Why it's important to provide OPTIMAL nutrition this time of year

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Resolution, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    The thing about moulting is that it’s all about cellular regeneration.
    I remember as a kid someone had it in their mind that once the hens stopped laying to moult it was time to just throw them some scratch- no more expensive soft pellet for them. Many of the hens ended up going bald with broken quills that never moulted. It was common at just about everyone’s hen house on at least one hen.
    Eventually that “old hen” would end up in the stockpot.

    Later I learned that really, we aught have been supplementing their diet with the most optimal nutrients to help the birds regenerate every cell on their bodies as they would in nature. Of course the birds moult anyway and regeneration is taking place constantly. What I’m trying to impart here is that –you may be able to help your birds increase their immune systems, produce superior feather structure and body functioning.

    Chickens aren’t machines but we tend to keep them that way. They’re generally hatched in enormous incubators –brooded under electric lamps and turned into statically efficient environments. We feed them incredibly consistent diets and let them sleep in microhabitats that we’ve created- that act as repositories for season after season of feather dander, dust, fecal dust and etc. – Moulting can end up being incredibly stressful on the birds- and yes there are different kinds of moults.

    Concurrently, while their parents are moulting, the chicks of the year are growing exponentially- overnight it would seem so quick is their development (save for those races and species that are very slow growing).

    In nature, the birds time this part of the year with the time of the greatest bounty- the insect season- when insects fill the vegetation- working their hardest to prepare – mate, die or migrate before the dry season. This is when the chicks and moulting adults are eating an optimal diet-

    And this is when I personally feel- this is only my opinion- that soy foods are most deleterious for your birds. I also believe that breeding pairs should be kept on soy free diets as well, all year round. But the most important season is actually well upon us. Its time to start nourishing the cellular regeneration so close behind us.

    When you supplement wisely, judiciously, effectively- you’ll notice such great differences in plumage pattern and pigment, in facial skin and leg scale hue- . With the right diet a captive Green Junglefowl may be nearly as brilliant looking as those in the wild. The same is true for domestic fowl. Of course they’re not wild creatures but one can turn on the genetic switches that turn on the jungle hues.

    Look for soy-free scratch, soy free pellets- and really just drop feeding soft pellets and mashes and crumbles altogether this time of year- it's time to clean up and that stuff just makes a mess. Look for a cat or dog food that is soy free- they make them and you're not going to be feeding so much that it's going to break the bank.
    You need to feed animal fat and animal nutrition every single day through to the autumn when you can put them on millet.
    Don't say- oh my girls get kitchen scraps please- unless you are a butcher or work at a pizzeria- you don't have consistent access to the right nutritional sources.
    Many people will argue that their hens do just fine on the traditional soft- pellets moult or no moult. Good for them.
    I need my birds to live very long productive lives. They deserve the most optimal nutritional feasible, especially this time of the year.

    Here's a mix you should be able to handle on any budget:

    75% scratch grain
    10% soy free pet kibble
    10% nuts or granola mixture with lots of nuts and seeds
    5% cooked brown rice made with plenty of spicy sesame oil or mix PLENTY cayenne pepper into olive oil
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  2. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    Resolution, I've tried your forage cakes with the Ultra Kibble for about 10 days now. They like it, and this week their combs and wattles started filling in. Their feathers have a healthier look too. I am convinced the fish meal and other nutrients make a difference. Will be trying the Ultra Kibble as a supplement, shortly. Thanks.
  3. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    Fascinating. Going to make some adjustments here and see what happens too.
  4. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

    Jun 17, 2011
    Morristown, AZ
    Great post....
  5. the4heathernsmom

    the4heathernsmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2008
    east texas
    hmmmmm I didn't quite think of it in that way!!! Great post!! [​IMG]
  6. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    Anyone know of any specific brands of cat food that are soy free. Mine is not. Feeding just the crap from the bag has been bothering me lately. So, I feed them 10 parts soy free cat food and one part of the supplement, yes? I am going to have to order it...I live in the North FL boonies!

  7. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Our cat eats Blue Buffalo which is soy free. He used to eat Natural Balance which is also soy free. You can buy both at Petco and the Blue Balance can be found at Petco, Petsmart and Petsense stores. Other brands are California Natural, Nutro (not sure if I'd recommend this one though), Innova, and I think Wellness. Also Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul and Diamond Natural.
  8. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    Okay thanks. There are petsmart stores an hour each way.
  9. pjknust

    pjknust Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2011
    This is very interesting. I was just reading a couple days ago on BYC to NOT feed cat food to the chickens. I was for a treat at night when I put them to bed, then read that. and stopped... NOW Im reading yes feed the cat/dog food.
    It makes sense to me! I will feed them Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy dry food because its soy free and very small kibble and high protein.
    I sometimes give them brown rice for a treat, so now I add oil?

    This person also said NOT to feed them scratch in the summer coz it made the chicken hotter. So I stopped feeding them scratch. So I will go back to scratch. They love it.

    Is there more info on this type diet somewhere?

    and yes the crumbles are messy!

    pam in TX
  10. ketcham

    ketcham Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2011
    Mine free range and I give them crumbles and oates.The are real healthy!! Big too!!! Its cool here [OhiO] and they are doing real well.They seem to be getting what they need,,,great looking birds at the moment.Next year during a moult,,,I will take up some of your advice.I put in a 14" X 14" door to the coop,,,some of mine are getting a little to big.Take them out for walks in the evening??? haha!!!!Kevin [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

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