What's on yr chickies' day to day menu?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mxmarg, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. mxmarg

    mxmarg Chirping

    Mar 9, 2012
    SCentral Sconny
    First, what all is on your chickens' day to day menu?

    Second, I've been feeding my 2 layer girls and 1 roo Layer Crumbles mixed half and half with Cracked Corn for the cold part of the non-laying season. There's the every-other-day to once-weekly addition of any of the following: scratch, feather fixer, my own brekky leftovers.
    If it's way cold here in Wisconsin I'll make them scrambled eggs in the morning.

    Someone suggested the girls (not to mention the roo) don't need layer crumbles in the non-laying season. That opinion came from the schmuck who recently gave me two additional lice-infested and underweight hens. (Yes they are quarantined and everyone who is a chicken on our property is getting dusted weekly for a while, etc, etc.) Even though Sir Schmuck hasn't kept them in good stead, he still has me wondering about that layer feed in wintertime.

    So I ask you to tell me your thoughts, backyard chickie enthusiasts! I've gotten into a routine and it's time to take a step back and make sure it's a healthy one for my cute little 5 birdie flock.

    Thank you so much
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    From the previous thread:

    "Also, take what you read with a grain of salt. Just because some one says it, that doesn't make it so. I even am skeptical of the feed companies regarding the "necessary, or recommended" nutrients for poultry. The best thing you can do is look very closely at your poultry. Look at their feathers, their legs, feet, eggs, both in production related to age and overall egg quality, behavior... are they the picture of health, or do you see something lacking in any of these areas? And, I admit to being a novice. I've had my flock for 2 years, though I've had flocks in the past. I consider myself to be much more educated now than I ever was in the past, but still a novice. Still, I look at my flock now, and can see that their health is way better than it was just a year ago.

    IMO, I'd not be comfortable giving my flock JUST a diet of fodder, or even JUST a diet of "balanced" layer feed or even the higher protein "Multi-flock" feed. But a combination of sprouts, layer or multi-flock (supplemented with extra calcium), and extra protein, table scraps, and free ranging, IMO will provide a more balanced diet where one item you provide may provide nutrients which may be missing in an other item."
    I think that chickens in cold weather need extra protein, and extra calories compared to the summer months. While cracked corn has more calories it lacks protein compared to layer feed. My flock gets fermented layer feed, as well as sprouted wheat, barley, black oil sunflower seeds, brassicas, and millet. They also get table scraps and the occasional extra serving of protein.
  3. christinamae5

    christinamae5 In the Brooder

    I feed my girls the layer pellets. And I stopped mixing mine with corn (I actually use the scratch mixture, which they love!) They loved it too much and would spread the pellets everywhere and just pick out the corn. On that note, I just throw a couple of cups of corn out for them once a day into the yard and let them scratch and peck for it. Also, I have kept using the layer feed because mine are still laying. We don't currently have a light in the hen house, and I am still getting two to three eggs a day from my 5 girls. We were consistently getting 5 in the summer. I also give them lots of table scraps and leftovers. They are plump and happy chickies!
  4. matt44644

    matt44644 Songster

    Sep 14, 2014
    Sanilac County,Michigan
    15 Chickens i feed
    1.5 lbs layer feed for breakfast
    1 lb hand mixed grains for lunch
    1.5 lbs layer feed for dinner
    Occasional food scraps
    they get to forage in the summer
    and i grow oat grass indoors for them in the winter
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    2 scoops of 'all flock' every morning in the feeder in coop...enough to have some available 24/7.

    1 scoop of scratch grains mid afternoon, tossed out in the run (or half under the coop and half in a dish in coop if it's pouring rain).

    Sprinkled a couple hand fulls of BOSS in the coop this afternoon, got a couple molters.

    I like to feed an 'all flock' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and all molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat and have calcium available at all times for the layers, oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    The higher protein crumble offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2014
  6. Layer feed available all day, scratch sprinkles in their bedding, and table scraps
  7. WthrLady

    WthrLady Songster

    Jul 24, 2014
    WestOak, Nebraska
    Pellets available all day, as well as oyster shell and grit

    Couple handfuls of seed and oats in the yard this time of year for freelance hunting

    Kitchen scraps snack around two pm

    Scratch an hour before roost at night.

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