Different people keep chickens for different reasons – keeping chickens as pets, breeding them for egg production, and a few more.
For most of us chicken enthusiasts it is important for our chickens to give the best eggs, and the quality of your eggs depends on many factors – clean nest boxes, sufficient daylight, hen management and more. One of the best ways for you to be sure to get the best eggs from your chickens is to make sure that they are properly fed.
Browsing through the web I have found different opinions on how you should feed your chickens to get the best eggs, so with the help of the www.typesofchicken.com team, we decided to share the kinds of food that helped us get the best eggs.
Protein is crucial for the quality of your eggs, and as we all know meat is full of protein but it is not safe to feed your chicken any kind of meat because it can affect their health negatively and it can turn them cannibalistic so here are a few ideas how to give your chickens protein in a safe and satisfying way.
Can chickens eat insects?
Right, chickens can eat insects. In fact, they have an appetite for them. Did you know that most of the insects your chickens eat are protein-packed?
They are widely known to eat the larvae of ants, moths, and termites. They also have a preferred menu that includes beetle larvae—lawn grubs and mealworms.
Are mealworms good for chickens?
Most chickens feed on bugs in the wild, so they’ll enjoy eating mealworms. They are high in protein and fat. Mealworms are also good for chickens because they help them to develop their beaks, which is important for eating grains later on.
You can get them pretty easily and even own your own mealworm farm very cheap, and if you decide to buy you can try your local pet store or the internet(around 2000 will be enough for start).
Can chickens eat Maggots?
Maggots (fly larva) – chickens love maggots.
They are one of their favorite food and you need to know that you can also own your own soldier fly larva farm or purchase one online, it is a bit more expensive than the mealworms.
Owning one has its own advantage because maggots eat everything and they can turn muck into a lot of incredible fertilizer.
What about earthworms? Do chickens like eating earthworms?
Earthworms can be a cheaper substitute for maggots and mealworms, you can easily go out and pick them from wet ground. Like maggots & mealworms, chickens love to eat earthworms!
Pick them yourself or find some kids to do it for you, full a bucket and keep it closed with a few holes and in a cold place(preferably your fridge).
You can also keep them for a longer time so when the winter comes they can come in handy because it will be harder for you to find fresh bugs.
Is grass and hay safe for chickens?
Turning your compost and getting it ready for usage as a fertilizer usually takes around a year but if your chickens eat a part of your extra grass and hay which is safe and full of nutritious materials for them you can have your fertilizer ready in around 5 months.
Giving your chickens the habit to enjoy grass and hay is good for you because you don’t have to bother turning all that compost, and for their stomachs and egg production so consider trying that.
This method has saved time and money to many people and is highly recommended if you have other stock on your farm.
What veg can chickens eat?
Green vegetables – cabbage, kale, lettuce and other green vegetables are also very important for your eggs to have quality and full of nutritious materials.
Use the vegetables you want to throw away or the ones your local green store is about to throw to waste, this is cheap and very little time-consuming and also it is very good for your chickens in the long run.
What can I give my chickens for calcium?
Many of the farmers I have talked to so far avoid giving their chickens calcium pills.
So instead of giving your chickens some calcium pills from the pharmacy and getting them exposed to some factory chemicals, most farmers would agree that feeding your chicken eggshells can do the trick so you can have your chickens full of calcium.
If you are not sure of this method you can search the internet for more information and you can be amazed of the positive outcomes of giving eggshells to your chickens.
Hydration! Why is it important to keep the chicken’s water dish clean?
Whenever I encounter articles about egg quality and chicken diets usually people forget to mention one of the most important things that keep the quality of your eggs stronger and provide your chickens with good health and energy – water.
Freshwater is maybe the most important thing to give to your chickens because almost half of the egg is water – so it doesn’t matter how much you invest in the food and high technology items for your chicken coop, without a regular supply of freshwater your eggs will not have the expected quality.
Shannon Stansberry has been engaged in the business of raising chickens for more than 12 years. In 2016, she accomplished the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. At present, she tends to more than 80 chickens on her 4-hectare farm. Shannon regularly shares her insights and experience on how to raise healthy and contented chickens on the platform Typesofchickens.com