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Chickens Diet

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by madditremaine, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is a summary on feeding.
    Feed like Starter, Grower, Layer and Allflock Contain everything your chicken needs for their entire life. Each one slightly different specific purpose. Like stated earlier. If hens are laying, and using other than layer feed, then add calcium in the form of oyster shells. It is good to have free choice oyster shells with layer feed as well. Source of grit as well.
    This compares to people eating lets say only oatmeal, and getting a handful of pills and vitamin and mineral supplements along side their bowl of oatmeal. Kind of a bland tasting diet. Where is my dessert !!! ??? But you get the idea.. You will live a long life.
    Giving chickens feed plus grains and scratch and table scrap leftovers , equals to people eating regular diets and enjoying life. Includes desserts and when some get the munchies. For various reasons.
    Free range ....... equals to free food. People equivalent to finding an orchard where you are allowed to eat all the fruit and not have to pay for it.
    Corn is good to feed to chickens , but not exclusively.. It even states it on every bag you buy. It is not complete in nutritional needs.
    Here is a test that anyone can do. Take 3 containers and fill one with Feed. Second with corn, Third, with a mix of various seeds. Now set your girls loose. I already know where all of them will be scrambling to. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lol. Don't want them to fall asleep in the nest box!
     
  3. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    I actually do that, mix my own feed... It's actually quite easy, as long as what you are mixing has all their essential nutrient needs, ie protein, fiber, micro nutrients, etc..

    And I have a huge amount of birds, so 200# goes by pretty fast...

    But FRESH grain stores WAY longer than bag feed. A little tip in what granaries do... The grain is kept in bins after harvest. If that grain is not sold by the time next years harvest comes in, it gets made into pellets. So there's a very good chance that the pellet feed with the expiration date is actually made from year old grain. ;) sneaky.

    I have the luxury of my own corn, wheat, and alfalfa, so there's 3 big ones there. Wheat, great protein, up to 14%, they LOVE it, and good digestible fiber. Alfalfa, protein up to 20%, more indigestible fiber, making more poo...keep the alfalfa less than 30% of the mix. Wheat, 25-35%... Corn, low protein, about 10, but very digestible, good energy output... Millet, I put that in because they love it, it has 10% protein and a good amount of calcium..BOSS...pretty feathers and omega 3s for the eggs... Oyster shell for calcium supplement, and molasses for extra vitamins and minerals.

    If I add in the normal cost per bushel for the grains I have on hand, it would still only cost me about $.30/ pound. Yes, you would have probably 4 months worth of feed for 20 chickens lol, but that would be oh.... Math...ugh...ok just say 200# for about 50 bucks.

    Oh its way too early for all that thinking lol :p

    Edit, I completely forgot the soy...every once in a while, if I can find a good price on it, I'll toss in some soy pellets... Soy can skyrocket up to 40% protein in there, so if you don't mind GMO, try soybean ;)

    Oh lol also...oatscare very high indigestible fiber, so try to get "hulled" oats, less wasted filler :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
    2 people like this.
  5. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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  6. DmCrawlz

    DmCrawlz Out Of The Brooder

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    Do you give your chickens medicine as well? Overrated?
     
  7. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    No meds...:oops: ...overrated IMO... IF i were starting out, first chicks, didnt know my soil history, I would be tempted to add some chick starter type feed in there, but I don't feed medicine at all, unless it's an antibiotic or an immunization. If i get a sick bird, I cull it immediately. I have a large flock, and I breed for immunity; chicks get antibodies from pecking moms' poo, so with an already established flock, it's really not necessary.

    I might add ACV to water in summer, more to keep algae at bay in the plastuc waterers, and help aid digestion in the heat.

    It ends up being essentially an all flock, 17% or so. And if somebody doesn't need the calcium, it stays in the bottom of the feeder ;)

    There's wiggle room to save a buck here and there...the BOSS is the priciest, not essential.. But a nice treat and it gives them something to peck at in winter when they're bored, like a scratch :)

    Edit* autocorrect :p
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  8. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Are you sure? ... Lol just kidding ;)

    But the peanut hulls...for taste, fiber, and cheap filler ;)

    Sorry about this being a cattle link lol, but my phone pops up cattle stuff first all the time lol :D
    http://www.cattletoday.com/archive/2003/March/CT257.shtml

    It's got a rundown on those hulls in comparison to others... Cheap easy way to fill a hole and use up something essentially useless ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  9. madditremaine

    madditremaine Out Of The Brooder

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    Could I buy the feed bag at the store, and just mix it with other grains? Like 50% pellet allflock feeds with 25% scratch and 25% whole grains, ex. wheat, oats, corn etc? And crushed eggshells or oyster shells for calcium? That's what I've been thinking of doing. :) Aaaaaaaand, when should I give them grit? Should I give them a feeder of it like I do with eggshells? Thats what I've figured. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

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    Scratch grains are not a complete feed and are low in protein. Not enough protein can cause all sorts of problems like feather picking, egg eating, and stopping egg production completely. Scratch should not make up more than 10% of a chicken's overall diet. You can use either crushed oyster shell or egg shells, but they will go through the egg shells faster than they would the oyster shell. Grit helps break down their food in the gizzard. Chickens don't have teeth. They rely on grit in their gizzard to break things down for digestion. If they have access to soil, they may never need grit. I have a gravel driveway that mine scratch through for what they need. You can put the calcium supplement in it's own feeder, dish, or bowl; but always offer it in a separate container, never mix it into the feed.
     

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