feeding help

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by toad, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. toad

    toad Hatching

    Aug 28, 2007

    We just received 6 layers about a week ago from some friends. They have been very happy to roam our acre of land in search of anything and everything to eat. We were provided some rye berries for feeding and some scratch. They do not seem interested and up until now we have not worried. They are now roaming farther and farther and we are wondering if they are getting enough food. They get fresh vegetable and fruit scraps daily and forage for the rest of their food. Is our acre large enough to support 6 hens without baged food? Are they getting all they need?If not what else should we be feeding them? We would like to stay as organic and natural as possible but also buy locally. Any and all suggestions would be much appreciated!

  2. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    If you don't want many eggs and semi-hungry hens, they don't need any supplemental feed if they are free-ranging. They could probably survive on ranging and scraps. However, if you want them to be healthy, live long happy lives and produce a good amount of eggs, a laying ration needs to be available to supplement their foraging. Most of us let the hens have it free-choice, available 24/7. They cannot get enough protein eating bugs, grass, vegetable scraps, etc.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2007
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I would really pick up a bag of layer food and provide it 24/7. They will still forage all day. You can get organic chicken food now. You should also be providing oyster shell, for calcium. They can probably find their own grit, but we provide that, too. It takes a lot of bugs to feed 6 chickens, unless they are also getting mice and lizards. [​IMG] Some forage is also more nutritious than others.

    If you want to feed whole food, then you need to do more work and reading to come up with a complete diet. You can read through some of the older threads in this section. In the mean time, I would still pick up a bag of layer food, so they have adequate nutrition while you are researching diet and trying to find local sources for the ingredients you will need.

    I hope this helps!

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