Feed and Watering

These articles cover the feeding and watering of chickens.

  1. Fermenting Chicken Feed

    Feeding chickens is easy. You can purchase age appropriate feed, give it to your chickens, supplement with calcium in a separate dish, and voila: flourishing chickens! Well, for the most part that is how it works. Occasionally problems do occur, but overall, feeding chickens is a fairly uncomplicated process. It is possible, however, to up your level of commitment. This could entail seeking out organic feeds that are free of genetically modified organisms, which can take some effort to...
  2. Creating a Cheap, Easy Protein Source for Your Chickens

    It is no secret that bugs make delicious snacks for a chicken. Since chickens are omnivores, bugs actually make up an important part of their diet and provide them with necessary protein. If you watch your chickens' natural behavior, you will see plenty of bug consumption taking place, as long as bugs are readily available. Photo: Garden Betty Something you can do for your chickens that you may not have thought of before is creating an environment hospitable to bugs. This may not sound like...
  3. Beat the Heat with these Chicken Cooling Tips!

    Depending on where you live, you could be wondering where spring went as summer seemingly crashed down upon us. While it is technically spring for nearly another month yet, temperatures are reflecting something else in much of the country. With temps in the 90's on what has become a normal basis for many of us, it is time to start thinking about how you will keep your chickens cool as the mercury continues to climb. Photo: Hen Cam Much like people and other animals, chickens are no...
  4. The Benefits of Molasses

    For many years, molasses has been an important part of livestock feeds. In some cases it is used as a binder to hold feed components together and in other cases it is used to increase palatability. It is also used in water during cold months to encourage drinking by adding a good taste to it. Since molasses is sweet, it appeals to animals that are desirous of sweet tastes to enjoy. Molasses has more advantages than its taste and binding abilities, however. In moderate amounts, it offers...
  5. Keeping Track of Feed in the Event of a Recall

    In recent years, feed recalls have been a huge problem. Regardless of the animals you have, chances are you have been affected, or were nearly affected, by a recall. It is always scary when the news of a feed recall starts making rounds because it is natural to immediately fear the worst. Even if the feed you use is not tainted, it is hard not to think about the \'what if\' and worry about the price you and your animals will pay if recalled feed has been consumed. Lots of times, recalls are...
  6. Feeding Egg & Oyster Shells for Calcium

    One thing we can all agree upon is the importance of calcium in the diet of chickens, especially hens of egg laying age. While there are different ways to provide calciums, there have been historical debates as to what works and what does not, and why you should avoid certain methods. Here today I will be sharing what works for us. Even though it may not be a technique embraced by all, we can all learn from one another if we are willing to keep an open mind. Since calcium is required for...
  7. DIY Drinking Bottle Chicken Waterer

    Do you and your family drink soda or other bottled drinks? If so, what do you do with the empty two liter bottles? Recycling and repurposing bottles is a popular choice, but there are more ways to do so than taking them down to the nearest recycling center or out to the curb should curbside service be available in your area. Believe it or not, used plastic bottles can serve a purpose in your coop. There are a lot of different chicken waterers on the market these days. A widely seen option...
  8. Age Appropriate Chicken Feeds

    As chickens age and grow, it is necessary to match their feeding requirements to the stage of growth they are in at any given time. This can mean making several dietary changes as your chickens grow, some of which may seem to occur quite rapidly. Staying on top of the appropriate type of feed needed at various stages of development will aid in keeping your chickens healthy. While some people prefer to concoct their own feeds, others utilize commercial feeds. This is not a bad thing as...
  9. DIY Chicken Feeder Made of PVC Pipe

    There are many good things about chickens and plenty of reasons to love them. What is less than ideal about chickens, however, is that they sometimes take restroom breaks in some of the most inopportune places. When nature calls, chickens answer, be it in their water, in their food, or anywhere else. Restroom breaks are indiscriminate if you happen to be a chicken. While the chickens themselves are not the least bit embarrassed or inconvenienced by the locations at which the call of nature...
  10. Since When is Vegetarianism Good for Chickens?

    Have you ever been perusing the egg selection at the grocery store and noticed labels professing that the eggs contained in the carton were laid by chickens that ate an "all vegetarian" diet? Granted, most of us here probably do not pay attention to the eggs in the grocery store as we are hopefully collecting enough of our own to sustain our families, but if you were to look, you might be surprised at what you will see. Chickens, by nature, are not vegetarian, so it is hard to fathom why it...
  11. Raising Mealworms

    When it comes to feeding chickens and keeping them healthy, you want to feed items that are both delicious and nutritious. Options for feeding chickens in the form of both regular meals as well as treats are plentiful, but having an option that is self-renewing is both convenient and easy on the bank account. Being low maintenance is also a plus. One edible item that meets all of these criteria is meal worms. Mealworms are the larval form of Tenebrio molitor, a species of darkling beetle,...
  12. Safe and Unsafe Chicken Treats

    It is a natural human inclination to want to make your animals happy, and one thing sure to make your animals happy is food. With holiday cooking upon us, it is likely that we will have atypical food items in our homes as well as leftovers to share with our furry and feathered friends. As much as your chickens will probably appreciate some extra as well as new and exciting snacks, be particular about what you give them as some food items can do more harm than good. Something to remember,...
  13. DIY Easy Chicken Waterer

    Chickens, delicious as they are, can be messy little creatures. If you use a standard waterer with an open bowl area, you are likely no stranger to the disgusting things chickens can do to their water. This means multiple daily cleanings for you to ensure the waterer stays not only clean but also full. In addition to being messy, chickens are not the daintiest of drinkers and tend to spill. Chicken nipples are an excellent and clean way to provide water. However, they must be strategically...
  14. Cheery Chicks Chicken Kooler Review

    I love chickens. Having raised chickens most of my life I find a natural affinity to them, but if there's one thing I desperately try to get out of, it's cleaning most everything in their coop. Especially the water dishes. Most watering systems are the same. You fill it up at the top and it empties out into a tray, leaving plenty of places for dirt, scat, and everything else to deposit. The clean up process usually takes a thorough rinsing and some hand time on the less than desirable...
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