It can be fun raising chickens but you need to know a few things. You are probably wondering what can chickens eat? One good thing when it comes to chickens is it’s not hard figuring out what to feed them. They will eat almost anything including weeds, grass, and bugs right from your yard. Of course, just eating those things will not supply them with enough nutrients.
The most common food for chickens is grain. You can find high quality pellets at your local feed store or order online. Pellets contain wheat, oats, corn, salt and sunflower seeds. This ensures they are getting enough vitamins and minerals to produce the best eggs.
You could either scatter the food on the ground and or buy a chicken feeder. The feeder will need to hold enough feed for all of your chickens.
Chickens will also eat fruits and vegetables. The only thing they shouldn’t eat are raw green peels and citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges.
If you feed your chickens table scraps, make sure that you feed them wholesome foods and exclude salty foods or high-fat foods.
If you use a feeder for your chickens, keep their regular food in the trough and cut up the food scraps and throw it on the ground or the floor of their pen.
It’s important to supplement your chickens with calcium. This will ensure that the hens lay eggs with thicker shells. One of the best sources of calcium is using crushed clam or oyster shells. You can buy it at most feed stores.
If you have a yard for them to roam, they will get some minerals and nutrients from the grass and the bugs. They love wandering around pecking the ground and mingling with the other chickens. Just be careful to keep an eye out for any predators as this could leave them vulnerable.
Water – This is pretty simple. Your chickens should have access to fresh, clean water all the time. You could use any type of plastic container but a drinker works best. You can fill it with water and it will continue pouring into the tray as they drink.
Feed – When buying pellets, be aware that the food bag should not contain a lot of dust. If you go to pour it and dust starts flying, you should return it as it’s poor quality.
Grit – This is small stone or sand that can help the chickens to digest their food and extract all the nutrients from it.
Treats – You can give your chickens treats on occasions. They love worms, broccoli, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, and apple cores. Just don’t give them processed food or unhealthy foods like potato chips. For the most part, if you can eat it, your chickens can eat it too.
There are signs from your chickens that will let you know if they aren’t getting enough nutrition. Reduced egg production, small eggs, feather picking and unrest in the flock. Also, if you notice a lot of double yolks when you crack them, this could come from a nutritional deficit.
Check your local feed store to see what they have. You could make their food but it’s a lot of work.
You can experiment to see what your chickens like best but they will eat almost anything. It’s up to you to make sure they are getting enough nutrients to produce the best eggs and to lay them regularly.