Chickens of yesteryear....

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Wolfwoman, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    Did great gramma and grampa FEED their chickens, or did they just let em eat what they could out of the farmyard?

    It seems that if we can free range our birds, is there a need for store bought feed?

  2. I do believe the chickens were fed as well as free ranging for food. At least as many scraps etc as you could give them along with some grains most likely. A neighbor of mine who had chickens when I was a kid used to get "days old" bread by the truckload. Literally a big pile of loafed breads. A friend of his must've worked for a bakery or something. He fed his chickens and hunting beagles the bread.
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:Perhaps, if you were running a farm, with fields of corn or wheat, soybeans, or whatever. Or feeding beef, pigs, or other livestock with grains or other feed which the chickens could also consume. And you threw all of your kitchen scraps out for them, too. And your own meals were similar to your gramma's and grampa's. Bet they didn't compost their kitchen food scraps, and included any meat bits they didn't consume in soups or stews.

    My grandmother was raised on a farm in Kansas. They did buy feed for their chickens, just not formulated the way we do at this present time. And of course, it was supplemented by kitchen scraps and what the chickens could find around the farm.
  4. Jeremy Parker

    Jeremy Parker In the Brooder

    May 25, 2010
    I'm a genertion chicken raising my gradma said she had feed for the chickens and table scraps.

    She actually said the food for the chickens was called scratch. She said thier was coarse corn, wheat, oats and not sure on the rest.

    She said her mother would go out the front door in the moring and throw it on the ground chickens would come running.

  5. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    Interesting, always wondered about that [​IMG]

    So, what did chickens eat before WE came along? [​IMG]
  6. Lesa

    Lesa Songster

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    I think so much depends on where you live and how much land you have for free ranging. Wolfwoman, I think you can pretty much forget it for most of the year in Alaska!! Even here in upstate NY, I am lucky if the birds will even walk in the snow- and the bugs are long gone. I bet if you had land in Florida, you could easily do it...There are lots of "wild" chickens living in the Keys. I am sure they find garbage/food, etc, but the bug population is never ending! Same thing as the dogs of yesteryear. Dog food was unheard of- you fed your dog table scraps. Times change-now the pet food industry is huge!
  7. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:What Granma fed the chickens? Well, my strongest memory is getting spurred my her mean old rooster when I was about 9 years old. (Granma traveled to Oregon in a Wagon Train when she was 9, so you do the math) But for chicken feed, it was free range year round with all the table scraps tossed to the chickens. I do somewhat remember grains tossed out in the winter time, I assume the grain came from their own farming production.

  8. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    Lesa isn't that the truth!! No, I wasn't thinking of Except they have TONS to forage in the summer. It was just a general question, as we all seem SO concerned with what they eat.
  9. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    [​IMG] "When I was a kid, chickens weren't invented yet" [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Songster

    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    Chickens in an appropriate climate and habitat (they are descended from jungle fowl, so not Alaska) would be able to SURVIVE on freely found food, but probably would not produce the eggs or meat we are accustomed to.

    I want my eggs and meat I therefore feed, protect, water and shelter my chickens during their lives. It is like a Domestication Contract.

    Now, there is nothing wrong with finding cheaper and more natural-to-chickens sources of food for your birds. Every environment provides something, but not always available in every season or good as an exclusive food.

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