Fodder and what else?

Yuni

Hatching
Dec 2, 2015
2
0
7
I'm new to the idea of chickens but I'm going to do it right before I end up investing and losing. =)

So I'm totally for feeding my future girls fodder (sprouted barley/wheat).

But a few questions come to mind....

1) What exactly does fodder replace?

2) What do I need along with fodder?

3) How much fodder do I need to feed 15 girls?
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,178
38,225
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southern Michigan
Welcome! The most balanced and least expensive diets come out of a bag at the feed store. If you want to provide a bit of fodder and use a balanced feed for most of their diet, that's easier. Making a balanced feed at home for only fifteen birds will be difficult and expensive. Mary
 
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Chickerdoodle13

The truth is out there...
12 Years
Mar 5, 2007
6,820
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Phoenix, AZ
I agree with Folly's Place. It is very difficult to properly balance feed at home if you are not a poultry nutritionist. Chickens need a very specific amount of protein, vitamins A, E and D, and calcium. Without these things, they run the risk of many developmental diseases and it is all to easy to miss these things with home formulations.

The cheapest and best balanced diet will be a layer feed from your local feed store, but you can certainly supplement with whatever goodies you see fit! Scraps from the kitchen are great, especially extra fruits and veggie scraps.
 

Robynhar

In the Brooder
Sep 12, 2015
3
0
20
My girls, 3 of them, have a 50x50 yard, and when I am outdoors they like to go out with me. When I pick the horse poop, there are lots of worms for them. Sometimes I actually will dig up some. I also feed them meat scraps when I feed the dogs. Am I nuts> do they just need layer and corn? If they tell me they like something, I usually give it to them. In moderation. Is there somewhere I can go that will tell me things they should NOT have?
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,178
38,225
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southern Michigan
What laying hens need is a balance diet, oyster shell in a separate dish, and goodies they find free ranging, as stuff is available. Wild jungle fowl, and wild birds in general lay a few eggs in spring and raise a family. They don't try to produce 200 to 350 eggs per year, and live is a managed (not native!) environment. Laying hens may survive on worms and stuff, but it's not what they need to be healthy and do well. I had livestock and poultry nutrition classes in college, and don't plan to do it myself at home. Mary
 

Chickerdoodle13

The truth is out there...
12 Years
Mar 5, 2007
6,820
403
331
Phoenix, AZ
My girls, 3 of them, have a 50x50 yard, and when I am outdoors they like to go out with me.  When I pick the horse poop, there are lots of worms for them.  Sometimes I actually will dig up some. I also feed them meat scraps when I feed the dogs.  Am I nuts> do they just need layer and corn? If they tell me they like something, I usually give it to them.  In moderation.  Is there somewhere I can go that will tell me things they should NOT have?


Extras are perfectly fine as long as most of their diet is made up of a formulated layer feed.

I'm sure there are lists out there, but generally things you want to stay away from are onions (not toxic but can contribute an off taste to eggs), avocados (highly toxic), alcohol, chocolate, and anything that's too high in fat, give in moderation (like pasta and fatty meats).
 

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