So what exactly should I be feeding my chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Charlie Frown, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Charlie Frown

    Charlie Frown New Egg

    Apr 19, 2012
    I have been reading as much info as I can but I can't seem to get a consensus on what should be fed. I have three laying hens and 3 roosters. They are my daughter's 4H project.

    I am currently feeding laying pellets but are they enough? I would have thought I would need to mix pellets with some grains. I also try to supplement with scraps and stuff plus I let the roam as much as I can to forage.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    Sounds like you're doing well.
    My chickens free range also and I feed them all layer pellets.
    Baby chicks and guineas get high-protein chick starter.
    When I get too many eggs, I'll boil or scramble some up for the chickens on occasion.
    But mostly they eat bugs and grass and layer pellets.
  3. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 24, 2009
    If they free range, then the layers pellets are fine on their own.

    If you get chicks hatch then you should feed the chicks (and the broody too) on some chick food until they start laying eggs for themselves.

    Despite what some people claim, I have not found any problems with feeding the layers pellets to roosters (when free ranging).

    My flock has chickens or all ages and stages of development. In the run I have one feeder with the layers pellets and one feeder with the chick starter. They all seem to know what to eat and whats right for them. The chicks don't try to eat the layers pellets (perhaps they are too large a size to swallow).

    You don't need to feed any grains - but you can use them as a treat if you like. I have stopped feeding grains as some of my hens were getting really FAT.

    My chickens also like vegetables and sometimes meal worms as treats.
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Layer type feed has way too much calcium in it for roosters, and really should not be feed to them. A feed with high amounts of calcium feed to non-laying stock can cause Calcium Toxicity and do damage to kidneys and even cause death. Calcium Toxicity is also called a silent killer because there are no signs of the Toxicity until further exam after death.
    You would be better off feeding a Starter, Grower, Starter/Grower or even a Game Fowl Feed and offering oyster shells in a dish off to the side for the hens to as needed.

    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012

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