit to make sure they are getting enough of what they need. I think I have been messing up feeding them too much protein; I've noticed their eggs are HUGE and I recently lost a bantam to egg binding because I think the egg was too big to pass. I read that too much protein can increase egg size. Soooooo, cutting back on that. I'm at a loss. I've read what to feed them, what not, how much and why but not really pertaining to the seasons. Any help would be enormously appreciated. Have healthy hens? What do you feed them during Summer? Thanks! :)

  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I feed the same balanced feed year round.

    We get harsh winters here. In the winter, they get a little scratch before going to roost. I also offer things like wheat grass, sprouts and alfalfa, since they aren't getting anything green outside.

    When they're molting, I give a little sunflower seed.

    During the growing season, they free range. They eat a lot of insects, worms, grass, dark leafy greens and anything else they find. We have a lot of different things growing here for them to eat. All the foraged food reduces the amount of layer feed they eat.

    In hot, humid summer weather, I just keep an eye on them. Usually they only start panting during the worst heat waves if they run for some reason. They have lots of deep shade, wide open ventilation to keep the coop cooler and fresh water, sometimes with ice. When it's really hot and humid, they pace themselves and aren't as active, mainly during the hottest parts of the day.

    I hope this helps.
  3. njchicks

    njchicks In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2007
    Central New Jersey
    Mine get lots more vegetables in the summer. Cucumbers that have gotten too big, lettuce and other greens and tomatoes that are not perfect for human consumption. They especially love the seeds in the tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I feed an all-in-one feed to everyone, free choice, year round. My birds get all my kitchen/food scraps year round. There are as a rule more scraps in the summer/fall due to processing fruits/veggies and just the surplus from the garden. I say offer a decent feed free choice, give scraps as you want, and don't stress over it so much. 2-4%change in protein intake really isn't going to make that much difference. Plus, they're omnivores, they're designed to have a varying diet from day to day.

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