7 Things to Feed Your Chickens for Better Health & More Eggs

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Feed your chickens these 7 things to keep them healthy, happy, and laying lots of eggs for you!

When it comes to feeding your chickens, there are thousands of options available. From commercially purchased feed mixes, to single grain feeds that you mix yourself, to homegrown fodder, fermented feeds, and more.

While your choice of what to feed your chickens will depend on a number of factors – from what resources you have readily available, to how much money and/or time you have to spend on chicken feed – keep in mind that as with humans or any other animal, what your chickens eat will influence how healthy they are (and how healthy their eggs are). With that in mind, it is in your best interest to provide them with the best quality feed that you can afford.

Making your own chicken feed mix might be a cost-effective way to provide them with all the nutrients they need for good health and maximum egg production.

Below are a few ingredients that chicken expert Lisa from FreshEggsDaily.com recommends including in your chickens’ feed. For a step-by-step recipe click here, or check out Lisa’s book, Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally.

1. Oats can either be purchased in the breakfast cereal aisle of your grocery store or club such as Costco or Sam’s Club or in bulk from your feed store or grainery. Added to the feed, they provide a bit of a treat each morning since the chickens love them, but also add a healthy dose of protein, fiber, antioxidants and immune system support.

Studies have shown that chicks fed oats are not only healthier as adult chickens, but flocks fed oats are less aggressive, more heat-tolerant and less prone to cannibalism and pecking issues.

2. Sunflower seeds provide excellent protein as well as magnesium and copper for strong bones. They also contain Vitamin B which is important for cardiovascular health, Vitamin E, which is an anti-inflammatory, as well as a healthy dose of antioxidants.

3. Cracked corn contributes to orange egg yolks and also is a bit of a treat for them. Since its’s not terribly nutritious and can put on excess weight, you can adjust the amount of cracked corn (I give less in the summer and more in the winter).

4. Brewer’s Yeast and Garlic Powder is a great product, especially if you have ducks, because the niacin in the brewer’s yeast helps them grow nice strong bones and legs. They require slightly more niacin than chickens do, but the added niacin won’t harm the chickens any.

The garlic helps repel fleas, ticks and other internal and external parasites, as well as having lots of health benefits and benefiting respiratory health. It also boosts to their immune system.

5. Poultry Probiotics assure better intestinal and immune health.

Probiotics form a barrier that prevent bad bacteria from attaching to the intestinal walls and also aid digestion, assist in nutrient absorption and help boost productivity.  Poultry Probiotics have been specially formulated for poultry to meet their digestive and immune system needs.

Probiotics support the immune system in general and increase growth rates. Probiotics are also thought to help combat coccidiosis in flocks. Read more about the benefits of probiotics.

6. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural parasitic and adds beneficial silica and other nutrients as well as keeps bugs out of the feed. Read more about the benefits of DE.

7. Coop Kelp provides a wide range of naturally occurring vitamins (including A, B6 (niacin), D, E, folate and Vitamin K), minerals (including copper, lysine, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc) and amino acids that improve bone strength, make nice orange egg yolks and result in eggs with stronger shells.

Kelp also improves feather appearance and strength.

It is thought to protect against coccidiosis by strengthening the immune system and improving health in general.

Kelp is also a prebiotic, which works hand in hand with probiotics, making them more effective and aiding in digestion.

 

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