Kitchen Scraps Only?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by pleasewright, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. pleasewright

    pleasewright Hatching

    Jun 26, 2010
    Does anyone feed their chickens kitchen scraps exculsively? I mostly have seen advice to use scraps as supplement or treats for chickens, but I thought I've heard of some folks that feed scraps only. We have lots of good fruit and veggie peelings and egg shells. I'm wondering if that is enough to keep them full or healthy since it would be nice not to have to buy unecessary supplies, ie feed and scratch. How necessary are the feed and scratch? Can our chickens live just on our leftovers?
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging Staff Member Premium Member 9 Years

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    They would have to be completely free range, to get the necessary protein. I'm sure they would survive, but not sure if you'd get many eggs.
  3. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    They would have to be free ranged as there is no way they would get enough of the vit and mins they need... Personally I dont feed scratch except as a treat so if you are tying to cut costs i would just eliminate the scratch...
  4. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Songster

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    If I would be interested in only enough hens to feed my family fresh eggs.....with none for sale and allow a big ....well too big area for the 4 or 5 I am toying with in my head, I'm pretty sure I could do it on grass and tablescraps alone. I would, of course, have some grain on hand, just in case I would not have anything to give them, but I don't think I would need to use it often.
    I can't allow complete free range here because of the large amount of wildlife to worry about, but I would give them the closest thing I can to being free range to keep the costs down.
    I have known a few people locally that have done this.
    I would imagine that most of the people on board the BYC forum would know they can do this, but have too much of a big operation to even consider it.
  5. pleasewright

    pleasewright Hatching

    Jun 26, 2010
    Thanks for the quick replies!! Yes, I think I should have clarified. We live on .85 acre in a small town in south GA. We're getting 2 or 3 full grown Orpington laying hens as our 1st chickens. We are looking at them as pets and egg producers enough to feed our family of 5. They are literally backyard chickens as the website is called. We don't need a lot of production, I'm mostly concenred with their health.
  6. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    Quote:You want to feed then real feed .. You cant sustain them on that small of a lot...
    Bothwell zulu likes this.
  7. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I used to call my first 4 hens "chicken snobs." They had a huge pen all to themselves and their feeder was full of pellets, their water always full, they had access to oyster shell and grit. We had 7 people living in the house at the time, so the slop bucket was always full and when I'd bring it down to them every day, they'd act like they were starving and gobble up the people food. The level on their feeder never went down, those little buggers preferred the people food and would wait for it instead of eating their chicken food. I figured as long as I offered pellets to them, they would balance what they needed. I usually got 3 eggs/day from the 4 hens.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  8. blake101

    blake101 Songster

    Feb 13, 2010
    North, MS
    My take on this, is that chickens have been around for thousands of years, without us having to feed them. I am sure they will make it on table scraps, but there egg production may fall off some.
  9. shopchicks

    shopchicks Songster

    Sep 4, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    Quote:My experience is also that my six hens are not eating much of their commercial feed, as I throw down scratch (which I fortify with flax, sunflower seed, oats and lentils) most mornings, as well as feed them lots of kitchen scraps, and give them cottage cheese or yogurt a couple times per week. So to the OP, my suggestion would be to provide the feed, but it will probably last a very long time if they are foraging and getting scraps, too. However, I would try to seek out protein sources for them if most of your scraps are fruit/vegetable. I've heard of people here feeding hard boiled egg, salmon, tuna, worms and even rabbit entrails as a protein source. Mine adore their cottage cheese, which is fairly cheap and a good source of protein.

    Another thing you can do if you are really ambitious, is to plant things for them to forage on that provide protein. Ideas would be alfalfa, peas and clover, which are all legumes.

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