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What is the best food to feed chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cranberrycreekchickens, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. cranberrycreekchickens

    cranberrycreekchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    I was wondering what the best food to feed chickens is, right now I am feeding standard lay ration pellets but I'm not sure how much it is doing for my chickens is there anything that I should or could feed to my chickens that they could benefit from?

    Roman
     
  2. HollyTree

    HollyTree Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 15, 2009
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    I was told by my local Farmer's Co-op that gamebird feed was best because it is high protein. I bought a little sack of powered/crushed oyster shells to add to the feed, just a little mixed in.
    I'm learning right now, but thought I'd share what I was told.
     
  3. cranberrycreekchickens

    cranberrycreekchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    thanks I am using oyster shell now and I was told to try adding turkey starter or dry cat food for protein.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    right now I am feeding standard lay ration pellets but I'm not sure how much it is doing for my chickens

    Well, it's keeping them alive and healthy, what more are you *expecting* it to do? [​IMG]

    Seriously, I'm not sure what you mean "best" -- best how?

    "Most likely to be nutritionally complete?" For that IMO your best strategy is to feed mostly a good commercial ration but also let them free range and/or supplement with a not-excessive quantity of a wide variety of plant/vegetable/fruit/meat scraps. And offer a calcium source free-choice (crushed oystershell, or their own eggshells dried and crushed and fed back, or both)

    "Most like their diet in nature?" That would be free ranging, but it doesn't work in all situations b/c of predators etc and in many places chickens cannot get a year-round sufficient/balanced diet just from free ranging, especially if you have a goodly number of chickens.

    "Least likely to contain manmade things that you find objectionable?" That would probably be a home-mixed ration compounded intelligently out of organic grains (i.e. don't just make something up, use a proven, published formula and/or learn a whole lot about poultry nutrition so you can exercise good judgement (this may include having the component grains analyzed, as different crops of a given grain will have different nutritional content). However it is harder to balance this nutritionally for micronutrients and you may face some difficult choices regarding getting the protein content high enough.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  5. 12Under1Roof

    12Under1Roof Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2009
    NH
    I finally found a feed store that sells Purina Layena. Its all vegetarian feed. No animal byproducts.
    I use the pellets.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:"Animal byproducts" is hardly desirable, I agree, but chickens are omnivores, so I prefer a feed that has animal protein, like fish meal.
     
  7. RWPower

    RWPower Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2009
    Oats and mealworms are good for them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. cranberrycreekchickens

    cranberrycreekchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    Thanks guys!

    Pat, I was asking about what foods to feed them that would be nutritionally complete, lay ration has been keeping them alive and well but I just wanted to know if there was anything better that I could be giving them that they could benefit from.
     
  9. LittleChickenRacingTeam

    LittleChickenRacingTeam On vacation

    Jan 11, 2007
    Ontario, CANADA
    The lay ration will contain some sort of calcium supplement anyways. It is a complete nutrionally balanced feed for laying hens.

    Mine is a 17% protein feed & the instructions state to FEED AS THE SOLE RATION TO LAYING HENS

    In other words, nutrionally this meets an egg laying hens complete requirements.

    My birds are strictly show birds & yes they get to freerange & get treats such as sunflower seeds & grapes.

    I do offer oyster shell as a free choice item, & grit, since my birds spend the winters entirely indoors in a controlled environment.

    No need to reinvent the wheel if your birds are already healthy IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  10. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    free range i probably trhe best
     

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