Ranging birds and nutient question


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 27, 2010
Woodbury Tn
We have a Roo and 2 girls that now spend the day running all over the place picking and a peckin. Our yard is big and they have favorite spots but for the most part cruise then nap then cruise some more. I feed them 21% laying mash and throw in a handful of boss and have a pan of scratch out for them. I have been concerned that they dont devourer it by any means. I have learned to leave the feed down for them only for 10 minutes and they come running when i put it down a couple hours later and go at it for a bit then get back to their cruise pickin and peckin.
They get some mackerel every day and yogart which they love but it seems like they show just a little interest in the "real" stuff. They lay predictably, 2-3 days on 1 day off. look fat and have plenty of energy.
Do chickens get ample nutrient when they range?

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First of all, you shouldn't leave scratch down all the time, it's like candy to them, often mostly corn and so about 8% protein (our local scratch is ALL corn.)

Mine free range over woods, weeds and young trees, and an older woods. I leave layer out for them 24/7 in the coop. Some days they eat more than others, and they eat a lot less than when they were fenced in, but they still eat a fair amount every day. I give a handful of scratch once most days to my 16 chickens, and some days, some other treats as well. but never a large quantity, even if it's a high protein treat.
Do chickens get ample nutrient when they range?

Most definitely! My gals are also ignoring the feed right now. I let my birds regulate their own diet and just provide the alternate feed for them. If they eat a lot, I put out more. If they only eat a little, I wait until they clean their plates to offer more.

Your birds look very happy and healthy....great place to range, I might add! You need more birds.......
Well I feel a lot better, just wasn't sure of how chickens feed and maybe was expecting to see them go after their mash like a dog cleans his bowl. They eat it but like to pick and peck They have plenty of range about 3 acres plus and they have established a routine. I'll cut back on the scratch (ground up corn) availability. They sure know how to play on your sympathies
and like to come to the back door 2-3 times a day for a treat. Its usually Yogart (blueberry), Mackeral, and this morning they had some spaghetti and meatballs from last nights supper boy was that funny.
Thanks for your feedback gave me some peace of mind it helped a lot.

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