supplementing layers' diets in winter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by erinchelsea, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. erinchelsea

    erinchelsea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    those of you that have pasture-raised hens, do you supplement them with anything in the winter when they're not getting greens outdoors? I noticed the yolks of our eggs are getting lighter and I believe it's due to the fact that all our weeds & grass in the range are dead now. I hate to spend too much money but is there anything I can do?

    ETA: They are on Nutrena Layer feed right now, with occasional kitchen scraps.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  2. roxyblue

    roxyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like to give my chickens some sort of greens in the winter.
    At some grocerie stores there is a bad(ish) produce isle where they have things that are free and/or very cheep, my store doesn't do this but I've heard some say that theirs do. As long as they have their layer feed they will be fine so doen't feel like you NEED to give them anything else.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    After decades of keeping hens, even an old timer such as myself still learns a new trick or two. I've read here on BYC about alfalfa hay or alfalfa cubes being soaked and returned to a succulent state and fed to the birds to satisfy their hunger for greens. I intend to give it a whirl.

    If someone could point us to a link about the "cubes" it might be helpful.
     
  4. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had the same questions and have had several people suggest to me, to try sprouting greens. It seems as though there is a whole array of things you can sprout and from the instructions-it seems as if it will be pretty simple.
     
  5. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Fred's Hens :

    After decades of keeping hens, even an old timer such as myself still learns a new trick or two. I've read here on BYC about alfalfa hay or alfalfa cubes being soaked and returned to a succulent state and fed to the birds to satisfy their hunger for greens. I intend to give it a whirl.

    If someone could point us to a link about the "cubes" it might be helpful.

    I do this or alfalfa hay. I also planted a bunch of kale and mustard just for the chickens. I go pick a big batch of greens everyday for them to munch. The kale and mustard are very frost resistant and also tolerate heat so I can plant while it's still hot and grow it all winter.
    I planted rye over my Bermuda so when I start mowing my tiny garden pathways the clippings will also go to the chickens. Right now, my three silky chicks are enjoying the tender ryegrass, just starting to sprout, in their tractor.​
     
  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Fred's Hens :

    After decades of keeping hens, even an old timer such as myself still learns a new trick or two. I've read here on BYC about alfalfa hay or alfalfa cubes being soaked and returned to a succulent state and fed to the birds to satisfy their hunger for greens. I intend to give it a whirl.

    If someone could point us to a link about the "cubes" it might be helpful.

    I use Alfalfa Meal in my feed mix year round, but in the winter I sometime supplement with some added Alfalfa Meal.
    I just soak the Alfalfa Meal in water for about 5 minutes or so then I through some in a feed pan for them.

    The Alfalfa Meal that I use is in the mash form not a pellet or a cube form.

    Chris​
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  7. LT

    LT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's Hens :

    After decades of keeping hens, even an old timer such as myself still learns a new trick or two. I've read here on BYC about alfalfa hay or alfalfa cubes being soaked and returned to a succulent state and fed to the birds to satisfy their hunger for greens. I intend to give it a whirl.

    If someone could point us to a link about the "cubes" it might be helpful.

    I would be very interested in knowing this information as well. Since we recently lost one of our girls to a hawk, we are reticent about letting them out to free range when we can't be outside standing guard, so their foraging time has been reduced. I have been saving all of our green and orange kitchen scraps. They love carrots, spinach, collards, and butternut squash. But the alfalfa cubes would be an excellent way to occupy them while they are in their run.​
     
  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:I use Alfalfa Meal in my feed mix year round, but in the winter I sometime supplement with some added Alfalfa Meal.
    I just soak the Alfalfa Meal in water for about 5 minutes or so then I through some in a feed pan for them.

    The Alfalfa Meal that I use is in the mash form not a pellet or a cube form.

    Chris

    Do feed stores sell Alfalfa Meal????
     
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

  10. farmer9989

    farmer9989 Out Of The Brooder

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    What I do is I have a push mower with bagger . I mow about two bags full every day for 20 chickens. The rye during the winter and just bermuda grass when its growing, and weeds . this also provides my deep mulch for winter and good suff for the garden in spring.
     

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