Scraps, lay mash

ahappycamper

In the Brooder
May 6, 2019
11
3
24
I have a friend who criticizes me for feeding my chickens weeds, food scraps and anything else that isnt lay mash. His logic is that lay mash is already fornulated perfectly and that any additional food would disrupt the exact proportion of nutrients required for egg laying. Thoughts?

Note: i also want to add that i give them all day access to lay mash too. Its just that i add a variety of other foods. Everything(mash, scraps, weeds) is free fed and availabe in infinite amounts for them.
 

SueT

Crossing the Road
May 27, 2015
8,889
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907
SW MO
Your friend is right. Non chicken feed should only be about 10% of their diet so as to not dilute the nutrition needed for egg laying. If they prefer the other stuff to their layer feed, they will fill up on that instead. What I do is not offer anything extra at all until late in the day after they have eaten most of their feed.
Oh, btw, WELCOME TO BYC!!!!!!
 

Folly's place

Enabler
Sep 13, 2011
21,501
32,801
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southern Michigan
Welcome! I feed an all flock feed with separate oyster shell, rather than a layer feed. It gives a bit more room for the extras the birds get while free ranging, and any treats.
Mary
 

Red-Stars-in-RI

Songster
Mar 24, 2014
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Rhode Island
You'll hear more of the same here. I don't entirely buy it, but I imagine I'm in the minority.

But I feed a mix of chicken feed, food scraps, garden leftovers, and weeds.

I think that chicken feed only is probably the most CONVENIENT way to feed a balanced diet, but it's not the ONLY way.
 

ahappycamper

In the Brooder
May 6, 2019
11
3
24
You'll hear more of the same here. I don't entirely buy it, but I imagine I'm in the minority.

But I feed a mix of chicken feed, food scraps, garden leftovers, and weeds.

I think that chicken feed only is probably the most CONVENIENT way to feed a balanced diet, but it's not the ONLY way.
Thanks for the responses everyone.

Redstar, do you by chance know of any thread in particular where i can see more on this subject? Im shocked to be honest. Ive always thought that feeding chickens food scraps and such was almost ubiquitous
 

Folly's place

Enabler
Sep 13, 2011
21,501
32,801
1,036
southern Michigan
I have 35 to 40 chickens, and can't possible balance a 'food scrap' diet for any reasonable $$$. Millions have been spent developing balanced complete feeds for chickens, and I'm happy to take advantage of that and buy those bags at the feed store.
Mary
 

SueT

Crossing the Road
May 27, 2015
8,889
26,177
907
SW MO
Thanks for the responses everyone.

Redstar, do you by chance know of any thread in particular where i can see more on this subject? Im shocked to be honest. Ive always thought that feeding chickens food scraps and such was almost ubiquitous
The key word is 'was' .....throughout history and around the world feeding scraps was ubiquitous, and probably is in many situations, but now, at least in first world countries, we have the advantage of formulated feeds to improve performance.
 

Red-Stars-in-RI

Songster
Mar 24, 2014
701
1,324
236
Rhode Island
The key word is 'was' .....throughout history and around the world feeding scraps was ubiquitous, and probably is in many situations, but now, at least in first world countries, we have the advantage of formulated feeds to improve performance.
See, I just think people confuse "convenient" with "best".

We can assume that people in other parts of the world aren't as advanced as us, or aren't doing as good a job, or whatever...but that feels like a kind of "old fashioned" approach. :hmm

Is buying a bag of layer feed the quickest and easiest way to feed chickens? Absolutely! Are there other ways that may take more effort, but are just as good? Sure...especially since "good" is a relative/subjective" term.
 

Red-Stars-in-RI

Songster
Mar 24, 2014
701
1,324
236
Rhode Island
Thanks for the responses everyone.

Redstar, do you by chance know of any thread in particular where i can see more on this subject? Im shocked to be honest. Ive always thought that feeding chickens food scraps and such was almost ubiquitous
There are probably dozens, if not hundreds of conversations on the topic on here. If I come across a particularly good one, I'll mention it here for you!
 

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