WHAT to feed CHICKENS who are not free-ranging every day?
Brett and I get tired of forking out money on grain, and chicken pellets or mash for our 4 girls. There must be a more sustainable way.
We are free ranging them for a few hours each day on the weekend and once or twice during the week for an hour or two in the evening. Other than that they are in their pen which is about 6 metres by 4 metres approximately which has a few fruit trees growing in it for shade for them (mulberry, lemon, orange, coffee tree, chocolate custard tree, and persimmon tree).
I have been researching what other people have been doing and found some interesting posts.
One lady has a great blog post on fermenting mash naturally before feeding to her chickens and she outlines the benefits of doing this.
http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/ Tue, 04 Nov 2014 20:58:56 -0800
So basically, feeding fermented feed with naturally occurring probiotics is like setting loose an army of microscopic disease fighters inside your chickens… every time you feed them. … probiotics when put into the wet feed. I’m not going into a huge amount of detail (because this post is already going to be way long, but if you’re interested in more information you can see our ridiculously information-packed, long-winded article on the Natural Chicken Keeping blog).
This man has some great suggestions on “treats” for his chooks. I had been investigating breeding “mealworms” and black soldier fly larvae as main source of protein for my girls and a cheaper source than commercialluy bought pellets but he gives an interesting warning about why more than a few at a time could be damaging to them. Alot of food for thought:
http://hencam.com/ Tue, 12 Jun 2012 09:29:17 -0700
As good as it is, commercial feed should not be the only thing that your hens eat. A standard-sized hen will eat between 1/4 and 1/3 pound of pellets a day, if it’s the only food offered. However, it remains essential for our backyard hens to have …
We do not buy grit for our chooks but I crush up egg shells and put a few in their feed each day. That way they do not recognise that the shell looks like their egg they just laid and start eating their own eggs, but I have a cheap supply of grit. So far in the last two years it has worked for me and I have had no problems with shells not forming properly on their eggs.
This lady sprouts organically sourced bulk whole grains and then sprouts them for her chickens.
http://alifeunprocessed.blogspot.com/ Wed, 11 Jan 2012 16:27:00 -0800
In order to avoid buying conventional chicken feeds, I’ve been simply buying organic whole grains (“feed quality”) from our natural foods distributor, Azure Standard. They are the ….. I’d like to stop using bagged chicken feed (the ingredients list is terrifying), but I’m afraid of my chickens not getting the nutrition they need. Reply … Arsenic seems to accumulate more in the eggs than the meat, but is probably added to broiler feed more often than layer pellets. Here’s an …
MEAT as PROTEIN?
One of the big things I have wondered about though is that as chickens are omnivores by nature, should I be feeding them meat? I have heard stories that during the depression children would be asked to catch rats and mice to feed to the chickens to keep them laying eggs.
http://simplethrift.wordpress.com/ Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:13:09 -0700
Didn’t that make them carnivores? … And then I read in Joel Salatin’s book “Folks, this ain’t normal” that years ago, one of a young boy’s winter chores was to make sure that the hen house was supplied with critter carcasses throughout the cold months precisely to … This winter, instead of leaving the carcasses in the back woods for some hungry animal walking through, we’re going to be feeding them to our chickens (who will eat them only after I’ve turned my head.).
Of course, when they free range they catch insects etc and scratch for bugs in the ground. But what sources of living protein can chickens safely eat? and can I grow worms or bugs specifically just for my girls to eat? Would this be a smelly exercise?
The lady below has some good advice:
http://www.raisingfreerangechickens.com/ Wed, 17 Jul 2013 07:29:23 -0700
Should I feed by chickens meat? Chickens are omnivores, which means that they naturally eat both meat and vegetables.. So giving chickens meat is quite alright. Even if you do not intentionally give your chickens meat, they …
http://thenaturalpoultryfarmingguide.org/ Tue, 19 Mar 2013 09:01:07 -0700
… being a free ranging poultry farmer is not always easy. Buying pellet feed for our chickens is a quick feeding solution but it’s expensive and won’t necessarily give your birds all the nutrients they need. … Why not try a more natural, home-based, self-reliant feeding methodology? Putting it simply, we could try growing our own chicken … Learn what the poop from a healthy bird with an efficient digestive system looks like. If you make a change and start getting a lot of …
BLACK SOLDIER FLY LARVAE
If anyone is interested in growing and harvesting your own black soldier fly larvae for your chickens here is a great “how to” video and blog:
http://www.treehugger.com/ Wed, 10 Aug 2011 06:56:23 -0700
It made it into this infographic on which composting method is best for you, but it’s fair to say that grub composting—or the practice of disposing of organic waste by feeding it to black soldier fly larvae—is.
Raising Black Soldier Fly Larvae is useful for composting your food scraps and using the mature larvae as chicken feed as a protein booster. You can get the …
If you live where you can grow edible algae on a dam or in a bath tub this can be a cheap food source for chickens. Just make sure it not the poisonous type and this will be a great food source.
http://greg-bno.blogspot.com/ Sun, 10 Nov 2013 08:05:00 -0800
Chickens will definitely eat it. Ducks too, most likely. I don’t know about goats, but goats are said to eat anything. What about grasshoppers since grasshoppers eat anything? Grasshoppers! Yeah, they eat grasshoppers in …
USING CHICKENS NATURAL FORAGING BEHAVIOURS TO DEVELOP YOUR FOOD FOREST
And if you can grow a food forest you can use chickens to establish this and prepare the way by eating the weeds and preparing the soil. Here is a great video by an amazing man who explains how he uses his chickens natural behaviours to contribute to his food growing. Brett and I completed our permaculture certificates online with him last year (2013).
Watch the Full Video for FREE http://www.geofflawton.com Clip from the new “Surviving Collapse – Designing your way to Abundance” is a story on how Geoff Law…
Chickens are your much needed partners in controlling pests such as fruit fly when your Food Forest System is being established. From Geoff Lawton’s new DVD …
FEEDING CHOOKS ON COMPOST
AND how to feed chickens entirely on compost and never buy grain again:
Watch the full video here at http://www.geofflawton.com Whilst on a tour of the US, Permaculture teacher Geoff Lawton was giving a talk at Montpelier, Vermon…
A compost bin is teaming with life, a whole raft of invertebrates, to provide your chickens with free, organic nutritious quality food. However, because of t…
You can your wean your chickens off grain and produce more nutritious eggs by feeding your chickens on food scraps and compost. This video talks you through …
WORMS and LARVAE
This is an easy, cheap way to supplement and recycle egg shells. (Sorry; I could not resist the “Cheap” comment!) Both layers and compost worms require calci…
After rotating the compost I noticed a few larva (I am not sure what they really are). We feed a few to the chickens. Earlier I found a yellow jacket nest wi…
GROWING COVER CROPS FOR CHOOKS
I show you how to turn raised beds cover crops into compost. I feed my chickens and rabbits the grains and they turn it into a soil amendment. This is an org…
TOXIC FOODS for CHICKENS
Avocado is hugely toxic for chickens!
http://thenaturalpoultryfarmingguide.org/ Wed, 20 Feb 2013 02:50:43 -0800
Don’t feed the following things to your chickens (I’m sure people have experienced exceptions to this list, but if we want to raise our birds the best way possible, it’s “better safe than sorry”.) Food Stuff Why Not Raw green potato …
http://fresh-eggs-daily.blogspot.com/ Thu, 07 Feb 2013 12:27:00 -0800
To help clear up some of the confusion about what is toxic to chickens and what isn’t, we decided to sort through the various misconceptions running rampant, and use some reputable sources such as the Merck Veterinary …
http://readynutrition.com/ Sun, 09 Feb 2014 02:57:35 -0800
Salty foods – Foods containing large amounts of salt can lead to a condition known as salt poisoning, salt toxicity, hypernatremia, or water deprivation-sodium ion intoxication. The small bodies of chickens are not meant to …
http://blog.mcmurrayhatchery.com/ Tue, 04 Oct 2011 09:00:00 -0700
Garlic, onions, and other strong tasting foods – These aren’t necessarily harmful to your chickens, but they may import an undesirable taste to the eggs that your hens lay. Avocado skins and pits – These contain persin, …
http://freshorganicgardening.com/ Wed, 16 Jul 2014 04:28:08 -0700
Some people feed their chickens anything, not knowing that some foods are toxic to chickens. We all know that chocolates are dangerous to dogs; these too are dangerous to chickens. The following foods are not advisable to …
http://woodridge.wordpress.com/ Thu, 07 Oct 2010 08:24:15 -0700
Acorns: Toxic Feed For Poultry. 7 October 2010. 15 Comments. Acorns are very plentiful here since we have so many Oak trees. They are gathered between September and October on our place and since I have several uses for Acorns, I like …
http://www.urbanchickenpodcast.com/ Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:39:44 -0700
Here is a list of plants commonly found in the average home and yard which are toxic (at varying levels) to chickens. Do not feed these plants to your flock!
http://www.wormfarmingrevealed.com/diatomaceous-earth-food-grade.html Here are a few easy methods for applying Diatomaceous Earth to chickens to rid them of …