Can Chickens Do Well on Mostly Free Ranging and Eating Dinner Scraps?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SandyC, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. SandyC

    SandyC Songster

    Isn't that what chickens mainly ate years gone by? We eat mainly whole grains, veggies and beans. Rather than dumping the left overs down the dish disposal or into compost, can't I feed this to the chickens. I think it would be a great way to cut feeding costs.
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    You can do that to cut feed costs but you should make sure they get layer 24/7 too if they are laying. Scraps will help but be careful of high sodium. You'll find chickens will still go eat their feed to get nutrients out of it.
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Providing layer feed 24/7 won't cost much if the flock can free range during the day. I assure you that the flock prefers to eat live feed, like green grass, bugs, worms, etc...
    however when the pickens are tough, you can't expect to keep a healthy flock without the proper feed and nutrition that the commercial feed gives you.

    Keeping your feed in a predator proof container, will make your bag last a long time and keep it fresh at the same time.

  4. SandyC

    SandyC Songster

    I cook from scratch, so high sodium isn't much of an issue with me.

  5. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Songster

    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    I find that mine much prefer free range bugs, greens and even mice, plus all the treats from the kitchen over layer feed. So I keep layer feed and oyster shell out at all times, and they eat when they need to but mainly fill up on the range and kitchen this time of year. It doesn't cost much for peace of mind that they have access to all the food they need by buying a bag of chicken food to supplement the household stuff. In the winter it may be different, think through what you would be giving them to see if the protein content is high enough without the numbers of bugs in the yard. Mine are doing a dandy job on grasshoppers right now, but they will be gone come winter!
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I would agree with that they prefer to eat fresh right off the ground stuff. I just did some culling and when cleaning out the gizzard, saw that it was mostly seeds and greens with some patches of mushed up pellets. I would say that 80% of the stuff in there was stuff other than their regular feed.

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