learning how and what to feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by coopsgirl, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. coopsgirl

    coopsgirl In the Brooder

    Jul 13, 2008
    I have been giving my chickens fresh veggies or peels, and fruits, looking on here it looks like you can give them about anything.......
    can you give them bird feeder suet as a treat and also bird seed?
    i know no potatoes but is regualr wheat bread ok?
    and i have bran that i use as mash to give my horse, i usually end up giving away a half bag or throwing it out at end of season, can i give them this as i HATE waste.......... maybe mix it with their feed.......
    and are they too young for certain stuff? they seem to like the veggies....
    my chicks are 5 weeks going on 6....
    oh and what is the grit thing i read about? they are pecking and scratching, do they get sand through their diet?
  2. pkeeler

    pkeeler Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    If they have access to dirt, they don't need supplemental grit. If they are on sand or pine shavings with no access to the yard, then you should give them chick grit (parakeet grit is usually what can be found as most chicken grit is too big for birds younger than 8 weeks). If you give grit, make sure it is plain grit and not mixed with oyster shell.

    I don't think there should be any problem with the other sources as treats. They are not too young. But they do need grit.
  3. DTchickens

    DTchickens Crowing

    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    yeah chickens will eat... basically anything. i can go cook some chicken and throw it in the yard if the dogs dont grab it first.. then chickens will kill each other it (lol), fruits and veggies are nice. peels. im not sure on i keep hearing "Dont feed potatoe peels to chickens" i've never read any post on it... because i dont feed them peels, bread is great for chickens.. its what i feed biddies from day one. im not sure if it helps or not.. heard it does do something but my memorys fuzzy this morning,. not sure what mash is either right now. so cant answer that lol. grit.. well when i say grit. i think stuff you give chickens, or they find themselves to help "Chew" up their food. i know if a hen ate eggs or something. we would feed them Granit-grit (sp?) which... looks kinda like little rocks. would usually stop it. i remember my dad even mixing rocks up in the feed and feeding it to the chickens once (VERY small rocks though.. ) Again though. memories fuzzy. and will probably get yelled at for even mentioning we fed our chickens rocks once.. but oh well. my chickens are all very healthy. and had none die from it.


    PS. Even if the bread doesn't do anything but fill them up for awhile. still makes a great treat. i usually tear off a piece and roll it into a little ball. then throw it in there with all the biddies. i love watching them chase each other around
  4. simba49450

    simba49450 Songster

    May 23, 2008
    hi ther i can help with that,

    what i did is at 6 weeks they can small cut up worms and small bugs,i didnt give them veggies until later but they can have small pieces of grass they love that, go and buy chick grit for them when they get about 8-10 wks you can give them spray millet (the millet for pet birds) thats my girls fav treat and at that time you can introduce wild bird seed as a treat. my girls are 5 mon old and they have certain faves. mine didnt care for suet but mine are really picky. if you are new to chickens go to the feed store and get insectrin dust for later on when it comes time to dust them its like 5 dollars for a pretty good shaker. many people disagree with this but sevin is a garden dust not for chickens. the insectrin is more most livestock including poultry. and if you are going to ship eggs then use oyster shell otherwise you dont need it. again people disagree. with the exception of the dust i raise mine the old old fashion way. just remember sevin gets in the meat and the eggs even though people dont agree. sorry its so long
  5. tvtaber

    tvtaber Songster

    Aug 2, 2007
    Central CA
    HI! I don't feed potato peels because I make my family eat those! Seriously, peeling a potato for any reason is just making work and throwing away nutrition. If the peels are cooked, however, they are OK for chickens; it is raw potato peels that are supposedly bad.

    I don't dust my chickens or otherwise put chemicals in or on them. So far so good! If you need to do some de-lousing, IMHO you are better off waiting until there is a problem and treating that problem with a specific product. But then again I take that tack with my garden too, so to each his own.

    The wheat bread is nutritious and they love it! If it is a little dry the chickens get it, but if it smells bad or has mold, throw it out. Same with the bran, no reason they cannot eat that. I don't mix stuff with the feed because I'm lazy and they just bill out what they don't like anyway along with a ton of wasted feed. They're not like dogs that will suck down a bowl of food with the pill hidden inside! Certainly there is no reason to waste good bran!
  6. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Bran is the outer layer of grain. I'm not sure if there's anything special about bran for horses but it is primarily fiber, fiber, fiber. Yes, there's some oil in it and some protein and starch that was milled off the grain that was used for other purposes, usually human food.

    I am learning that fiber isn't always the best thing for chickens. They don't do such a good job of digesting it. If they like vegetables and are eating them, they are getting plenty of fiber without including bran.

    Suet is beef fat. I'm not sure if there's anything special about the suet for wild birds but it is primarily fat, fat, fat. Perhaps it has some bird seed in it. And, there's probably not much wrong with giving bird seed to chickens but it shouldn't be a very large part of their diet. I can see little reason for giving them fat, especially during warm weather.

    A little about my experiences with bird seed - - I kept a few pigeons for quite a few years. A friend gave me 50 pounds of bird seed. I think, "Well pigeons are birds they should be fine on this." They became more and more unhealthy the longer I fed it to them. Wild bird seed is highly variable, one product to another. As far as I know, the seller is making no real commitment as to its suitability in the diets of wild birds. After all, wild birds have choices of food and no one's livelihood has much of anything to do with feeding them.

    A mature chicken only eats about one-half cup of food or so, each day. Giving a few hens a cup or 2 of something amounts to a good deal in that day's menu. It is best not to drift too far from what are known beneficial diets for our domestic animals - especially not laying hens. We are expecting hens to produce eggs. The nutrients required for them to produce eggs have to come from somewhere.

  7. Maryallison77

    Maryallison77 Songster

    Jul 18, 2008
    Fountain, Florida
    I am new to chickens, but I have learned a ton reading here! I feed mine lots of the kitchen scraps. Nothing weird like beef stew though [​IMG] Long as it is simple things like bread & veggies. I even save the crust off my kids sandwiches! I keep a little container in my fridge labeled "chickens" and when it fills up they have a treat day! My girls eat the granite grit stuff that looks like rocks too. I just put a little bit in the bowl (seperate treat bowl) every so often. and they peck it up! [​IMG]
  8. coopsgirl

    coopsgirl In the Brooder

    Jul 13, 2008
    thanks for all your help out there, i figured veggies and such were fine, didnt know if birdseed might be a treat....... although they are really getting enough treats without me getting extra [​IMG][​IMG]
    i am still a bit confused about the grit thing. they peck in the dirt all day as their feed will come out of feeder, is this all they need or should i add the grit?
    I am guessing also fruit is ok, i have to say they love Tomato and celery [​IMG][​IMG]

    off topic..
    i have a lighting question.......

    i have a light to conduct heat in their coop right now as the nights have been getting a little colder. but i worry that they dont have any dark to sleep. should i switch that to a nightlight. what about temp? right now because they are young i put them in at night and let them out during day......

    thanks again.......

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