Feeding chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Kimjohnson, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. Kimjohnson

    Kimjohnson In the Brooder

    Dec 25, 2017
    what would be the best feed to feed chickens when the weather is getting to be -20 to -30 through out the night
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    20% chicken feed. Layer if they are laying... all flock or whatever lower calcium feed that is available if they are not laying.

    Do make sure that they have at least 10 hours of light to eat as much as they want....and liquid water.

    Good treats are fats... left over bacon grease, etc.
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hi, welcome to BYC! :frow

    I agree 20% protein formulated feed. I provide free choice oyster shell on the side for layers. Sometimes sold as flock raiser, all flock, grower... If 20% wasn't available I would go for 18-22% grower or unmedicated starter, with oyster shell on the side so they can regulate their intake according to their personal needs. I personally never feed layer, but have many ages and genders in my flock and so "flock raiser" (Purina happens to be what's available to me) is what suits the needs of my flock VERY well. :)

    Do NOT buy that corn keeps chickens warm. A calorie is a calorie and the bird burns calories to stay warm (or regulate their body temperature), might as well make it a nutritious calorie instead of empty ones that are void of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. ;)

    I don't know about the whole daylight hours thing... I don't supplement light, it's a personal choice. :cool:

    It's my understanding that ventilation is key to avoiding frostbite in those conditions since it isn't the cold that causes it but rather moisture settling and freezing that is the main offender. Remembering that moisture is exhaled every time they breath. So closing up tight could be dangerous. And some folks use vaseline on combs and waddles with great success! So if you don't already have those kind of pointers, please try to check into them. :thumbsup

    That sounds brutal temps. Stay warm! :caf
  4. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    If your daylight hours are less than 8 hours a day (because of coop design, cloud cover, or latitude) AND temps stay below -10 F or so for extended periods. It is horrendously difficult for poultry to maintain their weight. They simply do not have enough hours in the say to eat. Eating = warmth

    If you supplement light to 10 hours, you will not be stimulating them to lay, but you will be giving them enough time to eat so they have enough calories to thrive even at extended low temps.

    Giving them 12 or more hours of light for them to lay. ... well... that us a different thing all together.

    As to Vaseline on combs ... maybe that works at temps right close to freezing. .. or if your chickens have poor comb condition maybe (like chapped lips :confused: )
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    I was wondering why the suggestion of TEN hours, since that isn't what I usually see. Although your first post said that same thing, I guess it didn't process all the way through my brain, regarding feeding time.

    My temps don't get cold enough to try vaseline, but many people swear by it and lots of threads discuss it including some of the science (I'm the one who called crap on it too). I've been down to +20 degrees F at my lowest in another location and didn't have issues that time, but that was also the very DRY desert. I didn't even know chickens could get frostbite back then.

    I do understand that eating equals warmth and body condition maintenance. And that we don't all have the same conditions to contend with. So I was thinking about what was the actual minimum hours of light I get and it's probably close to 9.5 hours. But my temperature is extremely moderate. I am far enough north with tall trees. Like you say though clouds, window orientation and so many other conditions and a LOT of people live farther north than me.

    Thanks for the new information! It makes sense, and I'm here to learn. :thumbsup
  6. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I think I remember reading that the Vaseline does help, but only in moderate temps... and if there are skin issues with the combs. And that at colder temps the Vaseline makes it worse.

    It has been too long though...since I have read anything scientific on the subject. .. if you have a link, please post.

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