Can Chickens live on table scraps only?


In the Brooder
Sep 26, 2019
I was wondering how much scraps I need to give my chickens in order for them to survive? I normally feed them pellets, but I was wondering if I could save on food if I fed them only scraps.

Compost King

Free Ranging
Apr 19, 2018
Salisbury, North Carolina
My cousin only feeds table scraps, scratch grains (occasionally) and lets them free range a cow pasture. They lay just fine but he has more than 1 acre per bird with plenty of cow Patties to attract bugs even in winter They also eat all the seeds that fall out of cows hay and access to gardens come fall/Winter. Giant compost piles etc. If you have the perfect conditions you can get away with it. If you have a typical backyard then production will drop drastically. Certain breeds do flourish in those conditions and others will not.
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7 Years
Mar 24, 2014
Rhode Island
I think it could be done, but you'd have to be mindful of the mix of nutrients. Might be a bit tricky to do unless you have a very consistent source of food scraps.

I mean it's not like there are some secret nutrients out there that only feed companies know about, right? :p

If anyone has any insight into certain breeds that may be better adapted to this, I'd be interested in hearing more...

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