feeding my chickens


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 23, 2011
Im still new with chickens . I have 9 from last spring that still do very well. All 7 of the layers still lay almost everyday as it varies but i usually have 4 to 7 every day. They didnt stop this winter. I would say they are healthy and large for their size. Im not sure what they are but i was told bantee but they looked mixed because they seem to be double the size of a bantee but smaller than regular size. My boyfriend who was a farm boy told me we should feed mostly corn. I used a blender to crack whole corn we grew and dried ourselves. I mixed this in the layer feed i bought probally half and half and then later got some mixed grain/bird feed from a friend that feeds it to all his animals. This is mixed with the corn and i break it up in blender and mix in with the feed. I also have no idea how much shells to add so i just mix some in. They free range when im home after work and when im home all day. They dont seem to eat much when running free. my eggs seem to be tasty and large and they seem fine. I read that corn was a nono all year but they love the corn and gobble it up fast. I dont feed them oatmeal much anymore but they love that and yogurt was inhaled. So are they not getting what they need and too much of corn?
Corn is fine in small amounts all year round. It is so low in protein that it shouldn't be a large part of the diet ever. My chickens eat corn every day in my feed mix.

You don't have to crack the whole corn for large fowl. They don't need grit for the whole grain (corn) if you are free ranging. If they are bantams I would crack the corn, though, as they might get it stuck in their throats.

In the old days apparently from what I read on BYC they did feed just corn to chickens with free ranging and table scraps. But today a higher total protein is desired (16% for layers usually). This becomes especially important in winter if the range is covered with snow and they are not getting the bugs and worms.

So the layer feed is usually 16% protein and is designed to be the sole ration. It is generally recommended here on BYC (at least I have seen the moderators say) that treats should comprise no more than around 10% of the diet, in order to keep balance.

Are the shells you are using eggshells or oyster shells? I mix mine in the feed too- I feed exactly how much I think it would take to cover all the eggs for the day.

Corn is 7-9% protein and makes a great treat.
oyster shells. I get a bit too lazy to wash the eggs shells up. I just toss it in. Although i have been putting some in a dish on the side hoping they will eat some of it now that they are free ranging they havent been eating half of what they eat. I almost wonder if they dont eat enough. Even in the winter the 7 hens and 2 roos only ate a icecream bucket at the most of feed a day. and alot of that ends up all over. But all of my eggs are almost too sturdy so i wasnt worried too much about the calcium.
our feed is mostly corn. we've been feeding the same feed (essentially) for over 30 years, with absolutely ZERO problems. it's actually hog feed. 400 pounds of swine mix to 1600 pounds of ground corn brings it up to 17% or so protein. it's actually cheaper to buy the soy meal separate from the minerals, amino acids, etc., but either way, same thing in the end. i doubt most here would want to mix that much up at a time, anyway, nor would some want to go through the effort. my brother recently started raising birkshires and durocs on his own, after my dad sold the farm, so i just buy the feed from him.

corn is fine, as long as the other amino acids, protein and minerals are added to it.

ZERO problems, the chickens love it and lay beautiful eggs, never had any health problems, and they all live nice long lives.
corn is fine, as long as the other amino acids, protein and minerals are added to it.

This is truely an important statement. Know the amino acid composition of your diet, what the birds need, and how what youa re adding will change the distribution. Percent protein is really a meanless measurement. It's the amino acid composition that critical, as well as the ME because that controls feed intake. Protein percentage is only as important as the first limiting amino acid, with respect to the ME... and intake.

so what im doing then is just fine if i got that right. They sure love the corn so i would hate to take it away and because it saves alot in feed cost as we grow it ouselves. Im thinking of trying to add flax seed to the mix also. Does that do them anygood o is that just for our benefit?

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