Question about feeding food and garden scraps

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mtnviewfarms, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. mtnviewfarms

    mtnviewfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have 2 week old BR chicks - 52 of them - and when they get older what kinds of garden and food scraps is it safe to feed them in addition to their regular chicken food and oyster shell calcium? Please be specific as I'm a total chicken newbie. Thanks for your help.

    Elaine
    Mountain View Farms
    Ellijay, GA
     
  2. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    I feed mine watermelon, pumpkins, cucumbers, lettuce, eggs, yogurt, sunflower seeds, just about anything I eat but not potato peels those are bad for chickens.
     
  3. jeffnsa

    jeffnsa Out Of The Brooder

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    i read where people say not to throw potato peels to chickens but i have always put them and alvacado peels into my compost bin where the chickens eat it with no problems. they do free range all day and eat everything else but unless your only feeding them peels i wouldn't worry about it to much.
     
  4. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 5, 2010
    Chickens can only eat about a cupful of food a day. That cupful therefore has to be pretty high in nutrition. Some scraps (like lettuce) just aren't very nutritious.

    Potato peels aren't well digested and don't count for much, but if you boil them then you've instantly made them chicken friendly.

    Other useful scraps are stuff like kale/spinach, leftover omelet, curdled milk, meat and so forth. Mashed potato leftovers are a good treat as are small amounts of cheese (very small because cheese is salty). They quite like porridge and if you add mincemeat to increase the protein, it's not a bad once-a-week food to encourage egg laying and give them a break from routine. My chickens have lately discovered fresh whole pumpkin, which is a bit of a drag as I was trying to grow them for the household, but never mind... High in vitamin A and good for yolk colour. [​IMG] (Pumpkin peel is a little hard for chickens to eat, so like potato peel it's probably best cooked.)

    Chickens can't tolerate too much salt, so beware of too much of anything like ham, bacon, salty chips, etc.

    As a general rule people say it's best to feed a balanced ration and only scrap feed in small quantities. However I reckon it all boils down to how good your scraps are. Here we have pretty high quality scraps because I'm obsessed with feeding my children healthy food (to make up for whatever terrible thing happened to their digestive/neurological systems when they were infants), and we do have a lot of leftovers. Far better the chickens get them than they go in the bin.

    Great topic, hope I haven't ranted. [​IMG]
     
  5. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
  6. mtnviewfarms

    mtnviewfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks so much all for your great replies to my chicken treats question. LOVED the link to the chart - thanks again all!

    Elaine
     
  7. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2010
    My chickens get all the leftovers and vege/fruit scraps. Todays treat was leftover pasta with veges and steak. Of course, the steak was the first thing the raptors went for! The treat list is good to keep on your fridge. Remember, just like humans, chickens can get fat from too many treats! Moderation along with a regular diet will keep your birds healthy.
     
  8. Donner

    Donner Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2010
    Issaquah, WA
    Mine get fed all food scraps except other poultry. They will get eggs shells, but not the insides, but that is only because those are fed to the guard dogs. Since, it is just my wife and I and 30 chickens we run no risk of overfeeding scraps. They are my outdoor garbage disposals. They are also free ranging in the evening now and eating my grass. I have a few bare spots, that I am going to block off and plant something.
     

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