Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

raising happy chickens

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • raising happy chickens

    we are getting ready to start raising 5 chickens for their eggs in our fenced-in back yard. they will be in a coop at night so neighborhood dogs don't gobble them up. we are planning on raising them "scratch and peck", which means that they will be hunting their own worms and bugs and grub from the ground. the ground, however, may not produce enough bugs for them to live well on, so we will need to supplement their diets with food. many farmers use corn meal, which i hate the idea of. others use soy, which i also hate.
    any one out there know what chickens would REALLY like to eat that will provide us with some healthy, beautiful eggs with orange, tasty yolks? we want happy chickens!

  • #2
    I'm about to embark on the same adventure, but we have so many predators around (coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, hawks, owls) that realistically the hens will have to be cooped up unless I'm outside with them.

    I'm considering using this feed: Scratch and Peck Feeds | Chicken Feed | Turkey Feed | Goat Feed | Pig Feed | Bellingham and Whatcom County

    I don't think they ship....but it shows that there are feeds around that have no soy and no corn. Maybe if you contact them they'd know of somewhere in your area that produces a similar product?
    Liz.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

    Comment


    • #3
      thanks for the info, lizch! i wish you good luck with your chickens!

      Comment


      • #4
        Chickens will eat pretty much anything. Any salad or veggie trimmings, scrap meat, feed them back their own crushed egg shells, shrimp shells, whatever.

        If you know someone with a pond that has to pull the weeds out of it, they'll eat that too. Even grass clippings and garden weedings get picked through.

        Comment


        • #5
          We had chickens for many years when I was growing up -- that was a long time ago so I can't provide too much input on the quality of chicken feed these days. But, I can suggest that chickens are really good "garbage disposals." We fed ours lots of kitchen scraps - whether it was meat, veg, fruit, etc. My sister-in-law currently has 4 backyard chickens. If I know I'm going to see her in a few days, I'll save any veggie scraps and pass to her, and she says they love it. Recently it was carrot peelings and scraps of cauliflower. Also, she feeds her chickens flax seed to raise the Omega 3 content of her eggs. Whenever she shares eggs with us, the yolks are always beautifully dark orange.

          Comment


          • #6
            i wonder if they are going to gobble up the veggie garden i am planning? should i be concerned about that? maybe they will just do the weeding for me.

            Comment


            • #7
              They will eat whatever looks good to them - whether you want them to or not. Also, sometimes they'll just scratch up the garden & trample seedlings so you might want to make an effort to keep them out of the veggie garden.

              Comment


              • #8
                They will most certainly get into your veggie garden unless you fence it in. We feed ours scrap veg, grass clippings, etc..... we have a hen house of 25 and supplement with natural feed that is $$$ it's all about the quality though. I sell my eggs to friends and customers just to help defray the cost of the feed.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am going to be getting chickens this year also, my mom raises them and they did eat her garden so now she fences them out.
                  My blog - About me, my family, and my hobbies!

                  *Please ignore my horrible typing and grammar I am usually typing it all on my very uncooperative phone*

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    we used to throw our chickens the scraps off the table, along with every now and again some corn meal which i know u dont like the sound of but they are good omnivores and we were only using it as supplementation when grass gets scarce in the summer. they were very happy chickens, they would come running excited everytime i came outside and yelled "chook chook chook". its awesome how domesticated they get.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My chickens really love to eat chicken! Table scraps get devoured like nobody's business. We use organic pellets by Purina Mills under the "Organic Pride" label. Who cares that they eat grains, their bodies are designed to eat just about anything. I watch mine eat dirt clods for crying out loud. The folks at Storeys know what they are doing. Check them out. Amazon.com: Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens: Care / Feeding / Facilities (9781580173254): Gail Damerow: Books
                      Last edited by Karma; 03-05-2011, 02:28 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I feed ours table scraps - but no beans (not that you have any, you're primal, right? ), onions, garlic - they will make the eggs taste weird for a few days. I know chickens will eat bugs and even rodents but I don't feed mine chicken or cow. No citrus peels either. But veggies, fruit, etc - they love. I do feed them back their crushed eggshells for extra calcium.

                        I use a high-quality locally produced layer pellet. They lay better and are much healthier when they have a good feed to supplement their pasture. In winter we have snow cover so they just eat chicken feed and scraps for winter. In spring/summer/fall they love to forage for bugs etc, but they also LOVE to eat grass and weeds. Unless you have a large area you can fence for them, they will defoliate anywhere you put them, so we rotate where they are regularly, using movable electric net fencing. We have 25 acres, so this is easy, but you can simulate it with fewer chickens and smaller pastures, or even a small movable chicken tractor, in a yard.

                        We raise meat birds - planning to do 200 this year (family of 4 eating primal! and my 10yo ds with autism eats primarily chicken and a LOT of it - he is Boy Grok personified, he is very active outside), 100 at a time. And we raise laying hens - have 9 currently, thanks to the efforts of our labrador retriever to retrieve them!!!, but have had anywhere from 9 to 38 at any given time in the past 4 years.

                        Oh and old laying hens make fantastic chicken stock. It's so rich and delicious!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I can't find it anywhere but on the last PaleoSolutionPodcast Chris Kresser was on and talked about a feed place in Washington. He said its the only place he will by feed from because its corn and soy free.
                          Family Living Simple blog

                          Facebook

                          Twitter @Famlivingsimple

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            For happy hens, give them a cock.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I got my chicks today! I went to the local feed store expecting just to pick up supplies, and they had the very breed of chick I wanted (black australorp) available. So I now have 5 australorps and 2 rhode island reds cheeping away in my laundry room.

                              Do they stop cheeping at night? It could possibly get just a tad irritating, particularly to my husband who is not exactly enthused by my foray into food production...
                              Liz.

                              Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                              Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X