Are We Over Treating?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Adopted Chickenman, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Adopted Chickenman

    Adopted Chickenman Chirping

    Jul 12, 2010
    [​IMG] Everyday my wife and I give treats to our girls. Meal worm, boss (black oil sunflower seeds), kale, and plain yogurt mixed with papaya or some other fruit. They seem to be doing fine but I don't think they are eating their pellets enough. They are 20 weeks old and only one is laying (BO). I think the others are getting real close. Since they were brought up on crumbles from Dumor (starter/grower to grower finnisher) and now layer feed (pellets) I was wondering if they would eat more on layer crumbles from Dumor or Laynea (both from Purina). Any ideas? BTY, we let them out of their 10 x 10 cage twice aday (morning and evening) to semi free range where they eat local vegitation and anything else they can find. They so enjoy their treats. [​IMG]
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello and welcome!

    I started my hens out on Dumor chick starter/grower, and then once they reached around 20 weeks, I switched to the Dumor layer feed pellets. I do think, from watching my hens, that maybe the chick food tastes better to them, but I can't say that's a fact. I noticed that it does take them much longer to eat a feeder full of pellets than it does for them to eat a feeder full of the crumbles. I like using the pellets because there is much less waste.

    My chickens are locked up in their little barn (it's 8x12) until 5pm, then they get to free range until it gets dark, when they just go back in on their own. Then I lock them up.

    Regarding the treats, just use your own judgement. If the treats are nutritious, then it's OK in moderation. Small amounts that they can eat pretty quickly are OK. Now, scratch and corn really don't have much nutritional value. In fact, they're more like candy to a chicken, so I only offer corn and scratch as an evening (before bed) treat in the winter time, because digesting it causes their body temps to warm up, and they need that in the winter.

    Summer's always nice because my chickens get tomatoes from the garden, and watermelon, cantalope, cucumbers...healthy fruits and veggies are great for them, and if you refridgerate them before offering them, they're a cooling treat as well.

    The treats you listed all seem pretty healthy, so I think they're fine, just be sure to give them small amounts. Also, I never give my chickens table scraps because it's just not good for them....they can get fatty liver disease, and then die younger than they're meant to.

    Hope this helps a little bit! Sounds like you guys are doing a great job!
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    You're offering a selection of treats that's giving them very high quality protein, vitamins, minerals, some fats and some carbohydrate. Plus, they get to free range. I'd be more concerned if you were only giving them starchy grains for a treat. It sounds like they are living the good life at your house!
  4. Adopted Chickenman

    Adopted Chickenman Chirping

    Jul 12, 2010
    [​IMG] Thanks for the come backs!!! I really appreciate hearing from knowledgeable people. I try not to give our girls any bad treats. But I guess I maybe giving them to much of other good things which may coupled with the heat cut down on their normal feed consumption. They are always happy to see us mostly due to the treats I am sure but I would like to think they are happy just to see my wife and I (a little vain). Today I purchased crumbles insted of pellets. I mixed the small amount of pellets I had left with the new crumbles, and three of my girls went right for it. They surprised me. Oh well, hope this is a good sign. Once again, thanks for your come backs. Marty
  5. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Songster

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    Your chickens may just not like the pellets or 'recognize' it as food. I know mine barely ate pellets when I switched, I had to moisten the pellets or mix yoghurt in the pellets. I went back to crumbles and the eat a good amount of their layer feed again. I do feed treats every day but rarely cracked corn. They also get veggie scraps/fruit/scrambled eggs/BOSS/raisins for treats and love it. They forage for grass/bugs etc as long as we don't have snow on the ground. The treats are maybe 10-15% of their diet but again, it's a variety of treats. They are all laying well, I do keep oystershell available in a dish 24/7 so they can supplement calcium as needed. My girls all started laying at different ages - BR around 19 or 20 weeks, GLW (all same age) between 20 and 28 weeks and my EE was really late, thirtysome weeks. [​IMG]
  6. nanawendy

    nanawendy Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Bellingham Wa
    I wait until later in the day to feed treats. This way they can eat the layer pellets for good nutrition and have "dessert" later. [​IMG]

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