Chicken Feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by benjensen842, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. benjensen842

    benjensen842 Out Of The Brooder

    29
    0
    32
    Feb 5, 2009
    Indiana
    Can layers be raised strictly on foodscraps and some crushed oyster shells for calcium? I'm interested in getting a couple of layers but would like to avoid purchasing feed if at all possible. If anyone has been successful raising hens on table/vegetable scraps, I'd love to hear about it.
     
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    17
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I think this is an excellent question, Ben.

    A few years ago, I tried to do just that - feed only kitchen scraps. But, I had a 3 person household and 3 hens. Even with our whole food diet (little processed food [​IMG]), we still didn't have quite enuf scraps from the kitchen. And, free-ranging in a backyard didn't provide much for the hens, either. Still, we came very close.

    What I feel is essential is to - set another place at the dinner table for your laying hens. They need every bit as nutritious food as we do. You can give them the peelings but you still have to do right by the hens or they just won't have enuf nutrients to produce eggs.

    If you are preparing good food in your kitchen for the family - my thinking is that everybody can share leftovers with their own chicken. One person - one chicken. It isn't quite enuf scraps but comes darn close [​IMG].

    Steve
     
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    17
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Here are a few facts:

    According to the USDA, the average American has 3,800 calories of food to prepare for meals every day. Of that, 1,100 calories are lost. We eat more than we should but discard a lot!!

    According to the Poultry Science people at Auburn University, the average hen may need 340 calories each day.

    We cannot feed them spoiled food but, one would think that out of 1,100 calories tossed out we could find 340 calories for a laying hen.

    Steve

    edited to say: Welcome to BYC [​IMG]!
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  4. Bacchus

    Bacchus Out Of The Brooder

    90
    0
    39
    Jan 9, 2009
    This is very interesting, thanks for the info, digitS'! I have noticed that my free ranging hens don't eat from the feeder as often even though it's always readily available to them, and by giving them kitchen scraps I do save a lot on chicken feeds each month.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by