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  1. #1
    cookie's Avatar
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    raising happy chickens

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    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. #2
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    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

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    cookie's Avatar
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    thanks for the info, lizch! i wish you good luck with your chickens!

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    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.

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    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.

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    cookie's Avatar
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    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.

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    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.

  8. #8
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    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.

  9. #9
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    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.

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    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.

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