Spoiled chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by zgrower, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. zgrower

    zgrower Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2008
    I have 5 RIR pullets that are about 10 weeks old. I have been feeding them a combination starter/developer feed. They have always seemed to like the stuff. But, recently I've been giving them some left over fruits and vegtables from the kitchen. Now they dont seem to want to eat the feed. They have roughly 15sq ft of space in there run, lots of green grasses and bugs for them to eat, which they do. My question is this, can i undernourish my chickens by getting them full feeding them fruits and vegetables and not leaving them with an appatite for the feed?
     
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Welcome to BYC, zgrower!

    . . . can i undernourish my chickens by getting them full feeding them fruits and vegetables and not leaving them with an appatite for the feed?

    The short answer is, yes you can.

    A 10 week old RI Red is probably eating about 60 grams of feed each day. Let's just consider one important nutrient - protein. Your pullet needs protein to grow. Perhaps her commercial feed is 15% protein. She has been getting 9 grams of protein every day.

    Let's say you have kitchen scraps and they are really wonderful stuff and the pullet really, really wants to eat them [​IMG]. How 'bout strawberries and lettuce leaves and, by weight, it's about one-half of each that she is eating.

    30 grams Strawberries = .2 grams of protein
    30 grams Lettuce = .4 grams of protein

    Even if your pullet stuffs herself and consumes nearly twice as much as she would normally eat - she would only have, maybe, 1 gram of protein for the day. She needs 9 grams or close to it.

    If you are feeding scraps from the kitchen, it would be best if you include high-protein foods like meat along with the fruits and vegetables. Either that, or consider the scraps as treats and feed just a little.

    Steve

    edited to say that 15% is a reasonable protein level, whereas I started off with 20% . . . starter feed.​
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008

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