Red Wigglers? Scraps? Other goodies?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by RJSchaefer, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. RJSchaefer

    RJSchaefer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2013
    Rockford, IL
    Hi everyone! Chicken newbie here. =)

    We just got our first chickens two weeks ago and as they're getting bigger, I'm curious of what/how much to feed them. For example, my old food storage system was broken into by a group of destructive mice. The containers that weren't obviously broken into contained rice (brown and white) and oats. After consulting the internet, I decided rather than pitching it, I'd grind it up in my KitchenAid grinder and throw it in the supplement their feed.

    But, of course, it got me curious. How much of this stuff are you supposed to give chickens? I've got a bunch of red wigglers coming this week to jump start my compost bin, and I've read they're a delicious treat for the birds. Does each bird get a worm a day? 5? As many as you want to give them? I'm guessing, but not certain, that the limitation here is how many worms you have available, rather than what the chickens will tolerate.

    How about kitchen scraps? How much of their diet do you allow scraps to comprise? Most of my scraps (potato peel, etc) will be going into the compost bin, but sometimes my 3-year old will eat the entire outside of an apple and abandon it. Although my rabbits enjoy the treat, I'd like to spread the love to the chickens!
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Welcome to BYC.

    Generally the limit on other goodies is around ten percent of their diet. More then that and the nutrients can become on balanced. They will eat worms until their crop is full. They can put a good many in there. Whether that is good for them depends on what else they eating that day or week. When mine are out after a rain they will find a worm eat it and move on eating other things while I'm sure keeping a good watch for more worms. On other things they can eat just about anything we can eat. They'll love that apple as much as the rabbits.
  3. mignonette

    mignonette Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 6, 2011
    Some one once recommended to us that you should only give scraps/suppliments/treats in the afternoon so that they have had the bulk of their daily food from a ballanced source in the morning. This seems like good sense to me.

    We have also found recently that, by supplimenting too much with lower protien foods, our hens stopped laying altogether. I am paying a lot more attention to that now. I make sure that, if I give them 'extras', it always have a decent protien source in it too, like: scrambled egg, mealworms, meat scraps/leftovers, yoghurt or cheese, cooked beans, etc.

    Hope that helps.

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