While chicken is usually included in most of today's healthy diets, one has to wonder what makes chickens so lean and healthy? It's simple. It all comes down to proper chicken feeding. You see, feeding your chicken the proper diet will guarantee that your chicken will grow up to be healthy and full of flavor. Wild chickens on the street will eat just about anything they find and survive for a while but usually will not last that long. And though backyard chickens wont think twice about eating the first thing they find on the ground, it is in your best interest to feed your chicken the correct balance of food and water to ensure a long and healthy flock.
Healthy Chicken Feed Mix
So what does a chicken need not only to survive, but to for the best possible health and performance? Well, besides water and lots of it, you want to make sure to provide your chickens with a perfectly balanced diet for each type of flock. There are some great prepared chicken feeds that you can purchase at your local feed store that will do just the right job. They usually come mixed with meat and bone scraps, blood meal, bone meal, fish meal, molassesbrewers wastes and ground and grain meals. These are probably the best types of chicken feed mixes that you can feed your chickens because they have the proper balance of protein and calcium.
One thing to be aware of when purchasing chicken feed mix, is how they come prepared. Chicken feeds come in mash, crumble and pellet forms. While all these types of chicken feed are ok, your chicken flock will probably waste the mash form by spilling it to the ground. Therefore, the best type of chicken feed to use is the crumble or pellet form which will serve as the most economical.
Types of Chicken Feed
Chicken scratch is known as the old favorite chicken feed. This type of chicken feed consists of a mixture of whole grains and cracked corn. However, this cannot be their only form of diet because it would be like the equivalence of a human diet of waffles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You see corn is lower in protein and high on fat and common sense will tell you that while a plump chicken is nice, a fat chicken is unhealthy and will not taste good, plus it will be high in fat...yuck! Fat chickens don't lay eggs that well either so it is best to stick with grains rather than chicken scratch as their primary diet.
Make sure to feed your chickens plenty of whole grains. This ranges from pure corn or kernelled corn, whole grains, living grains, or a mixture of all of them. Trust me, theyll love it. Just make sure to fill up your chicken feeding devices with plenty of grains and water and you will be good to go. If your chickens are running free outside on their chicken pen, then make sure to build your chicken pen on an area where there is lots of grass and weeds. Chickens feed on greens too you know. Don't be ashamed to toss some green veggies into the chicken coop or chicken pen from time to time.
What else should you feed your chicken? Chickens love to eat bugs, especially worms. Chickens are usually digging up the ground underneath them. They are scavengers, and will eat just about any bug that crosses their path. It's in the nature of the chicken to dig and search for food and they will usually find an array of bugs and worms to satisfy their hunger. So make sure to let your chicken flock roam in their chicken pen for a few hours a day so that they can get their daily protein intake.
Let's not forget the importance of water. Feeding your chickens the right diet won't be enough if you neglect them of water. A chicken needs plenty of water to survive. So make sure to fill up their watering devices with plenty of clean water for your entire chicken flock. It is best if you keep the water inside the chicken coop so that they can drink throughout the day, otherwise, when you let your flock out in their pen, keep a few buckets of water nearby where they can see them just incase your chickens get thirsty.
by Miriam Rolling – poultry farmer