So many people love eating chicken and eggs, but rarely ever consider what it takes to get them from farm to table.
Feeding chickens is an important part of that process. But what can chickens eat, and what is the best way to raise them/ Here is a quick guide on how to raise chickens and taking care of them so you might have the best eggs and poultry you’ve ever had.
Things That Your Chicken Can and Can’t Eat
Contrary to popular belief, chickens are not herbivores but are omnivorous. They forage for both plant and animal foods. Mainly in the United States they are fed cornmeal feed, while in Canada and Europe, they are fed mostly wheat and/or barley. You can click for more.
Your chickens might also love certain fruits (ones that are low in sugar). They can eat meat scraps( i.e. things like tendons and fat), cooked pasta or rice, vegetables, dairy items, fish (both meat and skin), and old bread and crackers (but not molded).
You have to make sure you designate which kinds of chickens you will grow though. Meat poultry might not be able to eat some of these things.
Avoid fruits that are high in acidity, avocados, onions, garlic, raw potatoes, and certain beans.
How Should You Raise Your Chickens?
The way you raise your chickens affects them more than just what you feed them. Depending on the ones you choose, some living arrangements are better than others for taking care of chickens.
No matter which option you go with though, you have to make sure you predator-proof it for your chickens to be safe.
The most ideal environment for chickens to be raised is via the open pasture. Not only do your chickens get regular exercise, but they also can regularly forage for other proteins such as insects and worms.
Egg-laying hens who are pasture-raised tend to make healthier eggs; a study from 2003 showed that their eggs had double the omega-3 fat, triple the vitamin D, four times the vitamin E, and seven times the beta-carotene than their traditional feed counterparts.
Although meat chickens grow slower out on the pasture, their meat is denser and healthier than their enclosed partners but is just as tender.
These are chickens who have an enclosed space but still can roam freely. They still reap some of the benefits of their pasture counterparts such as exercise and the occasional bugs in their diet.
However, they may peck the ground to bare dirt, so you will have to be wary of this and change the location every so often.
Feeding Chickens Right
When you want to raise chickens, feeding chickens is important but it certainly isn’t the only thing you should think about.
For your chickens to have the best lives they can, and for you to have the best products from them (either eggs or poultry) make sure you give them the best feed and the best environment you can.
Get some chickens today, and taste the difference. For other informative and interesting articles like this one on how to raise your animals, be sure to browse the rest of our blog.