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Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 21663107
10/13/2012 12:14 PM
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Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
I've been stocking up for after TSHTF, and I would like to keep chickens. When my Dad kept them he fed them with grain, but if we can't get grain from the shops can I feed them on anything else?
Mr. Predictor
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10/13/2012 12:22 PM

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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
table scraps
6473madburger

a government study in 2008 and again in 2012 showed over 50% of the measured population were really, really stupid

“Barack Obama thinks his job is to lead the mob, not the country.”
Anonymous Coward
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10/13/2012 12:23 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
I've been stocking up for after TSHTF, and I would like to keep chickens. When my Dad kept them he fed them with grain, but if we can't get grain from the shops can I feed them on anything else?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 21663107



grass and bugs is all they need.
Anonymous Coward
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United States
10/13/2012 12:24 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
I've been stocking up for after TSHTF, and I would like to keep chickens. When my Dad kept them he fed them with grain, but if we can't get grain from the shops can I feed them on anything else?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 21663107



grass and bugs is all they need.
 Quoting: coyote hunter


That might pose a bitter of a problem in the winter in some regions
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 19932676
United States
10/13/2012 12:25 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
I've been stocking up for after TSHTF, and I would like to keep chickens. When my Dad kept them he fed them with grain, but if we can't get grain from the shops can I feed them on anything else?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 21663107


google search is your friend.

chickens eat just about everything and survive. but they will not produce eggs well if they don't get the right balance of nutrients.

look up 'free ranging' as an option. but foxes and weasels and coyotes and dogs will love your chickens as well.

good luck
LindaE

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United States
10/13/2012 12:31 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
We keep a couple of chickens, and yes, we do have trouble with varmints. In our area (and with our 75 lb lab/pitbull mix on guard)it's usually the hawks that get to ours.

That said, we keep grain mix available to them (light on the corn because I've heard that it decreases their egg laying) but for the most part they free range. They love my garden, and like the herbs. I usually scatter a mix of sunflower seed/nuts/dried berries that they sell for bird feeders to them when they first get up. After that, they're on their own. Mine aren't really interested in table scraps, but if they were hungry enough they'd survive on whatever they could find.

Lay in a bag or two of layer food and hope for the best. In a SHTF scenario, I'd worry more about the two legged varmints than the four legged or airborne.bump
FubarMan

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10/13/2012 12:32 PM

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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
let have beer. they like it
Sesquipedalian

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10/13/2012 12:33 PM

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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
One good thing to stock up on if you're going to have laying hens is ground oyster shells. Calcium is extremely important for the hens and you will notice an increase in egg production while maintaining healthy chickens.

You can also crush up the egg shells themselves if needed, as they have a similar effect.

Just throwing that out there.
Anonymous Coward
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10/13/2012 12:36 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
you need to feed your chickens.
or they'll be skinny as f**k
Anonymous Coward
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10/13/2012 12:37 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
I've been stocking up for after TSHTF, and I would like to keep chickens. When my Dad kept them he fed them with grain, but if we can't get grain from the shops can I feed them on anything else?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 21663107



grass and bugs is all they need.
 Quoting: coyote hunter


Yep, and a few mice.
Anonymous Coward
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United States
10/13/2012 12:44 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
Don't let them get too hungry or they might tear you apart and peck out your eyes.
Anonymous Coward
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10/13/2012 12:50 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
Chickens terrify me. Like little velociraptors.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 21663107
10/13/2012 12:55 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
One good thing to stock up on if you're going to have laying hens is ground oyster shells. Calcium is extremely important for the hens and you will notice an increase in egg production while maintaining healthy chickens.

You can also crush up the egg shells themselves if needed, as they have a similar effect.

Just throwing that out there.
 Quoting: Sesquipedalian


Thanks. And thanks GLPers for the advice, I'll give them a go.
SmuRidley

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Canada
10/13/2012 12:56 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
if you have a front or back lawn, you're set.
I don't believe fate befalls us however we act, only unless we act.
Anonymous Coward
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United States
10/13/2012 01:01 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
Feed em carp, rough fish or whatever kind of fish guts or scraps. They love it :)
Anonymous Coward
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10/13/2012 01:13 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
let have beer. they like it
 Quoting: FubarMan


actually this is no shit! several of my chickens will come up on my bar in backyard while we are drinking and sip away, (we give them their own cup) they are responsible drinkers mabe a dozen sips eachdasbier
Anonymous Coward
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10/13/2012 01:15 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
My granny never feed her chickens grains,they feed on whatever was around and they still produced eggs and had a good weight.

this was in Alabama,winters were not that bad so they could eat year round
Anonymous Coward
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10/13/2012 01:17 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
I've been stocking up for after TSHTF, and I would like to keep chickens. When my Dad kept them he fed them with grain, but if we can't get grain from the shops can I feed them on anything else?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 21663107



grass and bugs is all they need.
 Quoting: coyote hunter


Winner!!
The Light Under the Door

User ID: 25480385
United Kingdom
10/13/2012 01:20 PM

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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
Think of something you can grow in the summer to store and feed them in the winter.

Mine liked cooked pasta and rice when we would end up snowed in with no grain delivery. They seemed happy but I seriously doubt it had all the nutrients they needed.

Last Edited by the lump under the carpet on 10/13/2012 01:22 PM
Ontheverge

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10/13/2012 01:25 PM

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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
Yes you can, but they will not lay as many eggs. They do not need special food. Mine eat scraps. The also eat bugs plants, mice, frogs.

If you use egg shells for calcium, make sure you grind them up very fine so they do not get a taste for eating their own eggs.

Too much corn and they get fat, but do not lay more eggs.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1148772
United States
10/13/2012 01:25 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
Feed em carp, rough fish or whatever kind of fish guts or scraps. They love it :)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 24532632


Start a compost pile... they like to pick at potato peelings... coffee grounds... EGG SHELLS. Don't put meat scraps in your compost pile. Winter in the frozen north is another issue. You will definitely need grain. Used to always catch them thieving catfood out of the cat's dish, too.
Anonymous Coward
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United States
10/13/2012 01:30 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
One awesome table scrape that I use to feed my chickens and they will gobble up is potato peels, but you have to cook them for the chickens or they won't eat them. So if you eat a lot of potatoes and you peel the skin sometimes or all the time, just keep them throw them in a pot on the back of your stove and cook for just a few minutes, doesn't take long. You can also keep the skin from a baked potato, and various other leftover vegetable food scrapes are best. Chickens will eat just about anything, I have seen them grab a mouse, live and swallow it whole , twice ! So they are carnivorous as well.
Anonymous Coward
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10/13/2012 01:34 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
I've been stocking up for after TSHTF, and I would like to keep chickens. When my Dad kept them he fed them with grain, but if we can't get grain from the shops can I feed them on anything else?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 21663107





Ground-up politicians, banksters and Wall Streeters.
The Light Under the Door

User ID: 25480385
United Kingdom
10/13/2012 01:35 PM

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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
I've been stocking up for after TSHTF, and I would like to keep chickens. When my Dad kept them he fed them with grain, but if we can't get grain from the shops can I feed them on anything else?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 21663107





Ground-up politicians, banksters and Wall Streeters.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 25495508



You're going to end up sick if you eat that way.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1148772
United States
10/13/2012 02:50 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
One awesome table scrape that I use to feed my chickens and they will gobble up is potato peels, but you have to cook them for the chickens or they won't eat them. So if you eat a lot of potatoes and you peel the skin sometimes or all the time, just keep them throw them in a pot on the back of your stove and cook for just a few minutes, doesn't take long. You can also keep the skin from a baked potato, and various other leftover vegetable food scrapes are best. Chickens will eat just about anything, I have seen them grab a mouse, live and swallow it whole , twice ! So they are carnivorous as well.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1317305


Now that is something I didn't know. Chickens can be mousers. What a concept. I wonder if the mice they eat can pass along any diseases via the eggs.

Are any of you people familiar with chicken tractors???
Anonymous Coward
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United Kingdom
10/13/2012 02:54 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
Cant eat silver!
LindaE

User ID: 1415061
United States
10/13/2012 03:08 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
My husband made a chicken tractor for the chickies, but they still prefer to free range. In an earthquake, if it's close, I'm gonna jump into the tractor... it's that well built. 2x4s everywhere and heavy wiring to protect the girls.

Then he put on extra large wheels to roll it around and a system for raising the wheels and lowering them back down so it clears the rough terrain we have.bump
reptilicus
User ID: 7639860
United States
10/13/2012 03:22 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
Nobody here know what they are talking about here. You need a chicken breed that is not far removed from wild stock so that they have natural instincts to survive through speed, camo, flying, and the ability to scavenge for food that domesticated chicken have lost the ability to do. I have raised chickens of all breeds for 45 years, and this is what you want:

[link to www.backyardchickens.com]

[link to www.google.com (secure)]

[link to www.feathersite.com]

PS. I have seen Game Cocks beat the crap out of a Red Tail Hawk trying to mess with their hens.
Anonymous Coward
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10/13/2012 03:24 PM
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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
Feed them candy...It works with cows.
grasptheuniverse

User ID: 25508465
Australia
10/13/2012 06:49 PM

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Re: Can you keep chickens without grain to feed them?
In the victorian times in england when the large households kept chickens and grew their own produce, in winter the chickens suffered from malnourishment so they kill most of them and eat them keeping a few and a rooster and then they would end up with more when winter ended and have eggs into spring and summer lots of chickens again, and then cull them as winter approached. They had the problem we all face with chooks if we dont have the grain. Bugs and grass in winter are not enough.
caz