Question about Mixing black oil sunflower seeds and corn with the poultry food

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DeeAnn5, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. DeeAnn5

    DeeAnn5 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2013
    We have 1 Rhode Island Red, "Legs" and 1 Americauna, "Lips". They are city chickens with lots of fun free range time in the back yard. We have the Orschlen "Country Lane" brand poultry food which is 16% crumbles. We've been mixing it with dried cracked corn and black oil sunflower seeds. (At night they get 1/3 cup total for 2 warm oatmeal with grated vegetables and fruit.)

    Is this an okay diet? If so, how much of the cracked corn and black oil sunflowers can we mix in. I should have asked before, but we've been doing it this way for a while and they seem healthy but usually a little hungry : (

    Any advice on what/how to feed greatly appreciated. I only give them 1 cup of the poultry food per chicken so 2 cups total, plus about 2 T mealworms per day. Is that enough food? They like the treats - the oatmeal/vegetable treats at night.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If you have toddlers, would you mix M&Ms in with their oatmeal in the morning, and in with their mashed potatoes and meat and gravy and veggies at dinner? Would you expect the kids to pick out the M&Ms and ignore the rest of their meal?

    So it is with chickens. They will "beak out" the wholesome feed to pick out all the BOSS and corn, usually wasting the feed, spilling it onto the ground. For this reason, it's not wise to mix them in, but to toss them out later in the day when you're certain your chickens have eaten most of the crumbles they should. Otherwise, your chickens, like toddlers, won't be getting the nutritious diet you want for them.
     
  3. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    I feed mine the layer feed and keep the rest as an occasional treat. I only give oatmeal if there are signs of a need in the diet. I use it as a way to get things like medication or probiotics into them.
    I have seen a lot of people mixing the treats into the main ration but do not think this is a sound practice.

    Chickens always jump on treats. This makes them seem hungry when they are not. If I were to watch them all day and SEE them eating the layer ration then toss out some sunflower seeds they would still be all over the seeds.

    Chickens are just crazy that way.

    I keep feed available all day for them to pick at. It is different than feeding a cat or dog that way. They will eat a bit and a short while later eat a bit more.

    I would stop the oatmeal with veggies/ fruits in it since this will throw the balance out of whack. I would be willing to give them such a treat once a week or even just every 2 weeks not every day. There just is not enough protein in it. The meal worms are a favorite of every chicken I have ever seen. They are a wholesome snack but an expensive one. Corn is very common in chicken feed but should also not be something we as treat givers deliberately add. They already get a lot of corn in the regular ration.

    Just my 2 cents there.

    Babs
     
  4. DeeAnn5

    DeeAnn5 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2013
    Thank you!
     
  5. DeeAnn5

    DeeAnn5 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2013
    Sorry it took me so long to review these answers! I have already eliminated the oatmeal. Big surprise as I've been substituting shredded vegetable scraps instead of the fruit and oatmeal and the girls don't like it one bit. I've printed your ideas and will share them with my husband so we can improve their diet over time. This is great! Thank you backyardchickens.com[​IMG]
     

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