What are you feeding your flock?


In the Brooder
Jul 31, 2016
Melbourne, FL
I am new to chickens so please bear with me. I am feeding our laying hens layer feed. I give them watermelon, tomatoes, greens, and mealworms daily. Should I give them a chance to just eat the feed to get enough proteins? How often do you give treats to your chickens? How much? I also heard that giving them apple cider vinegar is not good in the summer. Is that true?
First off, Welcome to BYC! Glad to have you aboard

Giving layer feed is a excellent choice, In fact that's what my flock receives. But I would recommend, to feed your girls a main diet in the morning and afternoon. Gather a bucket and put in your table scraps then add a few good cups of the layer feed. Pour it all into a bowl (in the coop) in the morning and let them eat it. Then once they have had their 'breakfast' they can have all their yummy treats and fruit throughout the day until 'dinner'. That way the protein they need is received and everyone stays happy.

Its just an idea, Which is the idea I use. I find it works well and makes a good diet plan.

My flock receives a good amount of goodies and treats throughout the day, Honestly I don't know how much they receive-it just comes and goes.

I have never heard of the apple cider vinegar thing. My chooks get apple cider vinegar in their water all throughout the year without any problems! On top of that they also receive a little bit of garlic for each individual each month. It keeps the sicknesses away from my chooks, chicks roosters and all.

Hope I helped a bit, Best of luck with your new chooks!

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I believe the standard recommendation is that treats should account for no more than 10% of total daily food intake. Unlike @mustangrooster, i leave feed available all day. There's no right or wrong - we all do things differently. As long as your flock is healthy, laying as you would expect then all is well IMO.

Welcome to the chicken world. You are going to have so much fun.
I have been feeding my girls ferment food for 3 years now -- twice a day. And they love it. They get scratch from my hubby in the afternoon and an occasional treat. This summer they have been enjoying watermelon and over grown zucchini. I usually give it to them in mid morning. One thing I have learned is that if they aren't super hungry in the morning then I'm over feeding them. 10% is a good rule of thumb but I know sometimes it's hard to follow as I might have extra scraps that I want to give them.
I also do the apple cider vinegar in their water. I do this about twice a week.
Good luck and follow your instincts.
I feed 18% layers pellets in a hanging feeder in the coop 24/7. There is a water fountain in the coop. I give them a 4 or 5 grain scratch mixed 50/50 with layers pellets tossed on the ground twice a day, around 9:30am and 4:30pm. The afternoon time will be earlier in late fall and winter. They also have water in a bucket under the coop and granite grit in a bucket under the coop. Have not had to supplement oyster shell so far. They are 19 weeks old. They have access to grass and bugs in their large run. I got 4 eggs yesterday from 5 hens, still have 1 freeloader. GC
I give my birds layer feed mixed with scratch grains or whole corn, depends on what the feed store has in stock. I give them ACV in their water year around, but I have heard someone say that it might cause them to drink less water if they dont like the taste. However my birds prefer ACV water so it just depends on your birds, I guess.
I grow a decent size garden year around so they get scraps from that (grass and weeds, rotten food, bad leaves, ect) and also tons of kitchen scraps (milk thats almost bad, stale bread, leftover meat). But be wary of giving them anything thats been salted or heavily seasoned. What you've been feeding them is great. My chickens go nuts for watermelon.
Keeping chickens is a lot of fun, and for me, most of the fun is feeding them! :)
This is awesome! I have startes to give them scratch, too. How much do you give? I use a Chonani yogurt cup as a measuring cupband give this to 13 chickens. Is that too few?
This is awesome! I have startes to give them scratch, too. How much do you give? I use a Chonani yogurt cup as a measuring cupband give this to 13 chickens. Is that too few?

I've always been told a chicken needs about 1/4 a pound of food a day. Thats a rough estimate but its a good basis to start with. Scratch is fine to give them but it does have less protein than layer feed so always feed them more layer feed than scratch. Also, make sure to give them grit of some sort with scratch grains so they can digest it easily. Chickens don't have teeth but they have a gizzard which grinds up the food for them. I've given mine sand before, but oyster shells is a good option too. :)
This is awesome! I have startes to give them scratch, too. How much do you give? I use a Chonani yogurt cup as a measuring cupband give this to 13 chickens. Is that too few?
I give my girls 3/4 cup of scratch grains mixed 50/50 with layers feed around 9:30am tossed on the ground and and again around 4:30pm. I have 5 hens. They have access to layers pellets and granite grit and water of course, 24/7. GC

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