Supplemental feeding in winter?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by RedheadErin, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. RedheadErin

    RedheadErin Chillin' With My Peeps

    256
    4
    101
    Nov 30, 2011
    I feed Purina Layena with OMega 3 to my birds. I wonder whether, since it is now getting cold, I should be giving them some corn or something, as well.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You could, but the chances are that the Purina is very likely 70% corn already. There's not much to be gained by adding more corn beside lowering the protein and calcium your flock would be receiving. To provide some added energy and something different to pick at? Sure, why not. Be sure they have some grit or gravel to pick at as well.
     
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    17
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Generally, scraps from the kitchen are higher in calories than their feed.

    I don't mean leftover salad, of course. There is nothing wrong with feeding them meat and often the fattier parts are what are left from the table.

    Chickens can take a lot of cold but they do this partly by increasing the amount of food they eat. If you find that your birds are eating a good deal more of their feed than they were in warmer weather, leftovers can take up more of their diet since most of the necessary nutrients are still coming from their feed rations.

    It would be best to think of corn as just scratch and there could be better choices if the scratch was a mix of grains. If you stay with a 15% scraps/scratch diet, you would probably stay within general guidelines. "A general rule of thumb is to feed only as much scratch as the chickens can consume in about 20 minutes, or about 10 to 15 percent of their total daily food consumption. . . also . . . table scraps." (4 page pdf from Oregon State University, J.C. Hermes, Department of Poultry Science)

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  4. BarnGoddess01

    BarnGoddess01 I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

    Quote:Corn probably isn't the way to go. Whole grains won't be an improvement on what you are already feeding. I also feed Purina Layena with omega 3 (called Golden in Canada). It's 18% protein. I supplement in winter with "Calf Manna" - 25% protein. Lots of others use BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds). Others also use game bird growers to up the protein level in winter.
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    For sure, winter here means a big jump in caloric intake. It shows in feed consumption. This is the flip side of the "no heating in the winter" conversation. The heat the chicken must produce for warmth need to come from somewhere. Our ground, as of yesterday, is also now covered with a foot of frozen snow. The snow pack will be with us for the next 3 months. Thus, between no ranging and calories needed for heat, our feed consumption is virtually double a month like June, by way of example.
     
  6. mrcman

    mrcman Out Of The Brooder

    55
    0
    39
    Nov 28, 2011
    NW Pa.
    Quote:Corn probably isn't the way to go. Whole grains won't be an improvement on what you are already feeding. I also feed Purina Layena with omega 3 (called Golden in Canada). It's 18% protein. I supplement in winter with "Calf Manna" - 25% protein. Lots of others use BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds). Others also use game bird growers to up the protein level in winter.

    BarnGoddess, How do you feed the BOSS to the chickens? Does it come ground up or is it the whole seed that is fed to them? Seems like they might choke on it as a whole seed.

    Thanks Tony
     
  7. BarnGoddess01

    BarnGoddess01 I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

    Quote:Corn probably isn't the way to go. Whole grains won't be an improvement on what you are already feeding. I also feed Purina Layena with omega 3 (called Golden in Canada). It's 18% protein. I supplement in winter with "Calf Manna" - 25% protein. Lots of others use BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds). Others also use game bird growers to up the protein level in winter.

    BarnGoddess, How do you feed the BOSS to the chickens? Does it come ground up or is it the whole seed that is fed to them? Seems like they might choke on it as a whole seed.

    Thanks Tony

    Mine get BOSS whole in small amounts (what they scrounge from underneath the wildbird feeder) but I also feed them shelled sunflower seeds as a treat and I bake whole grain bread for them with peanuts, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds. But those are just treats. To bump up their protein, I go the commercial route and buy something processed like the Calf Manna.
     
  8. Wile E.

    Wile E. Out Of The Brooder

    61
    1
    31
    Dec 6, 2011
    South Cryogenica
    After seeing how my chickens went nuts picking on a leg of venison, I am thinking ROADKILL CAFE!!!
     
  9. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    2,047
    184
    271
    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    Quote:Corn probably isn't the way to go. Whole grains won't be an improvement on what you are already feeding. I also feed Purina Layena with omega 3 (called Golden in Canada). It's 18% protein. I supplement in winter with "Calf Manna" - 25% protein. Lots of others use BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds). Others also use game bird growers to up the protein level in winter.

    Purina Layena Plus is 18% in Canada??? That must be great. 16% Purina is too low.
     
  10. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,831
    108
    221
    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    Understand that I am nowhere as cold as y'all, but I do feed much differently.

    I feed 16% protein all year to those in pens or on tie-cords. The only birds that get a higher protein content is the chicks.
    In winter I feed a lot of Whole Oats. Actually, 50% of the feed is Whole Oats from November thru Feb.

    Free-rangers only get Whole Corn.

    I feed what they will eat in around 10-15 minutes once a day. No more. All the time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by