Chicken Feed + Kitchen Scraps = ?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Auburnchick, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Auburnchick

    Auburnchick Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011
    This is for all of you long-time chicken owners with loads of experience.

    If you give your chickens kitchen scraps in addition to their feed, do your chickens eat less feed and therefore you save money on your feed bill? Or do they just eat the scraps in addition to feed and get fat?[​IMG]

    Does it make a difference if their feed is out all the time vs. just offered at a certain time of day? Right now my ladies have a hanging feeder that they have access to all the time, and I also bring them my highest quality food scraps. Kraft Mac and Cheese goes to the dogs, organic whole grain bread or veggies to the chickens. [​IMG] I figure if I'm going to be eating their eggs, I want their food to be as good as it can be. I try to save scraps until late afternoon and let that be what they fill their crops with before roosting.

    Thoughts? Wisdom?[​IMG]
  2. RioLindoAz

    RioLindoAz Sleeping

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yuma, Arizona
    Chickens are able to tell when they've had enough food, meaning that they wont eat after they've had their fill.
    Feeding them the extra scraps wont fatten them, but will be introduced to their diet replacing things they would have otherwise eaten.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Feeding our chickens left overs or table scraps is just fine. However, they will only eat as well or poorly as we eat. If we eat junk and feed them the left overs, well.... sure, they're just getting our junk.

    If we eat well and nutritiously, so will they in eating our left overs. It is pretty much that simple.
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    do your chickens eat less feed and therefore you save money on your feed bill

    Depends on if you are consistently doing this each evening and are the scraps of large enough quantity to feed your flock or just enough to add to their supper? Unless you are consistently supplementing with scraps, I doubt it will save you much on the feed bill but it does get rid of your garbage.

    I feed all our scraps to dogs, chickens, sheep, etc. Usually dogs get first pick of the pile and eat all things that are not salad scraps...sheep get those and the poor chickens are left with the scraps of the scraps. [​IMG]
  5. Auburnchick

    Auburnchick Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011
    Thanks you guys...all of those are helpful answers! I am so thankful for this forum. Before I got my girls, I read everything I could find about keeping chickens, and I thought I knew a lot.[​IMG] Now I'm having to continue my education by observing my chickens and asking questions of people with some experience.[​IMG]
  6. LoveMyFeatherBabies

    LoveMyFeatherBabies Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 8, 2011
    Shelby, NC
    Is there anything you shouldn't feed your chicken? We have a scrap bowl on the counter that we keep until it gets full. So far I haven't come across anything they didn't or wouldn't eat. Is there anything I should avoid?
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    They will only consume what they like and leave the rest. I've never had problems with any of the scraps fed to chooks down over the years. I've noticed they don't like onions or potato peelings.
  8. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    For potato peelings, just microwave for a few minutes. It's a good way to make a pile of peelings that is otherwise not safe a yummy chicken feed.
    I definitely find when I'm canning and creating a lot of scraps that the chickens eat less processed feed.
    The day they really don't eat, though, is when we have flood irrigation and they gorge themselves on bugs. Wish I knew how to catch that amount of roaches/crickets for them everyday! You would not believe the amount of bugs that come out when the yard is flooded!
  9. RoyRooster

    RoyRooster Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 6, 2011
    I let my chickens free range (when I'm working outside to supervise them) and feed them surplus produce from the gardens. I sometimes feed table scraps, but try to avoid giving them much bread since it has very little nutional value.
  10. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    I am thrilled with our garbage disposers! We have a bad habit of freezing good leftovers and then forgetting about them. The other day, I thawed some bean soup and put it in the pen - they loved it.

    My husband is glad to see me clean out the freezer too! Also got rid of a loaf of zucchini bread, perfectly safe to eat but the foil tore and had a freezer taste -- they can clean up a treat fast.

    There are 34 of them so I'm not too worried about them getting too much as I really don't treat them that often. Also, they are not free ranging as much since the time change because DH gets home after dark and I get home even later. So they have eaten all of their grass in the run as they have been there more often recently.

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