DeanneG

Chirping
Nov 16, 2018
29
73
60
Adelaide
I am very new to having Chickens.. had my 4 girls for a couple of weeks now but I just read something that sort of freaked me out!! This particular site said that NOTHING else was needed except quality layers pellets and it was very dangerous to add other things? they quoted a chicken vet ... I am not sure if they meant mixing your own FEED or letting chickens eat all sorts of vegetable and fruit scraps... as well as pellets?
I feed the girls layers pellets in an auto feeder
they get or have had different things all the time
but after reading that I fear changing their diet might be bad for them???
They have had in various amounts thrown into daily treats :
lettuce
cauliflower
cabbage
broccoli
mushroom
cucumber
alfalfa sprouts
boiled eggs
greek yoghurt
cottage cheese
flax seed
sesame seeds
rolled oats
sunflower seeds
LSA
apple
banana
egg shells ( ground to powder)
tomato

am I hurting my chickens feeding them such things as daily treats???
I so wanted to be able to use up my "healthy" scraps
here's the link to the web page .. if you have any information I would love to hear it.

https://the-chicken-chick.com/how-homemade-feed-can-hurt-your-chickens/
 

ChickenCanoe

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Nov 23, 2010
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Those are all good things to feed and making use of waste foods as long as they are fresh and not spoiled or moldy are OK.
The thing to consider is that a poultry feed is formulated to provide balanced complete nutrition (amino acids/vitamins/minerals/fats/fiber) for the age of bird they are intended.
Feeding other things, it is possible to upset the balance provided by the feed.
For example, if you have laying hens and your feed is 16% protein and 4% calcium and you feed lots of cabbage, oats and tomato, you could be dramatically lowering both of those nutrients.
Personally, I think your treats are very nutritious but you just need to be mindful of not lowering protein with too many fruits and vegetables.
Cottage cheese, egg, yogurt, alfalfa, sunflower are good sources of protein but the latter two, being vegetative sources, are deficient in several essential amino acids.
You didn't say how old your birds were and what breeds.
I think you are doing fine. Just balance fruits and vegetables with some animal protein.
After all, chickens are omnivores just like us, not vegetarians.
 
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oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
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Jul 16, 2015
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A layer ration generally contains 16% protein and is formulated to be fed as the sole ration. Adding extras will dilute your daily protein. 16% is minimum daily requirements.

Some extras are fine, but it's best to feed a higher protein ration and limit the extras. Definitely go very easy on fatty treats like seeds. Fat kills chickens quickly without you even knowing why.
 

DeanneG

Chirping
Nov 16, 2018
29
73
60
Adelaide
Those are all good things to feed and making use of waste foods as long as they are fresh and not spoiled or moldy are OK.
The thing to consider is that a poultry feed is formulated to provide balanced complete nutrition (amino acids/vitamins/minerals/fats/fiber) for the age of bird they are intended.
Feeding other things, it is possible to upset the balance provided by the feed.
For example, if you have laying hens and your feed is 16% protein and 4% calcium and you feed lots of cabbage, oats and tomato, you could be dramatically lowering both of those nutrients.
Personally, I think your treats are very nutritious but you just need to be mindful of not lowering protein with too many fruits and vegetables.
Cottage cheese, egg, yogurt, alfalfa, sunflower are good sources of protein but the latter two, being vegetative sources, are deficient in several essential amino acids.
You didn't say how old your birds were and what breeds.
I think you are doing fine. Just balance fruits and vegetablee with some animal protein.
Thanks so much for that input.. and my hens we bought as point of lay and they have just started laying a few days ago and they are all HY LINE BROWNS
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Jun 23, 2013
9,060
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The Big Island/Hawaii
I used to feed layer but after reading a bunch on feed & opinions, have switched to Flock Raiser (20%) with Oyster Shells in a separate dish. Never had an issue with laying nor quality of eggs & shells, in fact the shells are strong.

I also learned too much treats does nullify the nutrition in their feed. My girls weren't gaining weight, worms rulled out cut back on fruits & veggies. Now they're gaining and feel better ... I've got BO with all their feathers they didn't look under nourished :)
 

ChickenCanoe

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Nov 23, 2010
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Hy-lines are extremely productive. That ovulation rate is somewhat regulated by intake of sufficient essential amino acids. Once ovulation takes place, the hen has to build an egg shell. Sufficient calcium has to be in bone and blood stores to create that egg shell.
Just a few days will deplete those stores.
In spite of the high production rate, I think 20% protein is a little high for adult chickens. I would shoot for between 17 and 18%.
Again, if you are going to feed lots of vegetables and fruits, make sure to compensate with animal protein.
There is a thing called the concept of limiting amino acids which you may want to familiarize yourself with. Basically, you can have a high protein feed but the animal can only make use of so much of each amino acid. Excesses of some amino acids need to be processed by the liver and kidneys and are expelled in the feces and represent as ammonia in the bedding. Excessive protein long term can cause kidney and liver disease and is basically, a waste of money.
Providing oyster shell in a separate container, they can often self regulate the amount of calcium they need.
 
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DeanneG

Chirping
Nov 16, 2018
29
73
60
Adelaide
Hy-lines are extremely productive. That ovulation rate is somewhat regulated by intake of sufficient essential amino acids. Once ovulation takes place, the hen has to build an egg shell. Sufficient calcium has to be in body and bone stores to create that oyster shell.
In spite of the high production rate, I think 20% protein is a little high for adult chickens. I would shoot for between 17 and 18%.
Again, if you are going to feed lots of vegetables and fruits, make sure to compensate with animal protein.
Providing oyster shell in a separate container, they can often self regulate the amount of calcium they need.
thanks for that.. animal protein? as in meat, eggs fish,eggs and dairy products ?
 

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