ANYONE please help/good diet for active breeding birds

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tiki244, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    what should I feed my birds when I am collecting eggs to hatch. Right now I have them on 2/3 Layena and 1/3 cracked corn and I give lettuce 2X week plus small amt of vitamins. Should I adde more protein and how, with what? the Layena I get is totally vegetarian and I do not want to buy the feed that has animal parts in it and I cant afford the organic stuff. Thanks Kris
  2. Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies

    Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    I think I would cut back on the craked corn. a bit.
    Ice burg lettice has no real nutrisional value They would need the darker green leafy vegies.
    Like spinich. My birds love shreded carrots and diced tomatoes.
    I keep all my layer feed in bowls inside the coops.
    I do not toss a lot in the run but I will toss a 1/4 cup of cracked corn and a 1/4 cup of old fashioned oatmeal flakes into the run so they have something to look for and scratch at.
    How ever I want my birds to do most of their eating inside the coop.
    You can cut up any extra meat you have from your meals. fat and all they love it.
    Mine really love roast beef.
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I agree with what FluffySilkies has told you....

    Lettuce has no nutrients at all...mine like raw spinach.....tomatoes....
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2008
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I answered this question this morning in another post what do I need to feed for my chickens to have healthy babies .

    Lettuce has hardly no nutritional value. Corn is like candy for chickens.

    Chickens are omnivores, meaning the natural diet is plant and animal based.

    FluffNStuff is right they do like meat.

    If this information upsets I apologize. That is not my intent.
  5. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    OK thanks I will cut back on the corn and feed some spinach and tomatoes and stuff. could I feed cottage cheese instead of meat? The reason I re-asked the question was because what I was wondering was do you change the diet when you want them to have babies? As opposed to when you just want to eat the eggs. Do they need more nutrients to make good babies?
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    To reiterate what Priss said, chickens do better with an omnivorous diet. All the scares over mad cow disease and other things probably started the veggie diets for chickens, but I honestly think that trend started more problems than it solved, such as feather picking, etc. I purposefully look for a feed that still contains animal protein. My layer pellets are 22% protein and do contain animal protein-made by ADM Alliance. And people seem to think that if it's good for them, it's good for their chickens, but that isn't necessarily true.
    Many companies make a breeder diet just for breeders as opposed to simply layers. One such feed is by Southern States and is called Super Breeder Crumbles. They are 21% protein, and although they are a plant protein-based feed, mine like it very much and I do from time to time feed it to them. The ADM Alliance 11-Grain Scratch Mixed Grains is wonderful and contains very, very little corn. That is the scratch I most often buy, although it is pricier than corn-based scratch. It contains 13% protein, unlike most scratch, which is only about 8%. If you want to use scratch as a "come back from ranging" tool, that's a good one and won't add too many carbs. Dont know if you have a company who makes something similar or have an ADM Alliance or a Faithway Feeds Dealer near you, but they have wonderful feeds.
    Cottage cheese is okay, but usually has alot of sodium unless you get a low-sodium version. Not sure it will replace the animal proteins in feed, though.
  7. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    Ok thank you Cynthia-I need to re-think my feeding program-I will make some calls to the feed stores around this area and see what they offer-I am sure someone has something similar to that feed and/or can get it.

    Thanks everyone
  8. hooligan

    hooligan Songster

    Aug 20, 2007
    If you are wanting to keep them on an all vegetarian grain diet, thats great but be aware that chickens can and will eat any mice that show up where they are. [​IMG] So there is no way to really keep them on a TOTAL vegetarian diet.
    Lettuce is great, but NOT Iceberg. Good varieties are romaine, green and red leaf and they are super easy to grow too.
    Mustard or turnip greens, chard, tomatoes, and just about anything else. Oh and fresh corn [​IMG]
    If you want to add more protein without adding meat, cook them some beans. If you have a slow cooker its the easiest thing in the world! But you gotta cook them! The trypsin in beans can damage a chickens intestines but as long as they are cooked they are fine.
    You could also feed them worms which are a great protein source.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2008
  9. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    I use a gamebird breeder by Purina for my breeding flock. It has been great. I also give aviacharge2000, I swear by it. Since I have started using it everyday, I noticed a HUGE difference in the entire flock. They look better than ever.
  10. Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies

    Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    What about FISH

    Fish based cat food.. BUT not a lot after all they don't meow. Just toss tham a handful every day.


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