Supplementing Your Chicken’s Diet

Oyster shell. Grit. Scratch grains. So many choices – but what do your chickens really need, and when? Find out below!

when to feed grit to chickens, when to feed oyster shell to chickens, does a chicken need scratch grains

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8 thoughts on “Supplementing Your Chicken’s Diet

  1. If laying hens need 3 times the calcium as laying hens why not up the calcium in the layer formula it seems like it would be better to have to much as not enough I know in chicks you don’t want to give them to much but what would it hurt a hen to get more calcium in their daily ration of layer pellets or mash?

    • The calcium requirement varies greatly. Some birds are fine with the level of calcium in the feed. Others need more. Providing it free choice allows them to self regulate. Thanks!

  2. Is it necessary to supplement green foodstuffs? Like kale, cabbage, collard greens, etc? The grass has gone dormant here and the girls are a bit bored with no fresh grass. If your food plus the oystershell, grit and scratch are good enough, I’ll do that. They also get mealworms, just a few.

    I tried throwing a flake of alfalfa in the run, but I had one girl end up with crop obstruction/sour crop because she ate a stem piece. I”ve removed the alfalfa since! Thanks.

    • Hi there!
      They don’t NEED to have additional feed beyond the feed, oyster shell and grit. However, you will be much more popular if you offer a treat of fresh greens (think produce scraps, etc.) every now and then.
      Thanks for the question!

  3. I have been given a Sussex rooster. Is it ok to keep just him or should he have a female friend

    • Hi Tina, You will likely be better off to get him at least one other hen, more if you have room/time for them. Chickens are social, and he will be happier and less aggressive if he has other birds around to interact with.
      Thank you ~ Gina T.

    • So many factors can come into play here. Overcrowding, stress and dehydration can cause all kind of issues, including feather picking and egg eating. Something that may help is to switch to NatureWise® Feather Fixerâ„¢, and add vitamins & electrolytes once or twice a week, in an additional waterer. If necessary, you can also use an anti-pick lotion on the birds that have been picked badly.

      Best of luck!

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