Do I really need to supplement?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Team Woodlawn, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. Team Woodlawn

    Team Woodlawn Hatching

    I buy an organic feed and that's all I feed my chickens, other than veggies and fruit that would otherwise go in my compost.

    But then I started reading here about people who give their chickens yogurt and fruit and oatmeal and I'm thinking WHOA! Should I be doing more? Isn't the point of a feed that it's all in one?

    Also, my 7 month old chickens aren't laying (never have) so I'm not feeding any grit - is that correct?

    I have some cochins and some other varieties, and I know the cochins are slow to mature.

  2. ooptec

    ooptec In the Brooder

    Dec 6, 2008
    Hafford, SK, Canada

    I'd be willing to bet that the great majority of chickens never eat anything but rations and never see any more than from their cages.

    I'm prob. being ridiculous but I think it's the equivalent of me eating nothing but the same kind of energy bar lol.

    What I do know is that chickens have quite a good sense of taste. Their natural diet is 1/3 greens like grass and weeds and also high protein like bugs, grubs and any kind of meat scrap. They/ll go toe to toe w/the dogs for bones.


  3. Team Woodlawn

    Team Woodlawn Hatching

    Oh, I should add that they chickens roam free in the yard during the day, so they get their fair share of bugs and such.

  4. spatcher

    spatcher Songster

    Apr 13, 2008
    Virginia - Southside
    Grit is not for eggs, did you mean oyster shell? They need grit to digest their food...they need oyster shell for their eggs.
  5. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    I don't make extra/special food for my chickens - but they do get scraps from the kitchen almost daily. Along with their regular food.
    And they free-range.

    don't stress it, if you're feeding them good food, and I would guess organic IS, they'll be fine.
  6. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Quote:I think you have to give them some laying mesh feed with protin then they will lay eggs, I don,t know much about organic but I know that back in the old days people let thier chicken free range all the time and always had eggs.

    Grit is important for thier digesting system, Oyster shells is for calcium.

  7. freemotion

    freemotion Songster

    Nov 10, 2008
    Western MA
    You are doing just fine for your girls. A lot of people here just love to give treats, the chickens are as much pets as they are a food source. For some they are purely pets.

    I am a very pragmatic person and give my chickens all the household scraps as their "treats".....but I have been known to bake up a batch of quick bread for the hens in the winter and also to buy kale and collards when it is on sale....and sometimes when it isn't. Just 'cause....they are sweeties and I like to bring them some extra happiness now and then.

    As Omram wrote, you need to be sure you buy rock/granite grit, it is their "teeth" to grind their food. Some stores will label oyster shell as grit, this drives me insane (some say I was already insane before I spotted the bag of oyster "grit!") You need both for your chickens, and you are correct, the oyster shell is for the layers around the time they start to lay.

    With the free-ranging time, they have picked up some small stones from your yard, but will need some in a container in their coop if you keep them confined for more than a few days or if you have snow cover in your area. With a separate container of oyster shell, they will take what they need and do just fine.

    They are lucky chickens!
  8. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Quote:No you don't.

    My chickens get general poultry feed, as I don't want to feed babies/youngsters and roosters a layer feed. I suppliment with oyster shell for the older girls who are laying - they help themselves.
  9. gainesvillej

    gainesvillej Hatching

    Dec 11, 2008
    Quote:If chickens are in the pasture, do you still need to supplement with oyster shell or do they pick that up on their own?
  10. jacyjones

    jacyjones Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Aberystwyth, Wales
    Quote:If chickens are in the pasture, do you still need to supplement with oyster shell or do they pick that up on their own?

    You still need to give them oyster shell otherwise they use the calcium in their bodies instead and that is bad for them! My chickens get layers pellets and they free range. they can eat the windfall apples in teh orchard but get no other treats. I don't think treats are necessary but they are given because people like to do it.[​IMG]

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