Cabbage ball

Jlgonzo

Chirping
Nov 2, 2018
57
49
91
North Alabama
My seven chickens can not free range do to way too many predators. I try to provide them with something to keep them busy an entertained. They love a cabbage ball that I hang. They can devour one in two days. How often is it good to give them one? I have only been doing it once a week or so but they love it and it does keep them busy.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I love September
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
46,185
82,024
1,522
Wisconsin
If you feed a higher protein ration it should be okay give them it once or twice a week. I recommend 18-20%. A non medicated starter grower or an All Flock ration. Provide a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs.

Do you garden? Chickens also love digging through a pile of freshly pulled weeds with the dirt attached to the roots.
 

Jlgonzo

Chirping
Nov 2, 2018
57
49
91
North Alabama
Thanks for the response.
They are just over a year old. I have been feeding them organic layer feed 16% but have also been supplementing with organic chick starter 19% for the higher protein. I can’t seem to find higher protein in any layer feed organic or not. I also try to give them 2 to 3 boiled eggs or sardines in water with the chick starter mashed into it to also increase their protein as well as dried mealworms as I have had issues with feather picking. I am not sure how well it is working. My Leghorns are the biggest culprits followed by my Orpington but I even find the ones that get picked (Easter egger and Barred Rock) picking at one another. It tends to happen when they are dusting bathing more than any other time and they don’t tend to eat the feathers as I have witnessed the behavior. There are also feathers in the areas they dust bathe that are edible but seem to be left. I have even put blinders on the three but feathers still went missing and as the weather got hotter I felt the blinders were not appropriate.

I do have a garden and feed them some of the produce and herbs that I know is ok. I have not been sure about weeds, except chickweed in the winter, to know if I would be giving them something bad/poisonous.

Sorry for the long response...it has just been a bit frustrating dealing with numerous issues and never feeling like I am getting it right even though I put a lot of time and effort into caring for my chickens.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I love September
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
46,185
82,024
1,522
Wisconsin
You can just feed the chick starter as the sole ration. A separate bowl of free choice oyster shells will take care of the calcium needs. I haven't fed a layer in about 5 years, and my birds are better off. I used to see some feather picking too feeding a layer, as well as egg eating.
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goats
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 8, 2015
62,663
109,134
1,657
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
Hello. Over crowding also is a reason for feather pecking..
You can free range the birds but watch them as they are out and put them back in after an hour. Cut back on all the extras and you will see a difference in behaviour. Treats once or twice a week is sufficient. I feed a Grower finisher feed at 16% protein. Sometimes too much protein can cause issues too..
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I love September
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
46,185
82,024
1,522
Wisconsin
What feed do you use?

I have always provided oyster shells and I see my Leghorns who lay everyday eat them regularly and more than the others.
I feed an All Flock to my large breed with a 18%protein. I also feed some scratch and whole corn daily. My birds are completely free range and can balance their own diet in warmer weather. Confined birds are at your mercy, so you need to be more careful.

I feed my bantam flock a 18% chick starter because I have chicks in the flock most of the year.
 

cass85

Chirping
Aug 28, 2019
21
42
59
02790
My seven chickens can not free range do to way too many predators. I try to provide them with something to keep them busy an entertained. They love a cabbage ball that I hang. They can devour one in two days. How often is it good to give them one? I have only been doing it once a week or so but they love it and it does keep them busy.
I would say you could give them 2 per week
 

MANNA-PRO

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