What to feed my chickens??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Burton Wyandotte 601, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. Burton Wyandotte 601

    Burton Wyandotte 601 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Georgia
    I hope this is in the right spot... What can I feed my chickens that is healthy for them, they live in a huge chicken pen with a run so they are not out in the open pasture to eat bugs and the sort, something that will give them all that they heed to be fat and healthy. Thanks
     
  2. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    Wisconsin
  3. louloubean

    louloubean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2009
    OC, NY
    you could make them a movable pen (chicken tractor) so they COULD eat the bugs.
     
  4. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2009
    Colorado
    Hi,
    I'm assuming that your question pertains to the "extra" treats that you feed the chickens. If not, the best thing to feed them is a good, well-balanced chicken feed. I feed Purina Flock Raiser and leave oyster shells and grit out extra all the time. It's 20% protein and is a good food. My neighbor, whose chickens are right up to the fence, feeds a generic layer he got at Ace Hardware. On other food posts, other member mentioned that Flock Raiser produces less smelly poop and I think I can agree with this. His birds are kind of smelly. I'll stick my head into my girls' house and take a deep breath and no stink. It's a good quality food and as I only have six birds, they don't go through it too fast.

    As regards to keeping them fat - you don't really want to do that unless you are planning to eat them. Fat layers have problems. The fat presses against internal laying organs and can cause egg-binding and other difficulties. It's best to keep them fit and trim.

    I use a homemade scratch for mine made up of 4 parts whole race horse oats, 4 parts whole wheat (feed stock, NOT seed stock), one part BOSS (Black Oil Sunflower Seeds) and, now that it's gotten cold, about 1 part cracked corn. In addition, they get yogurt and Cheerios a couple of times a week. They're still eating grass and greens from the garden but I plan to keep giving them alfalfa (soaked cubes or the leaves at the bottom of my friends' feed piles) and I can buy a bag of old lettuce at the grocery store for them. In addition, they get the occasional handful of raisisn and some mealworms from the pet store.

    They are fit and healthy and have just started to lay beautifully formed, hard shelled little eggs at six months old.

    Thanks,
    Mary
     
  5. raroo

    raroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 5, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Yes, a good chicken feed is all they really need. Everything else is just treats and extras.
     
  6. msgenie516

    msgenie516 The Happy Hen

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    May 16, 2008
    Nesconset, LI, NY
    Hi,

    I'm not sure what to tell you but high protein pellets are supposed to be very good, about 21% protein. I buy what they call "Egg Producer" pellets that are high protein and my chickens are doing very well. I only give them a little scratch as a treat. By the way, they really aren't supposed to get fat, even if they look "cuter". I read that fat chickens do not make good layers. Good luck! [​IMG] Genie
     
  7. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I'm a big fan of Purina Flock Raiser too. My adults have decided that it tastes better than Layena, and I already offered them oyster shell on the side anyway, so I'm just gonna buy Flock Raiser from now on.

    For treats I feed about 1/2 cup of BOSS every day (to 5 birds) and occasionally mealworms. They "free" range in the backyard, or wherever they can get to (they took a trip under the back fence today!) so they get plenty of grass and bugs whatever they can find.
     
  8. Burton Wyandotte 601

    Burton Wyandotte 601 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Georgia
    Thanks to everybody for all the help!!! This is extremly helpfull!
    One more question though, where can I get the grit? I've never used it before.
    Thanks
     
  9. Galaxiedriver

    Galaxiedriver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2009
    Mid Missouri
    Mary,

    It is interesting what you say about the poop odor and your neighbors feed. Last month I decided to try to save a little money and bought a bag of generic feed that was a couple dollars cheaper than the Purena Layena I have them on now. I was at that time switching them from the medicated starter to layer feed. Within 2 days the coop became very smelly and stayed that way until that cheaper feed was used up. Also, there seemed to be a lot of undigested or poorly digested stuff in the poop. I only used that one bag of cheaper feed and the coop is no longer smelly. The cheaper feed was Country Lane All Purpose Crumbles, purchased at Orschelns here and they said it was made by Cargill.

    Ours are approaching 6 months and have not yet started laying. Hopefully very soon. We just started feeding them a bit of scratch this week and they got their first sunflower seeds this morning. We started with 22 in June. 11 RIRs and 11 Barred Rocks. 1 rooster each. We still have 22 fine healthy chickens and are enjoying them very much.

    Paul
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
  10. raroo

    raroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 5, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    You should be able to buy grit wherever you get your feed. [​IMG] Often they will forage for it themselves if you have rocky soil. Offer it gradually at first, sometimes they gorge on it and impact their crops.
     

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