Is “Chicken feed” necessary?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by JenLiz, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. JenLiz

    JenLiz Chirping

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    Feb 21, 2018
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    What I mean is, do I have to feed them commercial feed? I know that it’s very important that the chickens get enough protein and obviously commercial feed would be the easiest way to ensure that they are getting what they need. But is there a more natural approach? Obviously I will use chick starter, but when they transition to layer feed, are there other options? We are planning on giving the chickens veggies and fruits and herbs and flowers, etc., they will be in a large run most of the time and can forage for bugs and worms, but I can also supplement with mealworms and eggs for protein, right?I’d like for their feed to be as free from commercial grain as possible, is that even an option for backyard flocks? Please forgive my ignorance LOL We are new to this (we will be getting chicks the second weeks of March) and I’ve been doing a massive amount of research lol , but haven’t found a lot of information on this. Alternatives to commercial feed that will still ensure they get all the protein and vitamins they need?
     
  2. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie ---CMS--- (Chicken Math Syndrome) Premium Member

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    Substitute with anything high protein. A CALCIUM supplement is required for successful daily egg production..
     
  3. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist Premium Member

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    Search for homemade chicken feed recipes. There are a lot out there. It's possible to not feed a processed pellet.
     
  4. JenLiz

    JenLiz Chirping

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    Connie, this is what the oyster shell grit is for?
     
  5. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie ---CMS--- (Chicken Math Syndrome) Premium Member

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    ground oyster shell yes. there are other sources as well. some folk grind up there breakfast egg shells and offer them on the side.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member 9 Years

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    Free ranged birds with access to adequate resources can balance their diet. It becomes far more difficult with penned birds.
     
  7. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist Premium Member

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    I'd add to this that free range birds will find more of their own food if you live in a climate that offers an extended growing season. A free range bird in Florida probably does better year round than a free range bird in Alaska.
     
  8. AllenK RGV

    AllenK RGV Chicken Addict

    Depending on Flock Size and year round access(to grass and insects) I would think 1/4 acre would suffice for the most part as a run in(Depends on where) Florida. Bonus points for making a Black Soldier Fly Larva(BSFL) feeder with your compost and a food grade 55 gallon drum or two.

    BSFL.jpg

    If you look around on youtube if you never freeze you can do mealworms with compost as well. Best of luck! compost=food
     
  9. kwhites634

    kwhites634 Slow hands & an easy touch Premium Member 9 Years

    We feed all our egg shells, just as they are; always have. They're usually the first choice over anything else in the bowl.
     
  10. AllenK RGV

    AllenK RGV Chicken Addict

    I'll have to give this a go I leave OS out now I have my first layers I had been tossing them into the compost bin. Thanks!
     

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