BEST COLD WEATHER FEED ...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Roxannemc, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Long time chicken keepers...Anyone with a list of best cold weather feed for chickens,.? Ive heard different ppl say they feed this and that . some i never heard of ..... but whats really Best for them ? .
    Looking for a list of type feed from best to just mediocre

    Im not looking for the most expensive . or treats like scrambled eggs or people food just chicken type feed .

    I am giving mine unmedicated Starter crumbles(18% protein) because there are young ones in the free rangers and scratch. Seems to me they will have good protein for cold . but .I could be way off wrong too.
    Oh and i free range almost all of them for fall and winter...im my large fenced yard . but silkies and some Lavender Orps who dont want to come out of their run. (Go figure).
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't change feed year-round - their nutritional requirements are the same in cold weather as in hot. The only thing I do change is that when I have juveniles growing out, I feed the whole flock and 18% all flock formula with shell on the side for the laying hens. Once the juvies are grown up, I switch back to 16% layer pellets.
     
  3. Irishhenman

    Irishhenman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only feed layers pellets to my layer house during the dips in production in February and September. For the rest of the year I feed all adult birds on a mixture of whole wheat, flaked maize, fermented barley and some extras like dried peas, lentils, peanuts (the kind you buy for wild birds just broken up in a food processor) and dried mealworms. I mix up around 200kgs in each batch and it usually lasts a couple of months. I also feed this to my growers (after 8 weeks). New chicks are fed on versea laga chick starter mash fed plain for the first few days and then mixed with milk or water for a couple of weeks.

    The only thing I ever add during winter is some cod liver oil and I give them some tined sardines (in oil not brine)

    If I did not make up my mix I would feed on either whole wheat or flaked maize
     
  4. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    THANKS BOTH OF YOUR HELPFUL.... ANY ONE ELSE?
    AND POSSIBLE WHERE TO BUY WHATEVER YOU MENTION. PLUS WHAT IS MASH ?I THINK SOMEONE TOLD ME MASH?

    Do you ferment your barley? I was fermenting last year buy my birds didn't seem to take to it.

    I assume maize would be flaked corn?
    whole wheat..would you buy that a feed store..... Planting wheat but unmedicated?
    Sorry ive had chickens for year and 1/2 but have only fed them layer feed or these crumbles. beside people food as treats and some other things
    i did try fodder and ferment The fodder worked until I bought from some other feed store and it kept getting moldy.
    Lentils hadnt thought of that.

    .
     
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I guess it depends on how much work you want to create for yourself! I don't feed any different in cold weather then I do in warm weather, even when I lived in a colder climate. I feed a commercial layer crumble, a little scratch grain mix as a treat and occasional kitchen scraps such a leafy greens etc. But those things are a very small part of their diet, the layer feed making up the bulk of their diet. They also have access to pasture for foraging.

    A good commercial feed appropriate for your flock ie flock raiser or layer feed depending on age, should be the basis of your feeding program. They may eat more in cold weather to make up for additional calories burned, otherwise, as long as they have feed available and good shelter, they'll be fine.

    Mash is just feed that is ground down to almost a powder.
     
  6. Irishhenman

    Irishhenman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you should be able to buy the wheat, maize (yes corn, I keep on forgetting that the majority of people on here aren't from Ireland) barley and oats(forgot to mention these in my last post) at a feed store. Make sure to buy whole wheat, barley and oats it is better for them than rolled. Everything else I got in the supermarket (make sure there is no added sugar, salt or other additives).

    Yes I ferment the barley in water and ACV for a week, then I remove the barley and dry it out on black plastic sheets in out garden so that it won't go moldy in the storage bins. At first I just mixed it in plain but the hens would not eat it so I began fermenting and they began eating it.

    Mash is feed that is a rough powder, I only feed it to chicks because adult hens usually just throw it around the run, or don't eat it at all. Mixing it with water gives you more feed for your money and also makes it easier for the birds to eat it.

    just to mention also that I have upwards on 50 birds so It might be better for you to make it in smaller quantities

    my opinion on commercial feed is that 1# you can't control what goes into it and 2# I don't believe that commercial feeds are all they are made out to be, if you read the ingredients it is mostly soya and corn and other grains, not really such a super food
     
  7. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    @Irishhenman - what's interesting is that here we have two different grains - corn AND maize. They are clearly related, and the plant they grow on looks similar, but maize doesn't grow as tall. I wonder if what you are calling maize is what we call corn or what we call maize….

    My two cents on commercial feed is that it is formulated to provide a nutritionally balanced diet for them, and that messing around too much with trying to make up a diet of our own for them, we run the risk of not providing them with everything they need. That said, while I don't try to mix up feed for them, and do offer a commercial feed at all times, I also encourage them to forage for as much of their feed as possible. I do believe that fresh vegetation and bugs offer something that no commercial feed can, to their overall health. In winter they can't find nearly as much - though they still spend a good portion of their day pecking and scratching at the ground any time it isn't covered in snow, so are clearly finding something. But in summer, my birds leave the area of the coop in the morning and spend most of the day out. This year I had no grasshoppers, thanks to the vigilance of my turkeys, yet while visiting a neighbor, the ground on her property was thick with them.
     
  8. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have i think 29 grown birds and 16 chicks from 14 weeks to 8 or 9 weeks if im remembering them all . .... so im hearin' ya!
    Looking for nourishing but cheap feed.

    Winter coming on here supposed to be a nasty one and cold already for us in Missouri..Going to 19 tonite!! Should be about 30-40 at night this time of year..

    Im most concerned about 6 of the m who roost in a cedar tree all the time. Most particularly 2 nice looking part English hens.
    the roos i dont care so much they are extras i cant seem to get myself to sell for meat.

    Hard to get them as they run during the day not that friendly to be touched and jump in the tree at night

    they roost too high for me to get them out..They are the ones im afraid for the cold ...enough food.
    .
    The others are in mostly tractors and one 4 x 8 x 4 coop at night so plenty warm enough .Want food to provide as much warmth as possible

    By the way Irishman i love your black roo in the avatar
    Looks like mine but fluffier!! Mine is a part English Orpington
    I assume your is English? You have some to die for birds over that way we can only wish for here.
    .
    Here is my M2...Midnight 2 ..(Midnight one had to go ..too mean)M2 is like my dog side kick .Adore him.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I give the birds a fixed amount of quality balanced diet year round. When it gets cold, additional interest in feed is met by feeding with a mixture of whole corn/maize and BOSS. When it gets really cold making continuous access to liquid water, then soaked oats are applied in addition to all of the above. My birds operate on a restricted ration even when in lay enabling me to get them to eat all quality eats before topping crops off with corn.
     
  10. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hechicken you are right we do have 2.!!... corn and maize ...maize the wild the American Indians grew!! Glad you reminded me .
    I too wonder if its the tall or short in Ireland or a whole nother cultivar
    .
    Well close enough i guess either way and thanks for telling me what mash is.
    Thank you all. for taking the time...


    I do feed mine cooked oatmeal In very cold weather mixed with scraps When you say "restricted quality diet" you mean the BOSS not the whole diet?
    BOSS is not cheap but i know high in protein.

    Well thats another thing..... how much is too much? Too little?Feed when you dont see any ?they always are looking for food when i walk out. I feed them about 8 ot 9 ..... 16 oz yogurt containers of feed twice a day
    Don't know what that comes to never figured it per lb .All my chickens except my broodys and some of the Lav Amercauna babies are fat looking. and my Lav Ams seem to tend to be thinner than the Brahmas and English Orps and mixes of anyway ...their breeds I guess.

    Probably a 40 lb bag of feed every 3 days about to total 45 chickens and some scraps but just enough for everyone to get a mouth full.

    I just spread the feed around the yard so even the small ones can get some here and there. as the older scare them off. I like the scratch because it doesnt get mushy in rain. No waste but don't think thye like it as much as crumble feed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013

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