Throw feed on the ground

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by fish59, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. fish59

    fish59 Hatching

    Mar 1, 2015
    Please give advice: a neighbor simply throws laying mash onto the ground of his chicken pen and the chickens scratch around for it and eat it up. He has eliminated his trough and feeder and it looks like his method works. Are there drawbacks to this? I would like to copy if not.
  2. Jedwards

    Jedwards Songster

    Aug 5, 2014
    Berks County, PA
    Welcome to BYC!! [​IMG] There's probably a good amount of waste and whatever they don't eat could get moldy or whatever when wet/not eaten. Sometimes I throw a handful or two on the ground for them to peck at in the winter because there's no grass but there's still waste even then
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  3. I would not throw crumbles or mash on the ground for my chickens. I do throw a hand full of scratch or pellets in the bedding when I enter the coop. Saves me from falling over the mob of hens that rush me!
  4. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    As a chicken and given no other choice what would you do? Eat off of the floor. It does work… as you have seen, seems easy enough to do, no fuss, no muss. Why bother to keep birds at all? Heck channel the cesspool overflow through the run and one would not even need to water the flock.

    People do all kinds of things that are in the vein of what is the least work for them. And with no thought of what is best for the bird. I just am of the position that if you don't want to care for your birds, get fish, a cat, something you do want to take care of.

  5. growsaposy

    growsaposy In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2014
    Chickens natural feeding behavior involves pecking stuff off the surface of wherever they live, right? We do both, feed is available in feeders in their yard and when they are out they love to scratch and peck at anything they want. I wouldn't worry unless there is 'clear and present' danger to them wherever they 'graze.'
    Hope they and you are happy.
    1 person likes this.
  6. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Crowing

    May 25, 2010
    NW Georgia
    I'm curious how someone could think having to go out every day and throw out food is less work on the human than filling a feeder every few days?

    before chickens were domesticated, guess how they ate anything and everything, by scratching on the ground and pecking at things, they survived in the wild that way. The thing is, if we keep em in coops and runs, they're less likely to survive 'naturally' because we've limited their roaming hunting for food area.

    Maybe the neighbor just enjoys going out and throwing out food every day, sooner or later some of it is going to mold or rot, if he/she throws out too much. It's much simpler and less work involved to just keep feed in a feeder.....I guess that means those of us who use feeders are just too lazy to go out and feed our chickens the way nature intended them to be fed.....
    1 person likes this.
  7. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Man didn't "domesticate" chickens since there are no wild chickens.
    Man did domesticate jungle fowl (genus Gallus) and later hybridized the jungle fowl to create what we know and call the chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus).

    Now, outside of some gamefowl breeds most of the chickens we know today could not survive "naturally", not because of them being in coops and runs but because of the way they were bred. Man has bred most of the natural instincts out of the chicken because people want "pretty" chickens, ones that lay lots of eggs and or gives us lots of meat, in breeding for this man has sacrificed a lot of the natural instincts of the chicken and these birds are the ones that would die out completely if not for man.

    Look at all the things we have bred into the modern chicken, Feathered shanks and feet, large combs, large body size, soft feathers, colorful feathers, tameness, the inability to hatch there own eggs, etc. these are the real reasons they wont survive naturally not because there in a coop and run.
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    To the question in the OP. Throwing it on the ground can be very wasteful. The fine material in the feed easily gets mixed into the dirt and lost. Mash, being feed straight from the mill, is the worst for this. The minerals and vitamins are usually a large part of the fine material in mash, before it us pelletized. Even pelletized feed has fine material that has been broken during handling. Whole grain scratch and other large size treats are the only things I will throw out on the ground.
  9. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Crowing

    May 25, 2010
    NW Georgia
    are Red Junglefowl still in existance? what did they 'hyrbridize' the red jungle fowl with? you talk about 'look at the things we've bred into modern chickens'......isn't that exactly what 'domesticated' means? they took wild birds, bred and cross bred them. All of that could very well be considered part of the 'domestication' process, so yeah, man 'domesticated' chickens
  10. Ntsees

    Ntsees Songster

    Jul 27, 2012

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