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What to feed chickens?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 11, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Ok so I have the organic garden with beets and tomatoes and chard and kale etc.. I have been paleo for 2 weeks and my wife always wanted me to set up part of the yard for chickens. Any thoughts on the best way to feed those feathered friends for optimal egg production without the formulated feed.is there any difference between chickens on raising for eggs or raising for slaughter? Wow that word is harsh! Thanks

7f5cbc352d164304701cf73462d04cd4

(20)

on August 11, 2012
at 09:41 PM

Thanks alot ,that sounds like great advice and a good way to get rid of stuff, I do use eggs for my compost operation,and now I have I great excuse to get the prawns.i will be letting them out to graze as well!!

193f00d53ebcb13940c7a55afc78ad17

(1260)

on August 11, 2012
at 09:10 PM

Eggs do get stuck, from time to time, but mostly only in older hens. The baldness was likely mites. Giving them access to dirt for dust baths is important for preventing that.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 11, 2012
at 06:36 PM

Do chickens have many diseases? My parents neighbor was raising chickens and they started to lose their feathers and their poor little a$$es were bare when they were running around. She told us that some chickens die because an egg gets stuck in their butts. She is a 70 year old lady, so I don't think she was joking. How often does it happen?

4b05d725a8332e8e917a4ca58b6e8a1e

(1239)

on August 11, 2012
at 06:23 PM

Here was a really similar question that someone asked the other day. http://paleohacks.com/questions/141584/what-to-feed-chickens-for-best-eggs/141590#141590

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6 Answers

1
193f00d53ebcb13940c7a55afc78ad17

on August 11, 2012
at 05:26 PM

Veggie food scraps, scratch corn, and crushed oyster shells. The shells are important because it keeps the shells strong and reduces the amount that your hens will peck each other. Bugs are another important part, although not a staple. The more bugs they eat, the darker their eggs' yokes and also the more flavorful.

Diet is pretty much the same for laying birds and table birds. The difference there is what variety you raise. Layers do not get broody (try to hatch their eggs) as quickly, table birds have more meat on their legs and breasts. Table birds also tend to grow large faster.

I raised chickens through my entire childhood and will be putting a coop in this spring. It's lots of fun and very rewarding. Good luck.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 11, 2012
at 06:36 PM

Do chickens have many diseases? My parents neighbor was raising chickens and they started to lose their feathers and their poor little a$$es were bare when they were running around. She told us that some chickens die because an egg gets stuck in their butts. She is a 70 year old lady, so I don't think she was joking. How often does it happen?

193f00d53ebcb13940c7a55afc78ad17

(1260)

on August 11, 2012
at 09:10 PM

Eggs do get stuck, from time to time, but mostly only in older hens. The baldness was likely mites. Giving them access to dirt for dust baths is important for preventing that.

1
28b5f648e0f5d92dd2c7edac38361d99

(265)

on August 11, 2012
at 04:25 PM

my sister has chickens and she goes to the produce department at the local super market and gets huge bags of all the veggie scraps. the chickens LOVE them and it's totally free. she also gives them ground oyster shells which adds calcium to build stronger egg shells and in the summer months they get prawn heads/shell scraps(which have been boiled and cooled first) which are a good source of protein and calcium and they turn the yolks bright orange!

provided the chickens are able to roam free and scavenge for bugs, i'm not sure if their diet would even need to be supplemented with any kind of feed...but if they don't get to roam around that much I would imagine they would probably need another protein source.

good luck with the chickens! I hope to one day have some of my own as well!

7f5cbc352d164304701cf73462d04cd4

(20)

on August 11, 2012
at 09:41 PM

Thanks alot ,that sounds like great advice and a good way to get rid of stuff, I do use eggs for my compost operation,and now I have I great excuse to get the prawns.i will be letting them out to graze as well!!

0
9dd74d3941535d0aaa2c8d3cf454fb7e

on August 12, 2012
at 02:34 AM

The farmer that I buy true free range chicken eggs from is growing alfalfa and timothy for the winter months. This was in part due to my pointing out that commercial feed, no matter how "organic", contains soy.

0
4ccf5d9bba64e54fc95802fe8ae33c47

(900)

on August 12, 2012
at 01:04 AM

Believe it or not, they will also hunt, kill, and eat mice.

0
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 11, 2012
at 04:38 PM

In the wild they eat bugs, vegetables, grass and even fruit. Can you just let them free for a day in some meadow and then somehow fence them in? Or plant grass where they are going to live - they love to dig dirt with their feet for earthworms.

0
9fb615132bfea7d96977a21665e2ae5d

on August 11, 2012
at 03:43 PM

flaxseed.. those fancy expensive omega 3 eggs you can buy, are fed flaxseed.. :) not sure what else tho. i would love to have some chickens..

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