A Well Fed Flock?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jul 11, 2010
Pacific Northwest
I'm fairly new to the chicken game and would love it if experienced flock tenders could "rate" my chicken's diet. I want to make sure I'm doing right by them.

We have 3 pullets and 1 cockerel. They are in the coop/run overnight and most of the week day. They free range a medium - large yard for 3 -4 hours on week days and 4 - 10 hours on weekends.

They are getting "Cascade Grower Complete Poultry Feed" in their feeder. It is soy and corn free, organic and contains 16% crude protein, 4.77% fat and 5.28% fiber.

Once a day they get a "treat bowl". It always contains fruit and vegetable scraps (pumpkin guts, carrot peels, grapes, cilantro, leafy greens). A few times a week I scramble eggs for them or make them oatmeal. I often sprinkle their treats with raw pumpkin seeds. They love tomatoes and have been getting some almost every day. Maybe once a week, I throw in a cup of cat food - which they seem to love. Sometimes I'll pick worms out of the compost bin for them as well. Sometimes they'll get bread or pasta too.

Fresh water every day, obviously.

Are they getting enough protein (they are not quite ready to lay)? We don't eat a lot of meat and I can't bring myself to give them chicken - it seems gross.

I'm not currently giving them grit in their feed. I was told if they "free ranged" for any amount of time during the day you didn't need to, but this is making me nervous. There is some sand in their run.

When do I start giving them oyster shells?
Sounds pretty good. How old are they? They don't need the extra calcium until they get close to laying. I have a mixed age/species flock so I have oyster shell out all the time, the youngsters don't seem to mess with it until they get close to laying so if you're not sure you can go ahead and put some out, just keep it seperate from their feed.

As far as grit goes it really depends if there is enough of the right sized stuff that they have access too. In your case I'd probably put some out in a bowl for them since their freerange time is limited and they are getting treats other then their regular feed daily. It's probably ok the way you're doing it now, but putting out some extra grit is cheap and easy for the peace of mind it will give you.
Great! My Light Brahmas and Black Australorp are about 15 weeks old and my Black Shamo is slightly older. I won a $100 gift certificate to an on-line chicken store and have ordered grit, dried meal worms and some other items I needed. It should arrive Monday or Tuesday.

I have noticed more feathers in the coop/run the last few days and their feathers are looking a little bit dull. I haven't given them any BOSS in a couple of weeks and will pick some up this week as well.

Thanks for your help!

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