Is it okay to feed them...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Crehan, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Crehan

    Crehan Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 13, 2011
    Montgomery, AL
    Hey everybody!

    I've got 9 Australorp chickens which is 3 months old, but they are extremely big for their age because they free range and I feed them very expensive growing feed. To cuts costs I consider it to give them corn to mix with the other feed.

    So would it be okay if I give them hole corn or would it be to big for them do digest?
    ( Love this website! Everybody is so helpful)[​IMG]
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Feeding corn, maize, as a small supplement for free ranging birds, is fine. Provided their range is rich in grasses, bugs, worms, etc. By a supplement, one means 10-20% of their feed. The reason is that most poultry feed is already 75% maize/corn to begin with. The protein level of a pure corn diet is only 8%, so you have to average that, to the percentage fed. It is easy to quickly drop the total protein down to 10-12%. Smaller chicks may not be able to handle a whole kernel or corn, which is why folks tend to buy the cracked corn. The price I pay for a complete feed is the same as buying pure corn, so there is no advantage in feeding the corn. Your pricing may be different.

    I buy alfalfa pellets. I find those high in protein, 16%, and are rich in vitamins. Other than ranging, there is no feed that is substantially less, as feeders of cattle, hogs and poultry migrate to lower priced grain. A rising tide lifts all boats. Thus, most grains pretty much move in relative lock step on the commodity markets.
  3. trailchick

    trailchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Freds is spot on re: pricing for grains.

    My feed mill's scratch grain is less that the grower or layer feed.
    The scratch is meant to supplement the other higher protien feed.

    We have alfalfa growers here so i just throw a flake of it from the bale into the pens.

    And they are getting close in age to switch to a layer feed.
  4. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use alfalfa, too. Either the pellets, soaked in water or a flake of hay, which really keeps them busy scratching. The stems become bedding in their resting area. They don't seem to eat the stems, just the leaves but they devour the pellets once soaked. Very good nutrition and really make the yolks orange.

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