Fruits, veggies, and slugs ONLY?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by austradork, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. austradork

    austradork In the Brooder

    Apr 12, 2010
    So, I just got back from a volunteer orientation. I'm going to be the weekend caretaker for the chickens in a community garden by my house. Anyway, it turns out that they don't give their chickens ANY grain feed - only what they can harvest in the garden. To me, this just seems like malnutrition waiting to happen. Granted, the garden manager goes out of his way to find them sources of protein, slugs, for instance, and comfrey leaves (they have a surprising amount!). They also get tons of apples, lettuce, and whatnot. But STILL! I'm really worried for the chickens. Does anyone know if this is okay?[​IMG]

    Edit: I should also mention that the chickens appear to be healthy. They are 4 months old, but are pretty much adult-sized. They feel a little bony, but perhaps they are still filling out.

    Edit: I just realized this should have gone under Feeding & Watering Your Flock. I can't figure out how to delete my post though. Mods, feel free to move it if you feel like it's way out of place!
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Hi austradork in Seattle,

    I don't think I'd worry about malnutrition till you see the chickens. If they appear malnourished use it as an opportunity to educate the owner about proper chicken care. Plenty of info here.

    Good luck,
    Imp from Renton
  3. austradork

    austradork In the Brooder

    Apr 12, 2010
    I see I omitted a major detail! The chickens LOOK fine. They are 4 months old, but are pretty much adult-sized (aside from their combs which are undeveloped).
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Well if they look good, maybe they are finding enough stuff in the garden. Are they free ranging?
    This has been such a wet summer, lots of bugs etc. I'm only needing to give mine pellets maybe 1 or 2 times a week, and then it's only about 1 1/2 cups. You could also mention vitamins and minerals to the owner.

    Could be that they won't appear malnourished till they start laying and losing the nutrition of the eggs. Or maybe they won't lay very well without the proper nutrition. There's an incentive for the owner.

  5. farmerfran

    farmerfran In the Brooder

    Aug 16, 2010
    Gosh, what did chickens eat before we had pellets in a bag??? I am quite confident that they will be fine!!
  6. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    Though I offer food to my free rangers, a couple of them have very little. One of the two who only comes for a bit of corn approx. once a day ( food offered every couple of hours from the back door) lays eggs almost every day. I think this hen feels a bit thin, but she does not seem to wish to hang around the door and feed almost constantly like my (rather chunky) Brahmas do.
    It certainly seems to me that some chickens prefer to forage almost exclusively whilst the lazy ones only do so if they absolutely have to.
    It is true that years ago chickens were kept with very little supplemental food if they free ranged,

  7. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Quote:Many still do that, at least while the vegetation is available. Chickens do a pretty good job of finding the food they need and eating a lot of bugs and stuff to get the nutrition they need.

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