Treats ok Every Day?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ReyM, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. ReyM

    ReyM In the Brooder

    Dec 14, 2009
    I got my new crew of BCM two weeks ago. First birds I've ever had so I need info, info and more info.

    Is it ok to give treats daily? I have given cooked rice, corn, scratch. I've had no eggs but that may be partially due to their relocation.

    Let me know. Tried and true or facts are all welcomed.

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My rule of thumb has always been to offer them a treat in the morning - usually scratch or scratch grains, no more than they can clean up in about 15 minutes.
    I offer another snack in the afternoon, before they go to roost. Maybe 4 to 5 slices of white bread for 14 birds. If we have leftover rice, potatoes, or other starch, I substitute that for the bread.
    I want my birds to depend mainly on their layer feed and they free range all day, so I try not to overdo the treats. In the summertime, we have multiple fruit trees that provide their snacks.
  3. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Mine only get treats of veggies, fruit, leftovers, when there are some. My DH usually gives them too much scratch. They only get a handful from me a day. My quail get half of that
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    The rule of thumb is to not give more than 10%, absolute max 15% of their diet as treats. I don't think that would apply to greens, as they will self-limit on those, and they are low-calorie. But do be careful with high carbs such as bread, rice, pasta, because they will go nuts on these!
  5. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Songster

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    How would you mix BOSS and scratch to make a more balanced treat? Would it be a 1 to 1 ratio? would oats be too much carb in the mix? Want to find the best mix so I don't feel guilty about the nutrition they receive.[​IMG]/
  6. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Catdaddy--you can make your own scratch! It can have whatever you would like in it. I'm going to try and find a table with protein % on it. Mine has hard wheat, oats, cracked peas, corn and sunflower seeds in it. I'd also like to add in some flax seed. I don't feel bad about giving them lots of scratch to dig around for. Mine is actually formulated to be part of a whole grain layer ration.

    Can't seem to find a good table, but here's a link to some info that might be helpful:
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  7. desertgirl

    desertgirl Roo Magnet

    Mar 29, 2009
    As with most things in my fledgling chicken experience, I listen to Gritsar....[​IMG] [​IMG]

    I give them a little treat when I come home from work and let them out of the coop (I work nights). They free range during the day, then I give another small treat in the evening . As Gritsar said, not a big meal, something tasty they can clean up in 10-15 minutes.

    The idea is-in the morning the treat makes them happy to see me, and in the evening they are happy to go "home".
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010

  8. atlantachickenwhisperer

    atlantachickenwhisperer Songster

    Jan 2, 2009
  9. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    My gang always get a warm breakfast in the morning, it's not too much food when it's split amongst 20+ birds...

    Breakfast = about 1 cup of their dry food mixed with boiling water to form a mash, I add cooked oatmeal and/or other grains, flax, some DE, some cod liver oil, some shredded fruits or veggies if I have them, some raw or cooked meat if there is any laying around.

    They LOVE it!

    I also scatter about 1.5 cups of scratch on the ground to keep them busy.

    Around lunchtime, they get some fresh greens (might be salad, cabbage, alfalfa sprouts, whole cucumber or zucchini, grapes, apples, nanas, etc) and maybe a bit of bread.

    They plow through a lot of food during the long cold winter months so I'm not worried that a bit of extra treats will do them any harm, on the contrary.

    Main food is a mix of turkey growth pellets (24% protein), Purina Layena and cracked corn (equal quantities of each).

    Oh and they always have access to suet cakes for pecking fun!
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I agree with a previous poster - whatever gritsar says, goes! [​IMG]

    I give mine treats every morning when they come out of the coop. I'm not home when they go INTO the coop; I just shut them in after taking a head count.

    But on the weekends, they get treats twice: once in the morning, and once later in the afternoon. On any occasion, it's never more than a full handful of something, BOSS, or shredded cheese, or chopped up carrot tops, any scraps like that.

    Oh, and I hang a cabbage in their run once a week. It's gone in two days.

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