What to feed ........

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by getbac, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. getbac

    getbac New Egg

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    I feed my chickens wheat and corn... am new at this and am wondering IF this is ok.. they seem to do well. I live by a feed mill and can get all kinds of grains. Would oats be good to add to the mix? I've noticed on here that I am feeding too much crushed corn and will cut it down some.. but it is getting cold (6200ft, central Utah) and really want what is best for them. Also is there any good heated water systems available, either DIY or market that any of you prefer, for those really cold upcoming months? This is a great forum and I am having a good time reading all you guys have posted, so much information it is overwhelming!
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  2. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

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    Sounds fine to me, oats are good for them also. [​IMG]

    Sorry I can't offer advice on the heated waterers. It doesn't get that cold where I live so I don't use anything like it.
     
  3. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    Your chickens should be fed a good commercial feed developed for chickens. Does your feed mill sell chicken feed? Just feeding wheat and corn won't provide the proper ratio of protein and nutrients that a commercial feed will.
     
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I had a lot of inexpensive and good quality grain available to me, I may follow the University of West Virginia's recommendation on using grain in a ration.

    Still, I'd keep the amount down to about 30% whole grain unless there was a commercial supplement available to me. The poultry science people usually recommend "scratch" at no more than 15% of the birds' diet or what they can clean-up in 20 minutes. The University of West Virginia says you can feed more but do so in combination with high-protein feeds. University West Virginia (pdf) So, you would provide something like a turkey feed with 25% or 28% protein.

    The other route would be to go with a specially made supplement. The Manitoba Agriculture agency talks about doing that with "Choice Feeding." This supplement is made especially for use with whole grain. I don't have a feed store anywhere around that sells it but if you have Hubbard feeds available to you, you should be able to purchase Homestead Chick-En-Egg Concentrate. I don't really know anything about this supplement but it may be useful to you.

    For laying hens, having oyster shell available to them free-choice may be important as a calcium source. When they are laying, they need calcium at nearly 5% of their ration and whole grain won't have anywhere near that amount.

    Steve
     
  5. getbac

    getbac New Egg

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    thanx so much folks... am adjusting my chicken feeding practices as we speak [​IMG])))
     
  6. cackler

    cackler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found on BYC's sister website - "Shop The Coop.Com" - this information: Add mung beans, sprouts, and worms to their diet. Winter will leave slim pickings, so if you can order some beans to sprout, you should!You will notice an almost immediate difference in the smell of the feces from your chickens. It will not smell as rancid, or putrid! It will smell more earthy, and more like grass, because of the pure food you are feeding them and the improvement of their diet. I have noticed that just like this is referrring, that lately since it's colder, my girls' poo really is smelling kind of icky & putrid. So, I have a bag of Sprout Mix that has the following ingredients: organic green peas, organic green lentils, organic red lentils, organic yellow peas, organic garbanzo beans and organic mung beans . If I would sprout these and give them to the girls this winter would that be okay for them? It's really for stir frying - I don't want to give them something that'll make them sick.[​IMG]
     
  7. getbac

    getbac New Egg

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    I've found that they like to eat almost anything, from readin on this forum [​IMG] We have a storage of squash grown this summer and they love it, cooked oatmeal, apple pieces. I am able to keep my chickens (hens) in the yard with us so everytime I walk out the back door they attack me thinkin they are gonna get a treat now. If I don't watch em they will jump right up and take something out of my hand lol. From what I am learning and form what I am seein my chickens eat I am gettin a little worried about fallin asleep on the lawn out back lol. The followin is a copy of a url from one of our members, Buff Hooligan, that really helped a noob like me to learn and begin to ask the right questions, hope it helps you too.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-Treats_Chart
     
  8. cackler

    cackler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] That's a very, very helpful page. Thanks for putting that url up. [​IMG]
     

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