Supplementing free range with feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by True Patriot, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. True Patriot

    True Patriot Sanity is subjective

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    My chicks are currently 7 weeks. They free range during the day. Judging from the amount of feed I have to add daily, I'm approximating that it's about 50% of their daily intake.(possibly less) I have them on a 20% grower (Dumor) and supplement water with poultry cell 2x a week. I planned on continuing this regimen and supplementing with oyster shell when they reach appropriate age.
    My thoughts are that the boosted feed and vitamins will fill any nutritional gaps that may occur from free ranging. Is this a valid concept? or am I over thinking?
     
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  2. Chick-N-Fun

    Chick-N-Fun Almy Acres Farm

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    That is exactly what you should do. Grower or Flock Raiser is great for an all time feed with oyster shell offered around 17- 18 weeks of age. They do not need layer feed, although many people feed that to their same age flock. With multiple ages and roosters, Grower or Flock Raiser is just fine. More protein, which chickens need!
    Good luck with your flock! Have FUN!!!!!
     
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  3. True Patriot

    True Patriot Sanity is subjective

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    Thanks, that's exactly what I was planning to do. I wasn't sure the higher protien was necessary. I'm trying to account for egg production needs and hopefully in the spring having a broody hatch and raise in with the flock:fl. These guys seem to be thriving nicely on this feed, I didn't want to fix it it it isn't broken.
     
  4. Chick-N-Fun

    Chick-N-Fun Almy Acres Farm

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    :thumbsup
     
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  5. 1 acre willows

    1 acre willows Songster

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    My birds have free range of my yard, a full acre and they have taken it upon themselves to invade my neighbors as well all are happy to let them. So they have like 4 acres that they have the run of. Irrigation ditch runs through my back yard, 18"-24" wide, I still supplement once or twice a month, in the waters in the coop, a vitamin supplement. And they have all the free feed they could want in the coop, about 3-4 gallons of feed a day
     
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  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    That is very close to what I do currently. I have also used an incomplete ration as the concentrated portion of diet. Birds can compensate for quantity and quality of feed by adjusting their foraging habits. Their are limits to that and free-range areas need to have quality forage. Most backyards that I have seen have limited forage density and sometimes poor quality as well. I spend a lot of time "reading" my free-range birds to decide what they need changed in the diet I supply.
     
  7. True Patriot

    True Patriot Sanity is subjective

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    I live on a relatively small 2.5 acres, however half is unusable as range due to buildings or being swamp. I have already been questioning the quantity/quality they can forage. It's a high insect population area and mixed natural vegetation, I don't seed anything. My intent is to let them do their "chicken thing" and forage as much as possible, while still providing what they need to thrive. Thanks so much for the response, it sounds like I'm heading in the right direction.
     
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  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Consider trap plantings with light to take advantage of what is produced in swamp during growing season.
     
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  9. wild chick

    wild chick Songster

    I free range my multi-age flock & feed the flock raiser crumbles with oyster shell on the side for whoever wants it. I was thinking they might be filling up on it and not wanting to forage so much as they like to hang out and roost all day in the barn. We have 7 acres fenced and they don't explore far from the barn and coop. I was thinking about just putting the crumbles out in the afternoon to make sure they fill up before dark, at least in the summertime, but it sounds like from reading here that it should be out all the time?
     
  10. 1 acre willows

    1 acre willows Songster

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    Sorry I also supplement oyster shell and grit.... I live in an old river bottom, plenty of clay If i let it take over, no real sand....
     

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