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Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:17 am
by Jessiebean
We have loads of scraps thanks to wasteful children and collecting from the day care centre but I was wondering which sorts of scraps are best for chickens? I would be guessing not citrus or onions but I would like to know what would be good for them as I don't want to have to buy heaps of layer pellets for them if I can feed them more free scraps!They are getting lots of weeds as I dig them up (weeds, not chickens!) whichis good for my weeding progress....

Re: Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:44 am
by oldjerry
Well,the simplest questions are often the most difficult(starting to sound pompous already!).Well firstly in UK it's technically illegal to feed kitchenwaste to livestock,I'm sure that if it's the same in oz you're sensible enough to ignore this.
For chickens to lay well\grow quickly ,depending on their purpose,they need a set amount of protein,in a proprietry feed this is known so you can calculate it easily,if you're feeding scraps then look at the results.. if they put on weight\lay lots of eggs etc they're doing ok.Personally I would stll feed some protein,layers mash or similar,but maybe at a different time of day.Beware of vermin attracted by uneaten scraps. Best wishes.

Re: Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:07 am
by oldjerry
Blimey Rich your hens eat better than me !

Re: Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:12 am
by Odsox
My chicken have potato peelings cooked up in an old saucepan pretty much every day and I reduce the pellets by about 10%. Other than that the get bread crusts sometimes and leftover rice, other cooked veg and at the moment sweetcorn cobs that have been eaten, they spend hours pecking the tiny leftover bits out.
From the garden they get they cabbage stumps and bolted lettuces which they adore.

Oldjerry, I didn't know it's illegal in the UK to feed scraps to chicken, I thought that only applied to pigs ... I must have been away too long.
I can see that it would make sense for commercial flocks but seems a bit ridiculous for personal hens. :scratch:

Re: Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:29 am
by oldjerry
Oldjerry, I didn't know it's illegal in the UK to feed scraps to chicken, I thought that only applied to pigs ... I must have been away too long.
I can see that it would make sense for commercial flocks but seems a bit ridiculous for personal hens. :scratch:[/quote]

The last time I had an inspection from DEFRA the old bloke assured me that was the case(although it may be because I had pigs as well as a free range flock).There are no limits to the lunacy displayed by the dept.for ruining agriculture,avoid them at all costs,ok I'll shut up now.

Rich: gourmet diet AND acoustic blues, are these the most pampered chickens in the UK?

Re: Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:42 am
by bonniethomas06
I agree - we leave pellets out all of the time, but they have leftover kitchen scraps most days and much prefer these. We haven't noticed a decline in egg laying.

This morning I took out a colander full of cooked potato peelings, squash skin (I just bung these in the microwave for about 3 minutes), the bad tomatos from the greenhouse and some salad scraps. They loved it!

They also have our leftover cold porridge, rice and pasta and a little bread, in moderation.

Whatever you do though, DON'T FEED THEM ADVOCADO - it's toxic to them. As you have said, garlic, onion and citrus are also bad ideas.

I love the idea of feeding my animals leftovers - it is much less wasteful and I think better for them to have a balanced diet - so long as they are eating good scraps - I would never feed them pizza or leftover takeaway and certainly never meat leftovers.

It is like John Seymour says in his bible - on a smallholding, 'the dustman should never have to call'.

Re: Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:18 am
by Millymollymandy
Yup apparently scraps if prepared in a human kitchen are illegal to give to chickens regardless of what other livestock you have or don't. Of course you may legally prepare those scraps outside of the kitchen to give to them. It's been discussed on this forum umpteen times but whether you choose to take note of the law (UK) or not is up to you!

Mine are currently eating melon, sweetcorn, cucumbers, plums with grubs in, bits of apple, lettuce and spinach beet..... they are very lucky chooks. But they always have their layers pellets, crushed oyster shell which they get through in vast quantities if they are laying and wheat. They'll always stop eating their treats for the wheat then go back to the treats after! :iconbiggrin:

Don't forget left over rice and pasta which they absolutely adore - although I chop up spaghetti so it doesn't get stuck in their crops. That's no. 1 fave treat. :iconbiggrin:

Re: Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:48 pm
by Gem
Mine get all scraps roughly chopped up (they are bantys so cant seem to manage big stuff) and thrown in a ball. They will help themselves to this or the pellets as they please, it certainly has not done their laying any harm ((though they are currently broody!).

The only thing I have heard that is bad for them is avocado though don't know why..

Re: Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:01 pm
by Big Al
Years ago when I was in the army kitchens we just opened the windows and chucked everything out and I mean everything (of a food nature) and the chickens soon came and devoured the lot. I don't actually recal any waste being left from one day to the next.

Re: Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:03 pm
by NaturalBlue
I always have a small bowl of pellets for my ladies but they eat loads of scraps - 3 picky children :iconbiggrin: I don't feed them meat but aside from that they eat anything except bananas, but I think that's their personal taste... They particularly love pasta!!

Re: Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:29 pm
by Thomzo
I have definitely seen a difference in the number of eggs I get if I feed scraps to chickens. The more scraps, the fewer eggs. It's up to you.

Generally books advise to give layers pellets in the morning when they are hungry so they are forced to eat the required protein etc. Then give treats such as corn and veg in the afternoon if you want to.

Zoe

Re: Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:08 pm
by becky3086
I have always given mine scraps though they don't get a lot of them (because I am lazy and don't want to walk out there.). They do get grass clippings when we cut the grass though.

Re: Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:22 am
by Jessiebean
Wow thanks for all the detailled replies, I will try giving them pellets in the morning and scraps at night, I have been giving them weeds as I pull them up (chickweed and something vigorous and kind of like velcro we have everywhere in spring), will this do them any harm? I have had three enormous eggs today (one from each girl) so I am pleased with them!

Re: Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:04 am
by Millymollymandy
Hens like goosegrass and have you ever wondered why those weeds are called CHICKweed and GOOSEgrass? Hmmmmm! :iconbiggrin:

Re: Scraps for chickens...

Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:08 am
by Jessiebean
Millymollymandy wrote:Hens like goosegrass and have you ever wondered why those weeds are called CHICKweed and GOOSEgrass? Hmmmmm! :iconbiggrin:
yes I did make the assumption that Chickweed would be good for them!
Ah goosegrass... a quick Google has shown that is indeed what I am feeding them so that's alright then!I can eat most of the weeds around here so I guessed anything I could eat was fine for them but wouldn't try the sticky stuff that is everywhere so I am pleased to hear that they are poultry friendly :shock: have just read the damn stuff is edible.. oh oh I already eat so much chickweed now I will have to force my poor children to try some of this Goosgrass/ cleavers too!(just some as it apparently has a laxative effect!)