feeding whole seed style feed vs. pellet/granule

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by rojororeo, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. rojororeo

    rojororeo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2013
    So anyone who feeds the whole seed style feed...
    a couple of questions for the chicken experts:
    1- Do you wonder about getting the proper nutrition with seed style feed, since the vitamins are a dust of sorts mixed in and can be picked around.... and
    2- Those that feed seed style feed- do your birds make a huge mess?!

    My birds make a huge mess with it picking through to get to the seeds they like, so I worry they don't get the vitamin powder part and the mess and waste is horrid.... I am contemplating going back to pellet, because even though the seed style is cheaper and local, it is hugely wasted.. :( (it is even soy free and non-GMO, which is awesome, dang chickens!)

    I was in the pen yesterday and there is always loose seed on the ground.... I felt around, the ground was all squishy and pad-like... I dig into it, and I kid you not, I pulled up an inch+ thick chunk solid of seed that had been mashed down and wetted from the birds' feet. In a space about 2ft x 2ft... that is a lot of wasted feed!
    The cats enjoy eating those chunks.. but it is still a waste and we are trying to discourage the cats eating the chicken feed (isn't that problem usually in the reverse?!!)

    Thanks for any thoughts, as I like I said, I am contemplating switching back, and just wanna hear others' feedback before I make my final decision. :)
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I am surprised that your cats aren't growing fat and lazy on the rats and mice that much spilt chicken grain would attract. Seriously, give them a good quality laying pellet and just spread a little of your grain on the ground (about 1 ounce per hen per day) to give the hens something to hunt for and peck at. By examining the pen floor pretty soon you'll learn what part of the grain feed that your hens object to.

    Years ago I planted a field of Indian corn for the craft industry. Unfortunately the European corn bore moth was bad that year. You can't sell dried corn on the cob for artistic purposes if half of the ear has been eaten by the corn bore caterpillar and the other half is stained with the caterpillar's feces. So it wouldn't be a total loss I shelled up the Indian corn and fed it to my free range hen flock on the floor of the barn. For three of four days they hardly touched it, but once they got over the funky colors they ate it like gangbusters.
     
  3. rojororeo

    rojororeo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our cats are very odd. They get fed cat food at night, or the one girl would be the size of a blimp if it was free flowing. They all 4 act as if they never have food, yet we feed, like I said, and I see them regularly catch mice/voles, etc. This of course doesn't even touch the chicken feed, nor does it mention the fact that they fight the chickens for the human scraps I toss out (cats eating banana peels?! It happens here!). Oh and it isn't just spilled feed- when it is in a big bowl, they eat it straight from the bowl!
    It is hard to tell which parts of the seeds the chickens don't like, as there is such a mess!! The label says ground whole peas, treticale, and barley, and camelina meal. Then some oil and the vitamins.
    I guess I just felt like this was a healthier food compared to the store stuff.
    I do also toss out BOSS, scratch, and now corn (for winter) for them as go be busy snacks/fun during the day.
    Too bad on your artistic corn- at least you got to use it still!
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickens generally hate raw peas and beans. They are supposedly poisonous to a chicken unless the peas or beans in question have been cooked.
     
  5. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    Not true. Peas do not have to be cooked in order for chickens to eat them and chickens eat cracked peas just fine. Mine were not fond of whole peas. Beans do need to be cooked.
     
  6. rojororeo

    rojororeo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have seen where some say that about beans, I, too, didn't think peas where counted in that list. And they do eat the peas, I think they prefer them actually.
    Knock on wood, last night I think I might have fixed some of the issues. They had initially had hated the store bought metal gravity feeder and were being fed with a large open bowl, with a large rock in the middle to prevent outright standing in it. But I think it was just worse than I thought in terms of waste. But... oh well, we went back to it last night, and I also made a flat area where I put 6 of the 1ft x 1ft pavers in 2 rows for it to sit on top of, so they can eat what they drop... there was much less waste by the end of the day. And bonus, the cats can't get their faces in that dish!
    Such a simple problem and I sorta forgot to use a regular feeder, lol.
     

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