Room to breath

Room to breath

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Feeding my layers

   I have tried a few different things when figuring out how I want to feed my birds. I did a lot of research about food and what chickens can and can not eat. Some thing I didn't even know were bad for chickens like
  • Potato
  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Citrus
  • Onions
  • Dry Beans
  • Dry rice
       Those are just to name a few. But aside from learning what not to give them they can really benefit from your kitchens left overs. Any time we have fruits or vegies that we didn't eat or maybe some bread or crackers that have gone stale in out kitchen. But do hold caution, if it is rotting and you wouldn't eat it... don't feed it to them. Another point to cover is if you are eating your eggs, there are a few things that if they eat it, the eggs will taste like it. For instance
    • Garlic 
    • Spicy Foods
    • Broccoli
    • Asparagus
      Food with very strong potent tastes can be transferred to the eggs. So keep that in mind while considering feeding them your scraps.

       When I first started feeding my chicken (because in the beginning the property had one chicken that was left from previous owners) I just fed her what they did. But as I started looking up chickens to enlighten myself a little I found so much information about what people recommended. In the end I started off with a nice layer crumble feed, and at first that's all I fed her. Then I got more birds and did more research and at first just kept feeding them the scraps from my house and there feed. Now for some people that is enough. But for me I wanted to look into more ways to benefit them and to in the end have the best quality eggs possible, not only for the nutrition of the egg but for me if I decided to hatch eggs maybe have healthier chickens.

       The first thing I decided to add was fodder. Which I will say looks a lot easier than it can be. Again with this online there are so many different ways people do there fodder. From a system to a simple set up. It has been a good addition to my feed and gives more weight to the fresh grain I buy from the mill. And over all they receive more nutrition from the sprouted grain than not sprouted. But I wouldn't not recommend doing it in the hot summer unless you are set up right for it. I learned the hard way and fought bugs tooth and nail. But if you can figure it out it helps out with food costs and can stretch a very tight budget. I do recommend putting apple cider vinegar just a little in the water to help fight of bacteria especially in the warmer months.

        These past few months I have changed my feed a little more and have been experimenting with it. You can find various recopies online for home made feed, but something that I have found is not all of the things listed are always available at ,my mill and ordering online can be very costly. That is one of the reasons I have stayed more towards premade feeds, but I am not apposed to not only saving more money but also trying something new. I will be considering adding and changing things in my feed but what I am mixing now is
    • Barley
    • Sunflower Seeds
    • Oyster Shells
    • Oats
    • Corn (for the colder months)
    • I add Soy from time to time
    I have looked into other things to add like
    • Bran
    • Alfalfa
    • Dried Fruit
    But I can hope to post my final mix with the portions I have decided on. The corn I only add in the winter to help my hens stay warm. Corn to them can be nothing but added calories which they do not need in the summer time.

    Between free ranging to the  different things I have decided to feed my girls, I feel they are extremely healthy. I do recommend if you do make your own feed to factor in minerals they may not get while free ranging. But overall the better they eat the better you eat. Another factor to think of is if you are not free ranging and your hens are in a confined coop, consider adding in grit into your feed. Chickens that free range will naturally pick up rocks but if kept in closed spaces you need to compensate for that. The best way to tell how your hens are doing is by the eggs, I mean you can have other physical signs but internal health you look at the eggs. If the egg shells are breaking easy they are lacking calcium. Along with lots of other things you can discover which I can cover in a later post.

      Have any questions?? feel free to comment, post and ask. New posts regularly!!

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