Feeding your flock with little feed.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by holm25, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. holm25

    holm25 Jr Chicken Wrangler

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    We have decided to try and raise and raise a few CornishX on Mangle beets and other scraps and veggies from the garden and was wondering has anyone else done this? I am just trying to find a way not to feed alot of corn and grain and all those other nasty things.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    To safely do this you'd need to read up on the nutritional profiles of everything you're planning on feeding (which can vary very widely depending on everything from the weather to the soil profile to the breed of plant used)... Then mix and match to make sure they get the right amounts of everything.

    Also you need to be aware of not overdoing anything; i.e. some plants contain 'x' amount of a given vitamin or mineral but would contain too much of others. There's also the bird's anatomy/physiology to consider; they don't naturally live on beets and other veg like that which they can't easily manage to eat, and which aren't naturally part of their diets. Grains aren't either but they've had many hundreds of years to adapt to them.

    Would be worth looking into what wild chooks eat; possibly learning to farm insects would go well for you. Some people (herpetologists, dove/pigeon keepers etc) breed flies, worms etc for their animals. Many fruit and veg would definitely go down well; best case scenario is possibly some kind of 'food forestry' for the chooks where they can forage high quality greens, fruits and insects. Stinging nettle is one of the very most nutritious land plants asides from hemp; easily added in dried form to their foods; high in omegas, calcium-magnesium, iodine, protein, iron, etc. Watercresses are also highly nutritious. Kelp is a great multivitamin/mineral/trace element etc nutrient source, cheap but highly effective, gives them glowing health and vigor, fertility, iodine, intelligence etc. But of course you either have to buy that or harvest from a beach. You can get a lot of herbs growing which they can help themselves to if you set it up correctly, or which you can grow and harvest for them, which can cover a lot of nutritional and medicinal needs.

    You're definitely setting up a task for yourself there, but that said, it's worth doing if you can find a way to grow your own foods for them.... But your chances of success depend on a lot of things.

    Many commercial breeds cannot cope on anything too different from the diets of preprocessed food their breeds were developed in conjunction with. They're dependent to some extent. Failure to successfully achieve this goal of yours would involve some unnecessary tragedies; best to do a lot of research and planning and even experimenting before committing to it, otherwise you're likely to have a failure rate that involves ill thrift, malnutrition and all the attendant diseases of deficiency that causes, and of course deaths. The thing about malnutrition is that it can take over 10 years to kill, or only show in the next generation; only some forms of nutrition act rapidly.

    Best wishes. If you decide to go ahead with it, it would be of great interest to know how it goes, if you'd consider chronicling it.
     
  3. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Should say... I would not attempt this with CornishX's if I were you, they're probably one of the least likely breeds to cope with it.

    Best wishes.
     
  4. holm25

    holm25 Jr Chicken Wrangler

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    Thanks for all the advice!!!!!!!!
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    You're welcome, I'm hoping to try something very similar in future, as are many others. We'll figure this out sooner or later. :)

    Best wishes with your project.
     

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