What do YOU feed your chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChickTree, May 8, 2016.

  1. ChickTree

    ChickTree In the Brooder

    Mar 27, 2016
    I am looking for ideas on what to feed our chickens. We can't spend an exuberant amount of money on feed... They will be in a coop at night and run during the day... Free ranged when we are home. I don't mind feeding them store bought feed... However if it's not organic I am noting a lot of grain by-product in ingredients.

    So tell me what you do that's
    1. Fairly low maintenance
    2. Cost effective
    3. Healthy for the laying birds and egg consumption for us

    Thank you! [​IMG][​IMG]

  2. ChickTree

    ChickTree In the Brooder

    Mar 27, 2016
    On a side note... The girls have a separate container for their grit and another for their oyster shells when they get to that age.
  3. I have a hopper with a Chick Ration in it. That will go away once the bag is empty. Mostly the little ones feed from this hopper, but the big girls have discovered it as well.


    Free Choice, I feed the flock a mixture of whole grains. I believe strongly that the whole grains maintain their nutrient levels longer and are more nutritious for the birds.


    And finally they have access to the yard. Chickens are like 2 legged cattle, they will graze all day long on fresh green grass. They also get table scraps, from our meals. We seldom throw much away anymore. If the birds can eat it...they get it. Just be careful, some items are not healthy for chickens...avocados spring to mind.


    Because I provide limited processed feeds and they have so much access to diverse food items, my costs of feeding the flock are reduced. I am toying with the idea of including a maintenance ration to see if egg production goes up...it should.
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  4. I also noticed the feed ingredients sounded like a bunch of byproducts and have concern.

    I do fermented feed (low maintenance enough but a little more work than dry feed) , always free choice. Some people swear by the cost savings. They even say just soaking over night increases digest-ability, which would decrease consumption in theory. I have not done the figures for proof, but do think I have less waste. Also, it is a game bird ration with a higher protein content. That's just what's available at my local feed store. High energy dog food has a higher protein content than others, so I equate it the same. They say the owner's been using it for his chickens 20 years. Hope I don't end up with long term side effects! We free range all day, and they definitely eat bugs and greens. Some of my breeds are better foragers than others. It would be nice to not have to provide feed, but that's not a reality for me.

    My little's are not on layer feed yet, but Costco is selling an organic layer for $20.

    Best wishes!

  5. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Songster

    May 18, 2016
    Valley of the Sun :)
    I'm feeding my chickens this for now + kitchen scraps + grass

    they will free range so i'm sure they will eat something else as well


    then will switch over to the layer feed from this buyer's club
  6. ES4me

    ES4me In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2016
    Fermented scratch (corn, wheat, barley, BOSS) and sprouts (mostly barley/wheat/BOSS) and they have layer pellets as a backup. My littles get their crumble soaked in whey or ACV. They waste less of the wet mash and I think adding that step does aid in nutrient absorption.
  7. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Songster

    Feb 16, 2016
    They need access to bugs or some kind of animal protein for vitamin A. I grind my own feed (it's not cheap though so I won't bother sharing the recipe) but add cod liver oil to it for a vitamin/A/D supplement. Feeding whole grains is awesome, but don't forget the A!

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