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Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Fairy57, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. Fairy57

    Fairy57 Hatching

    Dec 4, 2016
    Hi everyone, I have been looking into starting my own small flock. I do not want to have to purchase commercial feed exclusively when I get up and running, and I know that chickens are omnivores so I will have a lot of options. Can anyone clarify if that means omnivore in the same sense as a bear and pig in the sense that chickens will eat carrion or just that they eat live insects, worms, grubs and such. I have been looking online researching for about a year and one or two have stated that they will eat mice and even road kill. Is there anyone who can rule out the carrion aspect for me? That might be a roadblock for me because I will not be alone in my chicken venture and I want to know where I stand before I get too invested. Insights will be greatly appreciated.

  2. RodNTN

    RodNTN Hatchaolic

    May 22, 2013
    Serving Jesus
    My Coop
    Hi there! And welcome to BYC! [​IMG] Hmm, I don't know if chickens would exactly eat carrion on their own. They do eat mice, but to thrive they need feed with all of the nutrition and such. They do eat insects, worms, grub, etc. Plus, chicken feed isn't too expensive and you can find cheap bags, and also organic. I don't know if carrion would be too healthy for chickens either. I hope you enjoy BYC, best wishes! [​IMG]
  3. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Welcome to BYC! It's great to have you.

    Commercial feed is the ideal diet for any modern laying hen (yes, including the so-called "heritage breeds" hatcheries like to tout). Home mixing feed is a gamble you are taking on your bird's health and lives. It takes very careful balance to keep a bird healthy while she is producing an egg the size of her head nearly every day of the year. Home mixing is not as simple as throwing together a seemingly healthy diet. It requires a lot of research and very specific calculations and measurements. When done correctly, it's almost always far more expensive than a high quality commercial feed and usually a lot riskier. Certainly it should never be attempted by a beginner, who has enough to worry about without trying to accomplish something ever most seasoned chicken keepers deem not worth the time or effort required.

    Carrion is not a healthy diet for anything but vultures. Chickens will indeed eat meat but anything that is not fresh is not healthy. I wouldn't feed my birds anything I wouldn't eat myself.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hello and welcome to BYC - great that you have joined us. I agree with Q/Misha's comments on home-made food. There are lots of threads on the subject - just use the search box and I'm sure that you will learn a great deal.

    Best wishes
  5. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
  6. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Crowing

    Hello, and welcome to BYC!
  7. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    QueenMisha has given you some good advise about mixing your own feed vs. buying commercially prepared feed. Chickens can and will eat a lot of things on their own but they need the nutrients of a balanced diet.

    Good luck to you and thanks for joining us!

  8. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

    Mar 3, 2015
  9. Frindizzle

    Frindizzle Guitar Girl <3 Premium Member

    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    agree totally with Queen Misha

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