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Natural Feed for Chickens

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Re: Natural Feed for Chickens

Post Number:#16  Unread postby GBov » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:10 am


There is a trick for keeping an area green with chickens in it Thorn. Lay down landscape timbers about two feet apart and cover with chicken wire or rabbit cage wire.

The weeds/grass will be able to grow up and through the wire but the birds will only be able to eat what is growing through so the plant itself is unharmed by their eating it.

It works a treat for areas that are high traffic, like in front of the door into the henhouse. :D

My chickens peck to bits things like carrots but I think something like a vintage mangle shredder would be better for larger roots. One has not yet come my way but if we manage to get free to move, I will be getting one as this pellet free life is great!

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Re: Natural Feed for Chickens

Post Number:#17  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:01 pm


Thorn wrote:(I this thread is older but I must have missed it somehow.) :nice:

Question:The root crops have to be chopped for the chickens, right? Or do they peck away bits off them? I read feeding chickens there own eggs could cause problems, but if this proves untrue, (which is likely considering all the misinformation regarding animal feed supplied by the 'Feed companies' among others) it would be something to do with all our extra eggs.Already feeding them their shells for calcium's what harm can the insides do?

We currently feed a fermented mix of horse oats,BOSS,cracked yellow corn, and split peas to our chickens. They have free ranged for the past year, slowly removing every green thing and bug from around our house, and going farther and farther away.They also have full access to the compost pile.When we move them they will be on pasture, kept in a poultry electric netting, and moved weekly. Hopefully this way they will begin supplementing more of there own feed, and not killing every living thing...In the meantime I've begun researching natural chicken feed to see what will be possible. With 40+ chickens natural feeding feels a distant fantasy.

I personally like to boil eggs "fed back" and then crush them ,-- and I have fed root crops both ways, chopped, and whole-- feeding in a "feeder " chipped has advantages and a little less waste, - but feeding whole is a lot less work- so it makes up for a little loss when feeding whole..
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Natural Feed for Chickens

Post Number:#18  Unread postby GBov » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:31 pm


Doh! I was scrambling my eggs to feed back, boiled would be SO MUCH EASIER! :lol:

Learning all the time. :D

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Re: Natural Feed for Chickens

Post Number:#19  Unread postby Deer Heart » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:10 pm


For even more simplicity when feeding back eggs, if you have a rice cooker you can "steam boil" eggs. Just fill the bottom with water, put up to 12 eggs in your steam basket, and push down the cook lever. They should be ready in 23-25 mins and then you just run them under cold water (if you're gunna eat them run them for a bit to loosen the shell for peeling - eggs actually taste way better steamed! At least, mine do. If you're feeding it back to birds, just run them under the faucet until they cool enough not to scald the bird's crops) crack, mash shells and all, and viola. I find it much easier than boiling in a pot and if you get distracted, some rice cookers auto shutoff when they run out of water. No more eggs exploded on your ceiling (first hand experience).
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Re: Natural Feed for Chickens

Post Number:#20  Unread postby Zass » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:52 am


When feeding eggs back, I think the only really important part is to make sure that the shells are crushed up enough that they won't recognize how delicious their own eggs are.

Maggie J mentioned vermaculture, and I'd to expand on that a bit.

In order to maximize on the natural foods my little property can produce, I've raised redworms in my compost for years now. They produce by the 1000's, and my birds have always loved them.
Once I move out of town, I will be trying out some black soldier fly larva too.

Insects are marvelous at turning inedible material into useful proteins. Although I have no desire to eat them myself, I think we are only just scratching the surface in regards to their potential as animal feed.

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