Chickens eating less feed and more...


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 3, 2012
My 5 week old RIR hens are eating less Starter Feed nowadays but MORE natural food, i.e., grasses/weeds, insects and bugs, etc.

I provide them every morning with enough fresh Starter Feed in their trough to last them through day...they do eat it and want it.

But, I'm noticing everday they are spending less time at the trough.

In the 6 days that I've had these "little buggers"...I've noticed that they do LOVE to forage more on the natural foods available to them.

I didn't realize how much they love to DEVOUR all the plant material and insects/bugs available to them in their run. It's definitely going to decrease the amount of commercial feed in the long run.... I would guess [65% natural food / 35% commercial feed] by my observations.

Today, I'm going to create a natural "BUG FARM" just from stuff in my yard....I'm going to rake all the fallen leaves and clippings into an area of my yard.... and just let nature take its course...

In three weeks or so, they'll be enough resident insects/bugs at the bottom of the pile where I can just rake-up a couple dust-pan fulls of material laden with all sorts of insects/bugs and toss it into their run a few times a week.

And I will be pulling grasses and weeds in my yard and stuffing it in a large wire mesh-like container hanging on the wall of their run where they can tug at and eat their favorite greens.

I guess these little buggers are TEACHING ME what they want and need
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Yep, they LOVE it....

My 7 yr old daughter and I gathered up some leaves and dried-up straw-like grasses from the yard and made a pile; then ran the weed-whacker through it and created a BUG FARM.

Actually, its now just a pile of organic matter that will be used as a Mulch pile so we can gather bugs every couple of days or so...

We made it into a row [12 ft long x 4 ft wide x 8" high] and "seeded" it with a little chicken manure and some already decaying mulch we had around the property and watered it down. I plan to keep it moist not soggy and hopefully in a few weeks we'll see alot of bugs in there!

We do have alot of wild turkeys, pheasants, chukars, and francolins running through the property so I put the mulch pile in an enclosed fenced area, where they will have no to minimal contact with the MULCH PILE, aka BUG FARM

Also, I made a "wire basket" a little bigger than the size of a 5# coffee can and stuffed a couple of large handfuls of some tall grasses/weeds and hung it from the wall of their run....They LOVE it!....Really, it's just a gnarly bunch of tall grasses that I literally ripped out and shoved in there.

The "wired" GRASS BASKET works extremely well... because they need to tug hard at the grass, thereby tearing it into smaller manageable pieces for them to chew and swallow more easily... I did this specifically as an aid to their digestion.

Its alot of FUN!
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