Does anyone here with free-rangers NOT feed them grains, or

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ssledoux, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. ssledoux

    ssledoux Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    at least feed them just fresh grains, and not the lay pellets?

    I'd really like to feed more natural foods and am trying to stay away from layer pellets and the like (though I have my young chicks on starter of course). I'm just wondering if my chickens are ranging (from 8 a.m. or so until dark), what do they really need in the way of grains? Of course I don't want them NOT to lay, but I don't have to push them either...
  2. chickiemom

    chickiemom In the Brooder

    Mar 1, 2007
    South Louisiana
    Heres my 2 cents.......
    I get up at 5 left the sheep and chickens out of the pen/coop. They stay out all day. They go all over until 6 pm when I feed them. Now they have been free ranged all day, but I still give laying pellets. last year we ran out of laying pellets and they went on strike! so we cont. with the pellets. I am curious on how your chickens will do. Good luck and please keep up posted!
  3. Llysse

    Llysse Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    You can mix your own rations, but it is difficult, because you have to make sure the chickens get enough protein, calcium, fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals and so forth. A friend of mine uses his own recipe, consisting of of Cracked Corn, Oats, Alfalfa Meal, Linseed Meal, Kelp, Fish Meal, Probiotics, Trace Mineral Salt, food grade DE and free choice oyster shell. For most small flock owners it's much easier to stick with commercial rations, because you don't have to have so many different grains and ingredients in bulk and you don't have to worry that your chickens are missing something vital because the oats or the corn you bought THIS time doesn't have the same amount of protein or fat as the last batch you bought. Most commercial feed is guaranteed to fall within certain minimums so your birds can remain healthy.

    That being said, you have a lot more control if you mix your own feed... you can increase the calorie content when it's cold, or the protein when they're moulting. If you're good at it and you pay attention, you can probably get even better results that with commercial feed because you can adjust things based on the condition and needs of your flock. I just don't trust myself to be that good at it this early in my chicken-keeping career. [​IMG]
  4. Sarah Bella

    Sarah Bella In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2007
  5. Critter Crazy

    Critter Crazy Songster

    Apr 19, 2007
    Binghamton, NY
    My birds free range, but they still get their pellets. They get upset if they dont get on time, so I cannot imagine how they would act if They didnt get it at all!
  6. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007

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