Feeding food slops to chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SecondWorldFarm, May 16, 2010.

  1. SecondWorldFarm

    SecondWorldFarm New Egg

    May 16, 2010
    Hello there!

    My first question ever to these forums! Love this website.

    Our Story..
    We currently have 38 R.I. Reds (with three roosters) and my first question has to do with feeding.

    In Hawaii on the Big Island here, the costs for grains is fairly high. We decided to feed our chickens by picking up food scraps from three local restaurants and dumping them into the center of our outdoor coop. Every few days we rake up our straw and put down fresh straw so that the foods that are on the ground aren't there for more than a few days at a time. We also feed them grains - layer and scratch and fresh grass--as much as they can eat.

    The choice by the owner of this land was to keep the chickens in a very large cage - 12 foot by 12 foot by 10 feet high as we have dogs from our neighbors
    , mongoose that roam here and there (weasels) and we are trying to produce as much compost as possible for our garden which will become a CSA Farm style garden with the eggs also adding to the CSA menu.

    We are trying to do be practical and also thrifty with money. The left over food scraps definitely add to our compost pile in a good way (more organic material) and we have no end to the amount dry straw we can add from our land.

    Recently we have been told that it is not good for chickens to eat the slop that we get from the restaurants....that wet food is somehow bad for chickens....but the chickens seem to be relatively healthy and happy.

    1) Is it bad to feed slop to chickens? If not, should we have a ratio of dry grains vs wet rice / beans?

    2) The roosters are noisy. How many should (if any) one have in a cage with 35 hens?

    3) Is it bad for us to have a giant compost pile using up 20% of our coop? Would that be bad for the health of the chickens??

    Thanks for any answers out there!!
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  2. Gonzo

    Gonzo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Southwestern, In
    Well, with slop you have to worry about too much oil and grease, and foods that chickens can't eat. like onion. We give ours leftover on ocassion, but never as a main diet. I would worry that they wouldn't get all the proper nutrients needed. You want to be careful with fresh cut grass too. (I did that and we had one develop a sour crop) The chickens would require alot of grit too. And if you're not too careful you can cause crop problems. How big is the coop your chickens are in? you need a 4x4ft space per chicken in a coop. and you can have about 1 rooster for every 10 hens. How old are your Roosters? I would make sure they don't fight, and if your hens start to go bald on the back, you'll want to take out a rooster so they don't get wore out. I'm a little confused about your compost pile taking 20% of your coop area. You don't want anything wet on the coop floor. Moisture cause's disease in chickens. Moisture can cause respirtory illness. A damp coop will kill a chicken faster than the the heat or the cold. I hope this helps you out, maybe someone else will chime in with more info! [​IMG] And [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  3. SecondWorldFarm

    SecondWorldFarm New Egg

    May 16, 2010
    Thanks for your advice, very appreciated!
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    It won't hurt to feed them this but you may want to supplement with whole grains also if you notice any chickens doing poorly. I would definitely be adding plenty of straw or other roughage to the compost pile and the birds will keep it worked up and dried out for you. Not to mention they will get some good nutrition from the bugs and worms that come to feast on the rotten veggies and such.

    You don't need any roosters unless you want to let your broodies raise some chicks.

    The best way to monitor if something you are doing is healthy for your birds is just to watch your flock closely and make the necessary adjustments in a timely fashion. Feather picking or too much smell in your run/coop? Look into reducing your numbers and adding some more protein. Upper respiratory infections? Look to how wet your run is and try to keep it more dry.

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