Question for free rangers in Michigan

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dalentam, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. dalentam

    dalentam New Egg

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    Jul 3, 2008
    Michigan
    Ok, I am going through my first winter in michigan with my first batch of chickens right now and I am worried about their diet now that we have snow up to the .... well... you know [​IMG]

    They have been able to get out almost everyday and run the property up until this storm we just had and now the snow is too deep and everything is covered! They always have scratch, laying mash and oyster shells available to them all the time but I really dont like them eating just that since they cant even get out of their coop right now.

    I also take them scraps of whatever we have but I am wondering what other Michiganders or other states with weather like ours feed their chickens that are used to a free ranging diet? They used to be extemely picky with their scraps but I have noticed they are eating more of the stuff they wouldnt eat in the summer when they were ranging everywhere. LOL

    I am just wondering what and where others get treats to supplement them during this time of year.

    Thanks everyone [​IMG]
     
  2. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    Same here in Indiana...Snow on the ground. I do not let my birds out in this.... They have large barns with rafters and several places to lounge at....
    I mix layer pellets, cracked corn, cat food and fill their feeders.
    I also use meat bird for the ducks, geese and turkeys with dog food and sweet feed (horse feed) mixed in...
    I feed leftover bread and some table scraps.
    I am going to start using the alfalfa cubes for them. Just soak in warm water as you would for feeding horses and that should take care of greens.
    I gave them leftover turkey yesterday and they gobbled (forgive pun) it up.....[​IMG]
     
  3. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2008
    Quote:Nice one, lilchick! [​IMG] [​IMG] I think they will be fine, dalentam, as long as they don't go NUTS in there after a while! I know I go nuts when it's cold here in MN...
     
  4. CK Chickadilly

    CK Chickadilly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2008
    West Michigan
    I give mine lots of different things to entertain them with, but they didn't like the hanging cabbage! [​IMG] Got a thread going on that right now, check it out.....

    They love the hanging in a suet basket PB& J sandwiches. I put parsley in their scrambled eggs. They love sweet taters, cooked carrots, peas, you just have to experiment & see what your chickens like. Lots of good stuff out there. I don't want them to be bored so I try to give them something different everyday but they do get bread everyday & their regular feed & I alternate the BOSS, shelled sunflower seeds, a little bird seed, & cracked corn.

    It is fun trying different things. Good luck! [​IMG] & [​IMG]
     
  5. birdsofparadise

    birdsofparadise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2008
    North Kohala, Hawaii
    Good luck! The winter I left SW MI, the snow drifts were so deep that I had to hire a backhoe to dig my driveway out. Getting into the barn was impossible, especially since the freze/thaw cycle had iced the sliding door shut. What a mess. When I walked to my mailbox, it was like a 100 yard tunnel.
     
  6. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    I still let mine out everyday for awhile. We have almost no snow here lol. They get to stay inside at night. Btw where do you get scratch at?
     
  7. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    Attack chicken you can get scratch grain at Big R or Tractor Supply...
     
  8. dalentam

    dalentam New Egg

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    Jul 3, 2008
    Michigan
    hey, thanks everyone for the reply's. Ok, I have been taking them different things to try and I even try to pick up some of the discounted produce at the supermarket when I get there, which isnt very often. Guess I am doing ok by them then. Just wanted to make sure they were getting enough.

    I have opened the coop door for them everyday, regardless how much snow is out there just so they can see that I am not trying to "punish" them by keeping them locked up in the coop against their wishes LOL They peek out and that's about it.

    Attack Chicken, I get my scratch and mash at our nearest feed mill (Sand Lake). I honestly dont know if it is that good of stuff or not but they grind it and mix right there for us when we get it, so I kind of like of that. The price varies each time we go to get it but last time it cost us about $28 for 3 bags (I think it was 2 scratch and 1 mash). I wish I could get organic but then again I just read an article about the organic chicken feed being contaminated with melamine so I am getting to the point where unless I grow it myself, I dont think anything is safe LOL sad but true!

    birdsofparadise - OMG! You went from SW MI to Hawaii?? I am so jealous! Go ahead tell me about the wonderful pineapples and fruits you can pick in your back yard any time of the year... must be heaven! [​IMG]
     
  9. CK Chickadilly

    CK Chickadilly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2008
    West Michigan
    Quote:I am not liking the drifts! Ready to move to warmer climate too!

    But today it has warmed & the BIG girls are out eating grass again. So whenever it gets bad, they stay in & when it becomes mild, I open the gate & it is their choice whether or not they come out, most come out. [​IMG]
     
  10. chickenporkarosa

    chickenporkarosa Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2008
    lupton, michigan
    Dalentam-I live in rose city, mi and as of right now we have around 1' of snow and getting more. I open the door on the pen, but mine just look out. They range during the summer, though. I give my birds leftover rice, breads, crushed cookies(no chocolate) and they love cooked oatmeal that is warm, not hot. There's a list on this site that lets you know what goodies they can eat. I found it very helpful.
     

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