Feeding free range chickens

Hquin

Hatching
Sep 29, 2020
3
1
9
Hello! I have 3 free range roosters and currently feeding them a mix of cracked corn and an all flock crumble. I know they shouldn't have layer feed as it contains too much calcium for roosters and they don't really eat the all flock crumble very much that I get them they just peck out the cracked corn. Do I even need to feed them a "nutritional" feed when they are free range? Or would the corn be enough? I also give them some fruits and vegetables in moderation. And as a reference, the roosters are 6 month old barred rocks, we live in rural indiana and also have horses. Just for fun I attached a picture of them in their "bachelor pad" where they sleep every night. Thank you!
 

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Florida Bullfrog

Songster
May 14, 2019
630
1,500
217
North Florida
It depends on your habitat and what you consider "free range." If they're outside 24/7 during the warm months and there's plenty of greenery and insects to eat, you can get away just supplementing them with a handful of all purpose sweet feed. You just have to actually have something for them to eat free ranging. Grass, bugs, various other plants. They'll get a lot from the dung of your other livestock.
 

CluckerFamily

Enabler
5 Years
Feb 14, 2016
10,397
61,028
1,131
Wisconsin
Do you provide free choice corn all the time?
If so, I would stop feeding them corn, it should only be a treat.
My flock tends to eat less chicken feed when they are able to free range. In the winter, they will eat more just because they aren't allowed to free range.
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
5 Years
Jul 26, 2016
5,683
11,696
671
Connecticut, USA
Hello! I have 3 free range roosters and currently feeding them a mix of cracked corn and an all flock crumble.
If they Freerange from Sunrise to Sunset I would skip the Cracked Corn and just offer the All-flock or a Non-medicated Start and Grow 18 to 20% Protein as their only ration. A lack of nutrients is a possibility when Free ranging, especially during winter season. GC
 
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alwaystj9

Small goats & big chickens + 1 old horse
Premium Feather Member
Aug 20, 2019
596
1,373
287
SE Louisiana
Mine are mostly free range, cooped at night. In the evening I call them in and give them (22 birds) a 1/2 feed scoop of lay pellets and a pan of whatever scraps there are. I also get stale bread from the bread store outlet (use for old horse with no teeth) and I generally tear up a few slices of bread for them. Everything is totally cleaned up in 30 minutes, usually less. They are all in good shape. The pellets are the very last thing they eat: first any bread, then they pull the best scrap parts out, finally they eat pellets. During max garden season, I usually back off on any prepared feed. In the pasture, their favorite food is horse poop.
 

Drumstick63

Chirping
May 19, 2021
31
74
51
Why are you giving them corn? Are you fattening them in preparation for butchering?

If not, better to cut out the corn and offer only the regular feed as supplement to their foraging.
Is it bad to give a little corn as a treat everyday ? I do and mealworms after the free range most of the day , they have layer feed also
 

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