Feeding Our Chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by NCnarrator, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. NCnarrator

    NCnarrator Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2012
    I have a confession - I am just slightly fond of organization. OK, maybe more than slightly. I love charts and graphs and all kinds of data collection, and I HATE to leave anything to chance if I don't have to.

    For several years we had pet rats (most awesome pet we've ever had, BTW). Rats are omnivores, and healthiest when they get a nice balanced mix of protein, carbs, and veggies...just like us. Our rats got lab blocks (large pellets specifically designed to be nutritionally complete), but as you know, living creatures need fresh food too. Going by recommendations on how often the rats needed certain types of food and in what quantity, I made a chart that hung on our refrigerator to give the sweeties a nice variety of what they needed. (i.e. On Mondays they got cooked navy beans, cooked sweet potato, corn on the cob, and an oyster).

    I'd like to do the same for our chickens so they are as healthy as possible and lay well for as long as they are able, but I can't find the same kind of information on what fresh stuff to feed, how much, and how often, other than the list of chicken treats (which is helpful, but not quite what I'm looking for). I'd LOVE some help from all you experienced yolks folks!

  2. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

    Mar 20, 2012
    You can give treats every day, but in moderation. Treats should not make up more than 10% of the diet.
    An average laying hen will eat about 1/4 pounds of feed a day. Therefore, the most treats they should get is 1/40 pounds of treats per day.
    Good Luck! [​IMG]
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    To have a written out a fresh food menu like that is something I haven't I haven't come across. To make a balanced diet, you have to know not only what each item brings to the menu but what is available to mix in. A daunting task. More of a challenge then formulating a feed mix. If you do it well you can throw out that simple rule of no more than 10% treats a day. Because the "treats" are part of their balanced diet. Sorry I can be much help other than to encourage you.
  4. NCnarrator

    NCnarrator Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2012
    It took me a couple of weeks to make the "menu" for our rats, but it was worth it because it really helped me buy groceries for the week and plan. I'm terribly absent-minded, so I forget about extra things (like treats), which is probably why I LOVE charts and organizational stuff so much...it's the only way I can be functional. Plus we learned with the rats and guinea pigs we fostered that keeping good records (weight, food, general observations), helped us catch problems before they advanced to the point of needing a vet.

    I'll work on a "menu" this weekend and see what I come up with, and then experiment with our ladies when we get them. If it works out I'll post it (I know I'm not alone on the freakish attachment to organization!).

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