What do you feed your chickens?

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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I tend to not give my chickens treats. I don't really know why, but I've never felt the need. My dogs don't get them either.

The only thing I have around treatwise specifically for the chickens is a bag of mealworms. I use this mostly for calming my rooster when he's mad at me and for bribing escapees back into the pen when they accidentally find themselves on the wrong side of the poultry netting.

Occasionally when it's very hot, I will cut fruit into tiny pieces and freeze it and give them that.

I guess my mentality is I'd rather they find their own treats while foraging and I just provide the best complete feed I can. I do ferment it and they certainly love it.
 

JessMay

Chirping
Jul 23, 2019
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Northwest Illinois
I tend to not give my chickens treats. I don't really know why, but I've never felt the need. My dogs don't get them either.

The only thing I have around treatwise specifically for the chickens is a bag of mealworms. I use this mostly for calming my rooster when he's mad at me and for bribing escapees back into the pen when they accidentally find themselves on the wrong side of the poultry netting.

Occasionally when it's very hot, I will cut fruit into tiny pieces and freeze it and give them that.

I guess my mentality is I'd rather they find their own treats while foraging and I just provide the best complete feed I can. I do ferment it and they certainly love it.
How do you ferment their food?

Also, i felt the same with our three hens that we raised from chicks. We didn’t tend to feed them treats until we added some new hens in our flock.. also if we have any fruits or veggies that will go bad within a day or two we feed them those if we know we’re not going to eat it.. it helps me feel better that we’re not wasting food lol. They are like mini garbage disposals :lol:
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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How do you ferment their food?

Also, i felt the same with our three hens that we raised from chicks. We didn’t tend to feed them treats until we added some new hens in our flock.. also if we have any fruits or veggies that will go bad within a day or two we feed them those if we know we’re not going to eat it.. it helps me feel better that we’re not wasting food lol. They are like mini garbage disposals :lol:
I actually use Flock Raiser plus a mix I make from triticale, field peas, BOSS, flaxseed, Fertrell Poultry nutri-balancer and fish meal. I have three large containers going. Add water and mix well. Let ferment 3 days, mixing daily and adding more water if needed. I strain it to drain off as much water as possible, then add dry Flock Raiser to get the consistency right and feed. The water I drained off starts the next batch.
I recently increased my flock size so I don't have a big enough container to do 100% fermented. In the late afternoon, I make a mash out of Flock Raiser and give them that to make up the difference.
 

want2know

Songster
Dec 25, 2018
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Hill Country Texas
I feed mine cracked corn, but they also really like kale, tomatoes, and strawberries.
I feed mine cracked corn every morning when its cold, and sometimes in the evening if it is really cold at night, but cracked corn is NOT good for them in the summer when it is hot. In the summer afternoons when it is hottest, I chop up frozen peaches, or grapes or blueberries. I give them one big hunk of frozen watermelon, frozen corn, corn on the cob is a big favorite, frozen peas, chopped tomato, any kind of chopped lettuc, celery leaves, left over scrambled eggs, chopped hard boiled egg, chopped cucumber, (the seeds are good for worming), carrot peels. In the winter, I switch it up with left over cold cooked rice, bread heals crumbled, corn tortillas crumbs, cooked oatmeal with a little bit of raisins.
Always a generous supply of grit and oyster shell. I have 6 different breeds, and never had a sick chicken, and they all look great and are good layers. However, everything in moderation. I usually never "treat" more than what will cover the bottom of a pie pan with one layer, usually once a day, for 5 hens and a roo.
 

JessMay

Chirping
Jul 23, 2019
37
90
79
Northwest Illinois
I feed mine cracked corn every morning when its cold, and sometimes in the evening if it is really cold at night, but cracked corn is NOT good for them in the summer when it is hot. In the summer afternoons when it is hottest, I chop up frozen peaches, or grapes or blueberries. I give them one big hunk of frozen watermelon, frozen corn, corn on the cob is a big favorite, frozen peas, chopped tomato, any kind of chopped lettuc, celery leaves, left over scrambled eggs, chopped hard boiled egg, chopped cucumber, (the seeds are good for worming), carrot peels. In the winter, I switch it up with left over cold cooked rice, bread heals crumbled, corn tortillas crumbs, cooked oatmeal with a little bit of raisins.
Always a generous supply of grit and oyster shell. I have 6 different breeds, and never had a sick chicken, and they all look great and are good layers. However, everything in moderation. I usually never "treat" more than what will cover the bottom of a pie pan with one layer, usually once a day, for 5 hens and a roo.
Wow! They must love you!! Lol. I will have to try some of those things. Never knew it wasn’t good to feed them cracked corn in the summer.
 

trumpeting_angel

Free Ranging
Feb 6, 2019
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There’s a thread about the proportion of treats to feed chickens going on now - https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/the-10-treat-rule-weight-or-volume.1323573/page-5

I feed mine weeds that are not toxic, vegetable trimmings, grass trimmings, and bugs. They LOVE Japanese beetles that I pick off my flowers.

I give them scratch grains (which includes cracked corn) very sparingly. The seeds are high in fat and the corn is high in carbs, and just like us, this can lead to fatty liver disease, heart problems, etc. I don’t give them bread, rice or pasta for those reasons, also.
 
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