Keeping hens is relatively simple, maintain their health and happiness and they will supply you with steady supply of fresh eggs. While it is very tempting to buy the cheapest feed, doing so will ultimately cost you in your chicken’s health.
What we do know, is that a Dine A Chook Feeder will save you in feeding costs. Chickens cannot scratch their feed around on the floor, nor will it go to waste.
Use a Quality Pellet Feed
Pellet feeds are our top choice for feeding your laying hens. The reason is simple, your chickens will not pick and choose what they will eat like they will from a grain or scratch mix. There are no opportunities for selective eating.
Pellet feeds provide meet all your birds nutritional requirements. A quality pellet feed has between 16-18% protein, High Calcium of 4% which is required for egg production and Omega 3 fatty acids.
A quality mash or pellet feed should also have a maximum of 10% fibre with essential vitamins of A, E, D3 and B vitamins and essential minerals including iron, iodine and zinc.
I Feed my Chickens Food Scraps
We get this statement a lot. This is often accompanied by questions such as why aren’t my hens laying any eggs or my hens don’t seem well.
Unfortunately while food scraps seem like the healthiest option. They are not. In short, scraps are like candy for chickens. Yes, vegetables are very good for humans however they do not meet the high-protein, high-calcium nutritional requirements that a laying hen has. In order to produce eggs everyday, a hen needs protein and they also need calcium for shell production. Essentially, you will get out what you put in. Give your hen quality feed, and you will receive quality eggs.
Food scraps should be considered as a sometimes food, not a food staple. When feeding your hens food scraps be sure to only feed them an amount that they are sure to eat and pick up any left over scraps. Leaving food out can be alluring to rodents and other pests.
What about Scratch and Grain Mixes
Clever marketing will have you believe that these chicken feeds are the *best* for your laying hens. Packaging will clearly indicate how high the feed is in protein, calcium and other nutrients.
The big problem is, chickens are selective eaters. Just like a toddler, if your give them the opportunity, they will peck at the sweetest option. Gobbling up the sunflower seeds and corn, totally ignoring the other nutrients in the mix.
What happens to the feed that they don’t eat? If you have thrown scratch mix into the coop, uneaten feed simply becomes alluring to rodents – particularly when it becomes wet.
Other Food Sources
Other healthy feed sources for chickens include dried mealworms and forgaing greens
Chickens love mealworms, and will go a little crazy when you start sprinkling them out. Which is great as Dried mealworms are about 50% protein and provide hens with a nutrient dense snack.
Foraging Greens refers to weeds and plants that are safe for your girls to peck at. These are beneficial in a couple ways. 1, the give the chickens something healthy to eat and will save you on chicken feed. 2, Plants for foraging will give chickens something to do and peck at, ultimately prevent birds from packing at each other.
How to save money on chicken feed
The biggest way to save money on chicken feed is to ensure none of it goes to waste. The Dine A Chook Feeder system ensures that the feed stays as clean as possible while reducing food wastage.
Feeding your chickens only what they need
When your hens cannot jump in the feed, or knock the feeder over, their food supply remains clean and