Wild bird seed as feed........

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Big Red Hen, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Big Red Hen

    Big Red Hen Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    Smoaks, SC
    I've tried all kinds of poultry feed for our chickens, but they prefer "wings down"(lol)wild bird seed. What kind of feed does your chickens prefer?
  2. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Of course they'll prefer seed but they won't get enough nutrition to lay out of seed. It's like a kid eating junk food. If you provide it they'll eat it instead of their healthy layer feed and you probably won't see as many eggs. Mine only get black oil sunflower seeds in controlled amounts. It has lots of useful nutrition and calories so only improves health and laying especially in winter.
  3. Big Red Hen

    Big Red Hen Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    Smoaks, SC
    Quote:The seed I give them has black sunflower seeds, milo, & corn...I'll go back to the other stuff now that I know better
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    You could give them a couple of handfuls a day as a treat, kind of like "scratch". I give mine a similar high protein bird feed, I toss it on the ground and scuff it into the mulch of their run. It keeps them busy all day scratching around for the stuff.
  5. SurprisingWoman

    SurprisingWoman Songster

    May 27, 2009
    South Weber, UT
    I use wild bird seed as scratch. It doesn't have milo (that's not very useful for wild birds in the west) but it does have BOSS, red and white millet, bits of hulled sunflower seed and peanuts.

    They don't seem to like the scratch I bought but they do run the birds off to eat the seed.

    I figure it can't be any worse than scratch and maybe even a bit better. I did some research on the protein amounts of the individual seeds and it looks pretty healthy.
  6. featherfeet1

    featherfeet1 In the Brooder

    We are in Sarchi Sur, Costa Rica & would like to connect with someone else in CR. who raises chickens.

    The only feed here that I can find is Mash, starter mash & cracked corn. I do give my one hen some cooked rice and she has eaten quick oatmeal (uncooked).

    I would like to find a better feed for her. My other 2 hens have died. The second one pining after the first one died.

    I will look at the wild bird seed to see what it consists of and maybe try that a little each day.
    She does have a large secured yd with lots of greenery growing/sun/shade and seems to be doing well. Not disturbed by the 2 deaths.

    Thank you so much,
  7. Wild bird seed will not give your chicken the balanced nutrition that she needs. If she free ranges then she will be getting a lot of her nutrition that way simply by instinct. However a good balanced feed is always best. I don't know much about Mash but I did a little research and it appears that it is balanced in the same way commercial feeds are balanced here in the US. You might try the Mash with bird seed as a treat or mixed in with the mash in very small amounts.
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    There are at least 3 people on here from CR. Here's one. https://www.backyardchickens.com/u/46306/costa-rica-art

    I would feed the layer mash if she's laying eggs or the starter mash and perhaps 20% seeds and fruit.
    Does the mash have an ingredient list or guaranteed analysis? You want to look at the calcium percentage and protein percentage.
    4% calcium if laying eggs, 1% if not. For an adult bird, anywhere from 15-18% protein will work for now.

    The problem with vegetative sources of feed - i.e. seeds, grains, legumes is that they're very low on a few amino acids chickens need since chickens are omnivores. To make chicken feed they usually have to add synthetic methionine and lysine.
    Another option is to feed a little animal protein like fish. There should be plenty of insects if she's foraging in the yard.

    Chickens are flock animals so she needs friends, the sooner the better so go get some more.

    I stayed in Alajuela a while and spent time in Puerto Viejo and lots of other locations around CR except the far south Pacific and Talamanca range. I want to visit San Vito.
    I worked with Macaws there and we couldn't afford a parrot feed. We would go to the feria and buy produce that was close to being overripe and cut it up for the macaws. They also got gallo pinto for breakfast with a vitamin and mineral supplement mixed in.

    I raise Black Penedesencas a DP breed from Spain and understand that there are supposed to be some in CR. If you hear of them, please let me know.



    This link has ideas for sourcing feed ingredients in the tropics.

    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015

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