A healthy balance of Poultry Mix and sensible left overs
There are some who say chicken food should have XX% of this and XX% of that, but only on a Friday in August etc., but I tend to go down the route of a 'base' proper feed and anything else they would like, because if they don't want it - they won't eat it!
I also recall the days in childhood during the early 50's when my parents kept chickens down the garden and many more around us did.
My parents and their's wouldn't have a clue about XX% of vitamin X. They fed the chickens with what they had and that was usually a mixture of corn and left overs - potato and other peels boiled up and thrown in the Pen.
They were happy and they laid eggs!
That's the thing really, which I know from my own experience of getting my first hens, putting them in an Ark and then wondering what the heck I do next? Will they starve?, will they die?, are they too hot, cold etc.,etc. The list goes on.
There are basically two types of feed; 1. Mixed Corn, probably the most essential and 2. Layers Pellets.
Left = Layers Pellets Centre= Mixed Corn Right = Mixing 2 x 20kg bags and storing in a large plastic 'bucket' which I cover with a large piece of wood.
You should bear in mind though that mine are in a fairly large Pen in which they can scratch around and find their own bit and pieces.
During the summer I have the benefit of the Kitchen left overs at Cricket and they are spoilt on almost a daily basis with jacket potato's, bread, sandwiches (not meat) etc.
Cost wise for me with 10 hens it's, very approximately, £8 per month on purchased feed, which works out to 80p per bird. One 20k bag of mixed corn and one bag of 20k pellets is about £11.
The only other thing is grit. This can be purchased in Farm Suppliers, maybe good garden centres.
I said earlier I have a giant tub. Well, I have that with a heavy piece of wood over the top. Rats are very clever and if they find a way in - they're in!.
One final note is that Battery Hens are fed with anti-biotic fortified food and this is simply not necessary for your home flock.
Don't worry about the food. As long as they have the basic diet, other things are a bonus and I haven't heard any screams of stomach agony coming from mine!
Any probs or worries, please us the Forum.
Please note that these are my findings & ideas. Some may agree, some may not - but mine seem perfectly happy!
When there's food, they're anybodies !!
2007 (price now reflecting 2010) -
I brought one bag of Mixed Corn and one bag of Layers Pellets on 31st.March and let it run down to zero before replenishing on 18th. May.