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Chicken diet enrichment ideas

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by LisaKidder, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. LisaKidder

    LisaKidder Out Of The Brooder

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    ok i recently purchased some Barbu d'Uccle Mille Fleur and im looking for ideas to enrich there diet i want something i can mix in with layer to make it a fiesta in a bag for them and hopefully perk em up n make them even more beautiful so im looking for ideas! i uslay mix Corn,layer,sunflower seeds and peas for my chickens any ideas on recipes that would be n great idea for them? n wont kill bank and also need to be able to acutaly find these ingredients to! thank you so much!
     
  2. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Layer is a balance diet, anything you mix it tosses off the balance and should be limited and treated as a treat and only be a small portion of their diet...

    I would avoid corn, it's mostly a filler and won't provide anything beyond what they layer is providing already... Sunflower seeds, peas and some other whole seeds or meals can provide extra protein and oils that can improve the feathers... Animal proteins (meat, bugs) are always a good addition as most commercial feeds skimp on them, but they can get costly... And last but not least, fresh dark greens like kale and spinach or a dusting of paprika will provide additional pigments that will give a more orange yolk...
     
  3. Gret4325

    Gret4325 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2016
    Casco township, Mi
    When is a good age to start giving treats to my chicks?
     
  4. LisaKidder

    LisaKidder Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2015
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    majority is layer i uslay only add 1-2 lb of seeds/peas per 50lb bag cause i kind of figured that n corn i mix in durning winter mainly seems to fatten them up in unheated barn. i didn`t think about the dark greens for them thought thank you so much for the info!
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Although you will find no shortage of websites and people claiming and touting the old wives tale that corn is a 'hot' food that will keep your chickens warm during the winter, in the end it's mostly myth... Body heat is a product of the amount of digested calories not a particular food type... A chicken (short of a hybrid broiler) consumes whatever amount of calories it needs, then stops eating, they eat based on calorie needs... Thus as long as a chicken is offered sufficient food it will eat the needed calories to stay warm, and although corn is a high calorie highly digestible food that will give them the calories quickly, it does not mean they can't get the same amount of body heat from other food types just a little slower...

    Giving them a little corn won't hurt them but it's not the 'hot' winter food many claim at least in regards to chickens... When it comes to other livestock like horses, goats and what not that do not stop eating based on calorie intake, the excess calories they will consume in the grains vs their primary grass diet provides them with excess calories to burn as they don't have the same 'stop eating' you have enough calories trigger found in chickens...


    Depends on the treats, high protein treats like cooked eggs, or other animal proteins like bugs can be given from day one at least in limited amounts... And technically you could also give them anything else at day one, but I'm of the opinion that most treats should be avoided at early stages so that they eat primarily their balanced diet... Also chicks don't have a fully developed digestive track at birth it take their bodies time to get rolling, thus fresh grains and fresh vegetables can actually cause issues, especially since most day old chicks have limited to no access to grit...

    I personally wait until they are about a month old and have grit on the side before I give fresh treats like vegetables and whole grains, earlier then that and I just give treats that increase protein intake like fresh eggs, or ground up dry cat food...
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  6. Gret4325

    Gret4325 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2016
    Casco township, Mi
    What kind of fresh eggs? Raw, scrambled, fried, over-easy, hard-boiled.
     
  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Fully cooked hard boiled or scrambled are best so they don't get a taste for raw... I personally scramble and bake...
     
  8. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raw eggs are a big no no. You don't want them to become egg eaters down the road. But as said before hard boiled eggs are great and all of mine love them
     
  9. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As for enriching their diet, something that I gave my chickens that I haven't seen anyone mention on this site is dried sea kelp. I started adding it to their feed when they were chicks. It not really a treat so it didnt throw off their diet in any way. It made their feathers grow in beautifully and they started laying big eggs right on schedule. I stopped giving it to them a while back, but only because it wasn't available at my feed store and had to start buying it online. But I will probably order some more once I get my new batch of chicks in a couple weeks and start feeding it to the entire flock again.
     
  10. glib

    glib Chillin' With My Peeps

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    concur with eggs, specially the white which is not very digestible by humans, whereas the yolk digests in minutes, and has all the goodies (the minerals and the vitamins). they still get most of the proteins, specially very large amounts of lysine and methionine. other cheap nutritional boosts are fodder and fermented feed.
     

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