Want to know what our chickens are eating?



We make every effort to feed our chickens a well-balanced diet which includes a quality layer pellet or grow/developer crumble. Our chickens always have access to their crumbles/pellet feed as well as a custom supplemental mix. They also enjoy a custom mix scratch thrown in the run at least once each day. All this helps to make healthy, happy chickens that are producing nutritious eggs for us!

Click on the feed tag images below to see exactly what is in the feed we use.

Tucker Milling Super Lay 22%
pellets

We use this complete 22% vegetarian formulated chicken feed for all of our laying & breeding flocks.

DuMor Chick Starter/Grower
crumbles

We use this 20% unmedicated starter/grower for all chickens, from hatch up to laying, as well as for any extra roosters not housed with hens.

Mo's Custom Supplement Mix

We use the DuMor chick starter/grower as a base to mix in the supplements. Dried herbs, spices, and seeds include: kelp, minced garlic, red pepper/cayenne flakes, ground turmeric root, coarse ground cinnamon, whole seeds (black caraway, flax, fennel, caraway, and brown & yellow mustard), marjoram, stinging nettle, parsley, wormwood, comfrey, chickweed, yarrow, echinacea, & oregano. Mineral supplements include: Red Lake Earth (diatomaceous earth and calcium montmorillonite), oyster shell, and granite as grit. This supplement is provided free choice at all times.

Mo's Scratch +

All of our poultry with access to grit love our scratch mix! We start with Tucker Milling's 5-grain scratch which consists of cracked corn, wheat, milo, oats, and a vitamin/mineral fortified pellet. We add black sunflower seeds (BOSS) tossed in Red Lake Earth (this benefits the birds + helps keep those nasty weevils out of the scratch!). During molting periods, we add additional BOSS for extra protein. We also make a few adjustments according to season/weather. To help boost the poultry's metabolism and provide extra winter warmth, we add extra cracked corn. Contrastingly, during the hot summer months, we add crimped oats to cut the corn intake. For an extra treat, we occasionally add oatmeal or puffed rice/wheat for a custom mix that the chickens just love!
My research indicates that Omega-3 is obtained through plenty of greens (grass & veggies). Since our runs are currently barren of "greens", we supplement grass/clover clippings once a week or two, as well as cabbage, hearts of romaine, baby spinach, broccoli, and other lettuces as often as possible. We also add flax seed, which is also excellent source of Omega-3, to their supplement mix ~ just to make sure they consume enough Omega-3!
Hanging a cabbage, lettuce, or suet cage full of goodies (alfalfa) in the run is nutritious plus entertaining!

We make every effort to avoid synthetic medications or supplements for our chickens (i.e., vaccinations, hormones/boosters). Unfortunately, we do have to occassionally utilize antibiotics, wormers, or treatments for parasitic pests like mites.

Monitoring our chickens, providing healthy food and clean water, and keeping the chicken coop & run clean is the first step in preventing illness. We also practice strict biosecurity to keep our flock healthy; however, sometimes sickness is unavoidable. We always start with natural remedies like fresh garlic water, extra oregano & Echinacea, VetRx, probiotics, & electrolytes before moving to synthetic medications as a last resort.

Weekly Treats

Our chickens are all spoiled with healthy goodies as much as possible. They frequently get a treat or combination of treats from the list on the left, but sometimes they are lucky enough to get "leftovers" from the previous nights dinner! They love leftover salad scraps after I rinse off the dressing, and they really love leftover Subway sandwiches! We stay away from giving them anything salty, sugary, or spicy...although taco salad is a favorite :-)

In addition to the bugs that find their way into the run, we also periodically provide treats--especially in the winter--of crickets from the pet-store or meal worms from our own bin.

NEW for 2014: We will be starting a Black Soldier Fly bin as the larvae are a super great treat packed with protein and calcium! Click here for some great information on how to make your own bin.

We are also planning to start a fodder system to help cut feed costs. Sprouted seeds provide much more nutrition than regular scratch seed.

Some regular treats include:

  • oatmeal
  • cooked rice
  • plain yogurt
  • hearts of romaine lettuce
  • various other lettuces
  • baby spinach
  • broccoli
  • tomatoes
  • apples
  • grapes
  • frozen peas in the summer
  • strawberries
  • non-sugary breakfast cereal
  • plain tortilla chip "crumbs"
  • left-over corn cobs


When seasonally available:
  • various squash
  • pumpkin
  • gourds
  • cucumber
  • plums
  • corn
  • watermelon


Fun Photos
click for larger photo


BSF larvae treat

Enjoyin' pumpkin guts