Will providing feed while in a tractor reduce foraging?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by hen-at-home, May 21, 2010.

  1. hen-at-home

    hen-at-home Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2010
    North Central MA
    Hi all,

    If I provide mash for my 7 and 8wk olds while they are in the tractor (I will always provide fresh water) will they do less foraging? I searched for an answer to this question and I found the majority of you make feed (like the bagged purchased stuff) available for your hens all day. I decided I would do the same and put a small feeder in the tractor. I move the tractor around on the lawn every one to two hours and I throw in kitchen scraps occasionally too. I just wondered if they will reduce the amount of foraging they might normally do because I want them to act as organic lawn maintenance machines and I wouldn't want to deter that! [​IMG]
     
  2. shopchicks

    shopchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    Yes, it will reduce foraging. If you do a search on Joel Salatin's chicken raising techniques, he moves the tractors, then waits an hour or so before putting feed in, so that they will forage more instead of going for the easy feed.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  3. snowflake

    snowflake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2009
    Belding Michigan
    [​IMG] I through a little scratch feed and boss down and they do a good job of getting the scratch and eat idea, I have 26 8week olds in a tractor and move it every day or two and they have the grass well cut and that is some long grass as our mower is brook and DH has been working on it for a week.
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
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    That method might work for adult chickens, but I would never restrict access to feed for growing chicks, just in case. You have no way of knowing how much food is in a particular patch of grass.

    Additionally, what I've observed with mine is that they always forage first and go for the chicken feed after. Fresh bugs and seeds are tastier than processed food, it seems.
     

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