Feeding chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KatieCov, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. KatieCov

    KatieCov Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2012
    I am a new chicken owner and need advice on feeding chickens! They seem to love their feed, and I also give them kitchen scraps (they love fruit and tomatoes) . Is there anyway of overfeeding them? Or is it ok to give them lots of veggies? We also feed them all the grub worms we find in the garden. Have lots of questions and any advice would be great.
     
  2. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens love veggies, so go ahead and feed. just dont feed them raw potato/ skins.

    what breed are your chickens? I believe you can over feed only a few breeds.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  3. KatieCov

    KatieCov Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok so no raw potatos, Thank you! We just got two Buff Orpingtons, the first chickens we have ever had. I love them already and have so many questions. I just threw out two tomatoes and they devoured them in about 2 minutes flat. I cut a cantaloupe in half and let them peck at it and that was gone in about 3 hours[​IMG]. Do I need to feed them oyster shells? I have heard that helps with the egg shells.
     
  4. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you just have hens, Yes, you can give them free choice oyster shell.
     
  5. TajMahalChickens

    TajMahalChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it is pretty hard to over feed chickens... I suppose if they start feeling fat you can hold off. I have heard that Buff Orpingtons can get fat, but I doubt it. But if you are letting them get outside for some exercise, give them as many table scraps as you want. If you sprinkle to table scraps around the run, they will get extra exercise searching for scratching. We give our girls everything under the sun - grocery bags of overripe apples, leftover chicken carcasses after soup is made (yes, they love it), and buckets of unsaleable lettuce that the grocery store gives us. And we only have 13 birds!

    If they have access to the outside, or you are only feeding bagged chicken feed, then you don't have to worry about grit. But since you are feeding scraps, it would be wise to feed them grit. If they have access to the outside, they will find their own grit. You can feed it in a separate container (but make sure their regular feed is full - if the feed gets empty they could revert to eating solely grit and that could be dangerous), or you could sprinkle it in their run for them to find on their own.
     
  6. KatieCov

    KatieCov Out Of The Brooder

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    This is another question I need help with...We live in the city limits and have our chickens in our backyard. We got them about 2 weeks ago and I havent let them out of the run yet. I am worried they will fly over the fence. They are Buff Orpingtons and everything I have read says they are too large to fly too high. Is this true? Also, how do you get them back into the run or coop?
     
  7. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would start by letting them out for an hour or two in the late afternoon early evening before it gets dark. They will gravitate back to the coop when it gets dark. After they've done that a couple of weeks they'll know where "home" is and put themselves to bed. Also, if they have a favorite treat that they all come running for, you could offer that from within the run or close to the coop when you want them to come as you call them. Eventually they'll associate your calling them with food and will come even if you don't have the treat. A chicken is bribe-able with food.
     
  8. KatieCov

    KatieCov Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! I did exactly what you said and its great! They come running for Cheerios and seem pretty easy to get back into the coop. They have even started begging for food and to be let out of the coop [​IMG]
     

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