Steel Cut Oats and Free Range testimonial

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Tastelikechickn, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. Tastelikechickn

    Tastelikechickn Hatching

    Apr 7, 2015
    Just something I thought I would pass along.

    We have two Americana hens that had stopped laying completely for several months. I have a spacious coup for them, fed them chicken feed from a local feed store and we live in a mild climate.

    I searched on this forum and found that some chicken owners advocated making your own feed, and one of the ingredients was steel cut oats. I went to the bulk food section of our local Sprouts (a farmer's market-style grocery) and bought the oats, corn meal, peas, and other things that people suggested. They seemed to just pick at the food.

    Still no luck. Lethargic chickens and no eggs.

    We began to think that they were just getting old. Then one day my girlfriend fed them straight steel cut oats and they went crazy, gobbling them up.

    We also decided to let them "free range" in our backyard during the day and put them in the coup at night.

    After a couple of weeks we began to get the largest, most delicious eggs with rich yolks that we've ever had, every day. They found a spot beneath a vine-covered trellis where they like to lay their eggs. They are also a lot more spry and lively and are visibly gaining weight.

    They continue to gobble up the steel cut oats, supplement their diet with bugs and worms, and free range. They now know when I walk outside with a flashlight at night, it's time to go to their coop. Letting them free range causes a bit more of a mess to clean up, but its not too bad if you stay on top of it.

    This may not be news to a lot of you, but this is what worked for us.

    By the way, the steel cut oats are only 99 cents per pound.

  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    And a balanced layer ration is .24/#. I'm glad your birds are now laying, but it can also be attributed increased daylight. Many birds ramp up their laying in Feb after a winter shut down.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Tastelikechickn

    Tastelikechickn Hatching

    Apr 7, 2015
    I'm sure that's part of the reason also, but they haven't laid except for a sporadic egg here and there since last Spring. They had a summer, autumn AND winter shut down.
  4. Heron's Nest Farm

    Heron's Nest Farm Songster

    Dec 11, 2011
    I think steal cut oats are great. I would soak them over night.

    I'm happy to hear of your success!
    Cindy in PA likes this.
  5. Howard E

    Howard E Songster

    Feb 18, 2016
    Mine get about 1/4 cup each of WHOLE oats, once or twice a day. Maybe early and late or just late. Whole oats include the oat seed from which steel cut oats come from, plus the husk. They snarf these up too and the whole thing is good for them. As I recall, about $7 or so for a 50# bag, sourced at the local feed store. Mostly dry......sometimes sprouted. Sometimes the sprouts are left to grow to green fodder. They get them all.

    So mine get these oats, some BOSS, plus commercial layer feed and get to run around in the yard and we have had at least 3 to 8 eggs per day since September. Once the birds started in earnest back when, not a day since then without at least 3 eggs. This from 9 birds.

    BTW, I'm in MO, so still in winter conditions, plus daylight got down to about 9 hours for a while. No artificial light and they laid right through it all. I currently have a surplus of about 4 dozen and two weeks ago we were nearly wiped out, having given a bunch to friends and relatives.

    BTW, I get the feeling they would eat pricey caviar or 99 cent sardines with equal enthusiasm.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
    1 person likes this.

  6. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Songster

    [​IMG] I suspect you're right about the the caviar and sardines, too.

    I accidentally ended up with a bag of whole oats last year and fed it as "scratch" (tossed out)...while they ate some, an oat field also sprang up. They ate that later, too. lol

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by