FF, free choice, free range and treats

Wolfie2

Songster
5 Years
Feb 23, 2016
89
249
129
South of Houston
Right now I feed my 13 birds free choice flock raiser, they are let out to free range about noon in our 1 acre goat pen and in the evening I entice them back into the pen with a treat, a mix of 1 cup each of BOSS, scratch grains and dried mealworms from TS. The reason for letting them FR @ noon is because I want them to lay in the nest boxes and they are usually through laying by then. They have been laying for about 3 months and I have noticed a few times eggs being laid in the boxes after they have been let out and have not seen any out in the goat pen so I'm almost positive they are returning to the pen/nesting boxes to lay any delinquent eggs. So now I'm thinking about letting them go out in the morning, hoping they will continue coming back the nests to take care of business.
I have been reading about fermented feed and am willing to try this, Even started a batch yesterday. I am planning on feeding this to them in the evening along with or instead of the treats. My thoughts is to just feed a cupful of the FF along with the treats. Or if "instead of" They will still get the scratch as this is what I am fermenting and it has some BOSS in it anyway. The cup full of BOSS in the treats can be cut out but I will still have it just in case 'cause I feed it to the goats. I can save money by cutting out the mealworms and by free ranging All day I can cut out the flock raiser. The way I see it, The FF will enhance the FR grubs nutritional value that they have access to all day and they should not need the flock raiser. Am I making any sense here? Think this is a doable feeding plan?
I can remember my grandmother just letting her birds out in the morning and getting them back into the pen in the evening with scratch grains. This is where I'm getting this idea from ( and BYC for the FF).
 

Wolfie2

Songster
5 Years
Feb 23, 2016
89
249
129
South of Houston
Might do that to finish the bag but I think (and maybe I'm wrong ) the scratch would be as nutritious and less expensive. I forgot to say, in the original post, that I'm recently retired and trying to figure out the budget. But the birds will still get a good feeding.
 

RebeccaRN

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Feb 23, 2020
395
825
186
NE Oklahoma
Mine free-range all day then I give them a treat of ff at bedtime. They have regular feed available at all times but don't eat much so a 50lb bag last a really long time.
 

Carson213

Songster
Aug 31, 2020
286
371
111
Right now I feed my 13 birds free choice flock raiser, they are let out to free range about noon in our 1 acre goat pen and in the evening I entice them back into the pen with a treat, a mix of 1 cup each of BOSS, scratch grains and dried mealworms from TS. The reason for letting them FR @ noon is because I want them to lay in the nest boxes and they are usually through laying by then. They have been laying for about 3 months and I have noticed a few times eggs being laid in the boxes after they have been let out and have not seen any out in the goat pen so I'm almost positive they are returning to the pen/nesting boxes to lay any delinquent eggs. So now I'm thinking about letting them go out in the morning, hoping they will continue coming back the nests to take care of business.
I have been reading about fermented feed and am willing to try this, Even started a batch yesterday. I am planning on feeding this to them in the evening along with or instead of the treats. My thoughts is to just feed a cupful of the FF along with the treats. Or if "instead of" They will still get the scratch as this is what I am fermenting and it has some BOSS in it anyway. The cup full of BOSS in the treats can be cut out but I will still have it just in case 'cause I feed it to the goats. I can save money by cutting out the mealworms and by free ranging All day I can cut out the flock raiser. The way I see it, The FF will enhance the FR grubs nutritional value that they have access to all day and they should not need the flock raiser. Am I making any sense here? Think this is a doable feeding plan?
I can remember my grandmother just letting her birds out in the morning and getting them back into the pen in the evening with scratch grains. This is where I'm getting this idea from ( and BYC for the FF).
dumb question...but why are you calling it “free range” in a goat fenced 1 acre run?
 

Red-Stars-in-RI

Crowing
6 Years
Mar 24, 2014
1,027
2,178
286
Rhode Island
Sounds like a nice setup you have! Depending on how good the goat pen forage is, you may be able to cut back on the boss/mealworms, which are not cheap.

Just make sure the chickens can visit the goats but not the other way around - chicken feed can be very bad for goats.
 

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