Newbie chicken owner

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by New Morning Farms, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. New Morning Farms

    New Morning Farms Hatching

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    Jun 14, 2017
    we've recently purchased a 5 acre farm and have 9 laying chickens and 1 turkey. We are currently feeding them Scratch and Peck Organic feed, but as I'm reading through here, it looks like I should be supplementing. We give table scraps, but don't have near enough. I read here that people use BOSS but not sure what that is? Also fish meal?
    They do seem hungry all the time, and I need to figure out how to keep the squirrels and chipmunks out of their feeding can :-(

    Thanks...looking forward to this new adventure!
     
  2. KaylorFarms

    KaylorFarms Crowing

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    Welcome to Byc!!! Great to have you
     
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    Their feed should have everything they need. Scraps and other treats are appreciated by chickens, but not required. Oyster shell and/or grit should be offered on the side if needed. Scratch and Peck does have fish meal mixed in for protein, it's part of the powdery "fines" in the mix. If you find your birds don't want to eat the fines, wetting or fermenting the feed will encourage them to eat it instead of pushing it aside and wasting it.

    BOSS = black oil sunflower seed. Mine get BOSS infrequently, I fill my bird feeders in the run so the chickens get whatever excess falls out of the feeder or bag.
     
  4. New Morning Farms

    New Morning Farms Hatching

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    Thanks so much...they do leave the fine stuff in the feeder, so should I take that out and mix with water and give back to them? How do you ferment feed? Appreciate it!
     
  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    There's a lot of detailed threads on fermenting on these forums. I think everyone approaches it a slightly different way. Me, I simply put some feed in a glass jar (fines and grains), add water, set aside a day or two until it looks like thick oatmeal, and then feed. Everything clumps together so the birds eat about 99% of it, instead of the 80% or so that they would when it's dry. Plus they seem to really like it. The amounts are something you'll learn to adjust over time.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/fermented-feeds-anyone-using-them.645057/ This is a massive thread so don't try to read the entire thing, but it should have some good tips and pointers and how to.
     
    RMS likes this.
  6. New Morning Farms

    New Morning Farms Hatching

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    They love the fermented stuff! Do you feed your chickens once a day or twice?
     
  7. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    I feed mine fermented feed (FF) once a day, in the morning, as it gives me plenty of time to get the bowls cleaned up and back inside by night.

    My girls get free choice layer pellets during the day as well, though the FF gets eaten first. Judging by the speed we go through the food, mine eat about equal amounts of the FF and pellets each day.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    There's an excellent article written by Tikki Jane. It will tell you all the how and why of fermented feed you will ever need. You can find the link at the bottom of my signature.
     
    KikisGirls likes this.

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