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Feeding Your Chickens

Backyard chickens are getting quite popular, and it isn’t hard to see why. They not only supply fresh eggs, they also provide live entertainment! Just like any other pet, chickens need a good diet in order to thrive. A North Dallas, TX vet discusses feeding chickens below.

Choosing Feeds

There are several type of chicken feed available. Layer pellets are good for egg-laying hens, as they are high in calcium. These often contain things like wheat, salt, oats, maize, and sunflower seeds. If you have meat chickens, protein-rich finisher feed may be your best bet. You can also use standard chicken feed, which is pretty much good for anything that clucks and has feathers. You can also give your birds some corn or wheat for variety.

Amounts

Chickens tend to nibble all day, so don’t worry about overfeeding them. If you give them too much food, they’ll just leave some of it untouched. However, you’ll need to remove uneaten food. Otherwise, it will attract rats, mice, and other vermin.

Feeding Schedules

There’s no one set schedule for everyone to feed their chickens. If you’re home a lot, you can give them pellets throughout the day. If you work during the day, it’s best to feed them in the mornings and evenings. Just try to keep them on the same schedule.

Pecking Order

You’ve likely heard the term ‘pecking order.’ This can definitely come into play! Keep an eye on your chickens as they eat. If you notice that the weaker birds are having trouble getting food, feed them separately.

Water

Fresh water is also very important. While any type of bowl will do in a pinch, it will be worth your while to get a chicken waterer. You’ll need to change the water every day.

Treats

Just like any other pets, chickens love treats. Worms are a huge hit with these guys. However, chickens can eat many of the same things you do. Apple cores, bananas, broccoli, and pumpkin (seeds included) are also very popular treats.

Unsafe Foods

Not everything is safe for your clucking buddies. Never give your chickens chocolate; alcohol; avocados; rhubarb; garlic, onions, or scallions; sweets; processed foods; or anything that contains a lot of salt, sugar, or fat. Green potato peels and citrus fruits are also unsafe.

Do you have questions about chicken care? Call us, your North Dallas, TX vet clinic, today!

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