Winter feed changes

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by LilyD, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay I live in New England and I have to say that my chooks are totally unimpressed with the white stuff on the ground. I was wondering if anyone else who lives in the colder states supplements their chickens feed to keep their protein up during the winter months. In the summer they eat lots of bugs, berries fruits and veggies but they can't get those things now unless I supply them. What do you feed?
     
  2. Chili22

    Chili22 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi,
    I live in Ontario. I don't change my girls' feed. I actually never thought about changing their diet.
    They'll always get the dinner scraps. They've done fine off of that.
    Sorry, that's probably not too helpful for you.
     
  3. roxyblue

    roxyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I always through some scratch on the ground in the morning (to keep them occupied) and in the evening before they go to roost. They digest scratch at a higher body tempature, so they will be warmer through out the day and well through the coldest part of the night.
     
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Quote:Scratch will not keep them any warmer than there regular feed. (scratch dose not raise there body temperature)

    Chris
     
  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    LilyD,
    I feed the same in the winter as in the summer.

    Chris
     
  6. hamilton3475

    hamilton3475 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've heard tale that some raise their corn content. Supposedly adds a little fat through the winter.
     
  7. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bristol, VT
    I was mainly wondering if I needed to add an extra protein source since they were great bug eaters and now the bugs are all gone. Sounds like they might be okay though.
     
  8. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our girls free range year around. They get foodscraps and whole grain mix. Then finish their food with layer at the end of the day
     
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I add green feed in the winter, to make up for the foraging they're missing. I give them wheat grass, some other sprouts and alfalfa. When I can, I offer red wigglers from a composting worm bin or mealworms. I also give a little scratch before they go to roost. It's a mix of grains and seeds, especially sunflower.

    If I was going to give them only one extra thing in the winter, it would be the green feed. I think it keeps them healthier.

    I'm more concerned about protein levels when they're molting and growing in feathers. That's when they need more protein, especially the amino acid methionine.
     
  10. tresgallina3

    tresgallina3 Out Of The Brooder

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    WoodlandWoman; interesting post. I live in Washington State. We get freezing temps but our girls still get out to scratch around. For their greens I throw spinach into the run and of course when they can get out they graze on grass. I tried giving them some Alfalfa sprouts and some Alfalfa Hay. Turned their little beaks up, wouldn't touch it. Saw in one of my books the other day that Alfalfa is listed as a poisonous plant for chickens. But as I have told my husband, chickens have been around for hundreds (if not millions) of years and by now I would think they know what is good for them and what is poisonous.
     

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