Winter chicken feeding question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by speedybug19, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. speedybug19

    speedybug19 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2009
    Laramie, WY
    Hey Chicken experts! We are going into our first winter with chickens in North dakota, and I'm looking for some suggestions on feeding my flock in the winter. We let them free range when were playing outside in the summer, but we wont be out as much as it gets colder. Right now they get the Omeaga 3 feed, kitchen scraps, and scratch grains as treats from the kids. I gave them a little canned cat food when our older birds were molting. Should I continue this in the winter for extra energy? If so, how often? Should I give them suet? They have a great coop that has a light and timer, as well as a heated waterer, but they don't go in the coop besides to lay, or sleep. Is this normal? It gets really cold here, just want to keep the girls safe!

    Thanks!
     
  2. kyfarm

    kyfarm Out Of The Brooder

    i would add about 4 oz per bird per day of a good formulated, not necessarily expensive, layer feed ration just to keep up the calcium and general nutrients ok to skip if you get busy or run out but that way you would be confindent that you gave them some solid nutrition the suet and other things are good as treats. we drain the grease from meats with a baster reverse process i guess you would say, put that in old coffee mugs and solidify out in garage or in an enclosed area where things cant get in. then let the chickens pick at and eat bacon and meat grease works out well for us and they love it. (in summer we sometimes freeze it first, for a treat
     
  3. ChickenFootRnch

    ChickenFootRnch Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 21, 2012
    East TN
    May want to set out some whole corn, or some type whole grain you/they prefer, on the really cold days and nights. The digestion helps generate heat. Make sure they have plenty of water also.
     
  4. speedybug19

    speedybug19 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2009
    Laramie, WY
    They are getting the best layer feed I can find, and some whole grains as treats, but will try and remember to give them a little more before dusk, and the grease as a treat is a great idea (allthough my overweight dog will disagree!)
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I give my adult birds in lay essentially the same amount of quality diet (layer formulation) year round. As temperatures decrease and need for energy increases then scratch / mixture of intact grains is applied to allow birds to meet increased energy needs. Always make certain all quality feed consumed to ensure nutrients beyond energy being met. Suets may negatively impact egg flavor.
     

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