Feeding Your Chickens
To ensure a constant supply of deliciously nutritious eggs, feed your chickens a free-ranging grain mix with additional egg grit (medium is good). Shell grit assists with egg shell production and helps to grind up food in the gut.
Each chicken will eat approx 1kg of food each week. Most of your left over food scraps is fine for chickens, but don’t overfeed. If they don’t eat the scraps, remove and throw into your compost bin as to not attract vermin.
Chickens require lots of clean, fresh drinking water readily available at all times.
Due to the natural texture of grain mixes, chickens will tend to eat the most attractive portions first. If self feeders are used, the chickens may empty the feeder chasing the most desirable bits. To stop this messy habit, only put out as much as the chickens will eat in a day.
Chickens need access to green grass which contains natural colouring pigments will enhance egg yolk colour and produce a rich and attractive yolk.
Wasting food can be a costly problem. To help stop hens from flicking the food out of the feeder with their beak, try raising it to about head height (theirs, not yours!). There are also feeders available to help avoid this, but they are rather costly.
Chickens love to dig for bugs and eat weeds around the garden. But they’re not the tidiest of creatures – your mulch will end up on the paths!
Protein is an essential nutrient that is required by poultry for growth and egg production. A laying hens diet should contain 15-16% protein from the start of egg production. The average hen will lay 6 eggs a week, altho’ this will taper off during the midst of winter.
Homemade Chicken Feed Recipe:
- 2 parts whole corn (double in winter)
- 3 parts soft white wheat
- 3 parts hard red winter wheat
- 1 part hulled barley
- 1 part oat groats
- 1 part sunflower seeds (double in winter)
- 1 part millet
- 1 part kamut
- 1 part amaranth seeds
- 1 part wheat bran
- 1 part split peas
- 1 part lentils
- 1 part quinoa
- 1 part sesame seeds
- 1/2 part kelp granules
- 1/2 park flax seeds
- oyster shell and/or granite grit