What to feed my girls

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Hillschicks, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    455
    25
    101
    Jul 17, 2012
    We started out feeding them chick starter... Then moved to grower/finisher... After i made our feeder we decided to start buying various grains and such in bulk and mixing it ourselves... First we had cracked corn/oats/layer ... Then i read layer is bad for younger chicks and roosters so we got that out of there and put it in a dish on the side... We replaced it in the mix with sunflower seeds... Sun flower seeds quickly became a preference and they started scrapping foor out of the feeder to get to more sunflowers... Then i fixed the feeder so they can eat but not scrape and decided the sunflowers would make a good bedtime snack (real snack is first thing in the morning) ... The sunflower snack helps get everyone inside after a day of free ranging as well...

    The problem is that only leaves cracked corn and oats in the feeder... Too much corn isnt good and they really could care less about oats... What are some other things we could add to the feed mix that would be good for them??? I dont care about ratio, they pick and choose what they want to eat anyway... Just want more variety in their mix... Proper nutrient foods would be prefered
     
  2. spikennipper

    spikennipper Chillin' With My Peeps

    893
    22
    141
    Jul 25, 2009
    Kent, UK.
    Just keep them on the grower finisher if they are too young and then place on layers, I have always weaned mine off chick crumb onto layers and never had any problems, they do have greens, veggies and corn/sunflower seeds with left over food scraps such as pasta bread etc when it's available plus they free range and eat bugs berries and leaves that fall into my garden.
     
  3. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    11,005
    434
    328
    Jun 1, 2009
    Ohio
    How old are the birds, are you still feeding the grower feed?

    Chris
     
  4. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    455
    25
    101
    Jul 17, 2012
    The oldest are from march, the youngest are 3 months... The 3 month olds still get a bit of grower/finisher
     
  5. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    455
    25
    101
    Jul 17, 2012
    they also free range, but layer isnt enough... layer is full of calcium, they still need other feed... Plus free ranging is done here in michigan for the moment... Come on spring! Reguardless, id rather get my own feed from local farmers and such than buy bags of chicken feed
     
  6. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    455
    25
    101
    Jul 17, 2012
    Also, where we are from, too young is a matter of oppinion... My dad on his farm feeds cracked corn mixed with starter food after about 2 weeks... His chickens have always done just fine... Ours, we try to baby them a bit more lol... But the way i see it, chickens lived thousands of years before they sold chick starters and finishers and such... What would people a hundred years ago have fed their chickens??? oats... corn... Nothing special... Thats one of the problems with todays world... We rely to heavily on what we can just go and purchase... Easier is rarely better...
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  7. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    455
    25
    101
    Jul 17, 2012
    Everyone has what they need, and they will continue to get the cracked corn and oats with a dish of layer (until the bag runs out) on the side of the feeder.. once the layer bag is empty we will be switching permanently to oyster shells on the side... Just curious what else i can throw into the cracked corn/oats... My goal is just variety to spoil my girls... Price is of no concern
     
  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,142
    7,909
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    No, layer is specially formulated to meet all the laying hen's nutritional needs and it has more calcium than grower because hens need the extra calcium for egg shell production. You can feed other things in addition to layer, but you don't need to.

    You can feed your hens a mix of grains, but you'll have to make sure you include a good protein source and offer oystershell or crushed egg shells on the side for their calcium needs.
     
  9. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    455
    25
    101
    Jul 17, 2012
    Oh absolutely, as i said they get layer food on the side which will be switched to oyster shells as soon as the layer bag is empty... Im sure TSC sells great feed, but i dont trust the labels... For all i know the government requires them to put certain things in the feed... Just feel better with my own batch
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by