Help! Feeding Chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jaybucklestarr, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. jaybucklestarr

    jaybucklestarr Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2009
    Stillwater
    I am new to this chicken business! I don't know how or what to feed my chickens! I have only hens and their ages are 2 are 9 months old and 6 that are 4 months or so.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Once they are laying, you should feed a layer mix. Prior to laying, you'd want to feed the Flock Raiser mix. Since you have some that are probably not yet laying, I'd buy a 50lb bag of the Flock Raiser (available from your local feed store/Tractor Supply Company/Atwoods/Orschlens - whatever you have nearby) and supplement with free choice oyster shell for the layers so they can get the extra calcium they need to produce eggs. Once the youngest are showing signs they are ready to lay, get the Layer food (which comes in pellets or crumbles).

    ETA: You can supplement the above with kitchen scraps. Chooks are omnivores so you can give them a small amount of meat scraps, but also a lot of your vegie scraps can go to the chooks. They'll eat most cooked vegies (broccoli, carrots, celery) and will also eat some raw. There is a treat chart on here somewhere that tells you what you can and can't feed but I've found that for the most part they instinctively know what is good and what isn't. I recently added an orange segment and slice of onion to their scraps and they didn't touch those. On the other hand, when I pulled my Kale from the garden at the end of the season and gave it to them, they tore it apart in no time. They also loved it when I took down the temp fence from around my vegie garden and them have at the pea plants. You can even feed them cooked eggs!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
  3. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The digestive systems of chickens are very forgiving. You can feed most anything, and the birds will do pretty well. However, if you want to maximize their production and health, feed mostly commercially prepared feeds. There are many companies that produce such feeds, and you will be ahead in the long run by feeding them. Contrary to the beliefs of some who post here, soy and corn based feeds are NOT poisonous, and will not hurt your birds. There is a tremendous amount of misinformation being posted on this subject, and I would urge you to carefully do your own research on these subjects before ruling out the use of feeds that have been fed for decades without problems.
     
  4. Mandalina

    Mandalina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2009
    Savannah,MO
    my chickens love leftovers and egg'n'bacon sandwiches.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas

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