feed vs. kitchen scraps

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by k15n1, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. k15n1

    k15n1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Trying to figure out how to supplement the laying feed with kitchen scraps.

    A few months ago, I was given 5 black ausstrolorp hens, about 2 yo. They were raised in an enclosed run. They don't really notice when I throw kitchen scraps on the floor of the coop. If I sprinkle cracked corn, they're all about it and peck and scratch until it's gone. So what's going on? Do I need to restrict their access to the laying feed? I have a 40-lb feeder hanging in one corner all the time. And with it being so cold, the heat lamp is on all the time. It's not very natural but my roo got some frostbite on his comb so I don't dare leave them without heat here in MN.
     
  2. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

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    they have overfed themselves probably. a 3 to 4 ounce can of feed is what each one of mine get daily. overfed birds are unhealthy birds
     
  3. k15n1

    k15n1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Could over-feeding cause lower egg production?
     
  4. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

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    probably not but they are going for the corn for the higher protein and warmth that it brings them. scraps are better in the spring and summer.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Corn is LOWER in protein than layer feed. Layer feed is usually 16-17% protein. Corn is under 10%.
    I would cut out the corn or scratch grains. They won't overfeed on their chicken feed.
    Feeding kitchen scraps is a good use of them but still shouldn't supplant more than 10% of the total intake.
    Depending on the scraps, you may have to chop or dice them. Diced carrots or broccoli spears will be readily consumed, once they know what they are. However a whole carrot or broccoli spear will be ignored.
    Chickens don't have hands or teeth so everything they get needs to be able to fit down their esophagus or be soft enough to bite.
     
  6. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

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    corn is HIGHER in protein than the kitchen scraps. popcorn has a higher protein than field corn. chickens will overfeed on anything if allowed unless they are freeranged. you can hang up a whole cabbage and chickens will tear it up. I agree that whole uncooked carrots may not be a good choice
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    There's no one protein % attributable to "kitchen scraps". If it's pasta, vegetables or fruit, it will be low. If they're meat, fish or cheese, they'll be quite high in protein, as much as 80%.
    Cracked corn will be 8-10% crude protein.
    http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/ansci/beef/as1238.pdf

    So unless the scraps contain animal protein, they and scratch grains will lower the overall protein which shouldn't be lower than 16% for layers.

    They will overeat scratch and many scraps.
    I and most people I know, keep chicken feed available all day and there's no overeating.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    When I use a complete layer formulation as primary feed for layer hens, the hens are slower to go after vegetable scraps. Same birds will hammer whole corn for short-term but after a couple of days they will slow intake of the whole corn back in favor of more layer formulation. When I use a high protein / nutrient density grower feed and provide whole grains (i.e whole corn) and oyster shell in another location, they will also hammer the the corn at first but when they settle back to a stable ratio of intake between the grower and corn, the amount of whole corn consumed is higher than with the previous example.


    The vegetable scraps are also more attractive when grower formulation is the base diet.
     
  9. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they were never feed kitchen scraps, they tend to be suspicious and won't dive into them. It could also be what you are giving them. They will have their likes and dislikes. I give mine most everything. They will leave what they don't like in the run and I'll rake it out and throw it on the compost pile. Keep giving them goodies. They'll get with the program. You are giving them something green and fresh that they don't get in the winter. It also gives them some entertainment scratching and pecking.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  10. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

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    I and most the people that I know feed their fowl measured amounts of feed. they, like me, have been doing this for 30+ years
     

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