Are locusts good chicken feed
In addition to all the necessary basic components of the feed, there is a lot that chickens like to eat and that can be useful to them.
Seeds and seeds
First and foremost, there are the seeds and seeds, which contain oil and consequently promote a corresponding plumage shine. Seeds should only be given specifically before exhibition dates in winter, as the chickens gain weight quickly from too much of them. If you want to give it as a treat in between, you should do without any other fatty additive (also in the form of mealworms).
Seeds and seeds are available either in mills, in organic shops or as birdseed in the appropriate shops.
Fonio millet: Foniopaddy
Foniopaddy grass seeds, fonio millet, are particularly popular, also because of coccidia prophylaxis. Studies want to have found out that a regular smaller dose of Foniopaddy / Fonio millet leads to a reduction in coccidia colonization. This can be explained, although there are contradicting statements about the basic effectiveness of the Foniopaddy, by the high proportion of methionine that the Fonio millet contains. Methionine is an essential amino acid that is required for protein metabolism and which also appears to have negative effects on bacterial growth. In this respect, a beneficial effect in coccidiosis cannot be ruled out. Definitive indications of the unconditional effectiveness could not be found in the course of the research.
Grit mixture when freewheeling
Ready-mixed stomach grit / stomach gravel does not have to be - especially when chickens and chicks are free to roam. However, it can be a good supplement to maintain digestion, especially in winter and when the ground is frozen. If the grit is provided with shell limestone and is permanently available in a bowl, this can also prevent a calcium deficit in laying hens.
Since chickens have to consume two to three grams of calcium every day in order to be able to form eggshells, especially at night, a corresponding amount of lime, if not already included in the basic feed, is not a "can" but a "must".
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is often added to drinking water to a small extent as a gentle disinfectant. It is important to ensure that the water does not taste so strong that the chickens refuse it or consider it undrinkable.
Apple cider vinegar also works against intestinal parasites such as coccidia by slightly acidifying the gastrointestinal environment and thus making it uncomfortable for the parasites to spread.
Mealworms and other food insects
Anyone who has ever experienced it knows that the sight of a mealworm or a small cricket will make chickens like their ancestors, the dinosaurs, and fight like predators over the delicacies. In particular, chickens that have little free range and do not have access to free-living insects are happy to have a few mealworms on the menu as a change. Mealworms are also useful during chick rearing to train them to hunt for insects and to distract the chicks from each other. Since mealworms are not only rich in animal protein, but also rich in fat, they should only be fed sparingly. Mealworms should not be fed in the summer months, when the chickens can find a lot of feed of various kinds in the wild. Mealworms can be bought fresh as live food or dried as storage treats (then admittedly not for training purposes). Special feeder insect mailers are the right place to go, especially if you want to buy larger quantities. The pet shop offers small amounts of insects and worms between 40 and 100 grams.
Other insects that are easy to feed, such as wingless flies (terflys), pinkies (pink fly maggots), house crickets and terrors, are also available in pet shops. Basically, what is suitable for reptiles the size of bearded dragons can also be fed to the chickens.
Anyone who has a walnut tree in the garden can use it several times for the chickens. On the one hand, its foliage is ideal for bedding, but the fruits, the walnuts, can also serve as delicacies and occupation when cracked. The same applies to hazelnuts if the chickens still have to do some work of their own. Basically, the protein content of the domestic nut varieties is too low to be able to incorporate nuts as wholesome chicken food.
As a rule, the mills also produce bran, the best known wheat bran, as waste from the meal and flour production. It is rich in vitamin B and is also a digestive fiber. Wheat bran, which belongs to the group of carbohydrates, is therefore suitable for the calorie-reduced fortification of other, easily digestible carbohydrates such as potatoes. Wheat bran can also be used to add other high-calorie or very protein-rich feed.
Herbs and wild herbs
As we have known since the Middle Ages, many herbs and wild herbs have medicinal value that should not be underestimated. They can be served as an addition to the first scrambled eggs, brewed as tea or as an additive for colds or against endoparasites. As a fodder herb you should always have some nettles and oregano in your garden as a chicken farmer. Stinging nettles are naturally rich in protein and can be used as a vitamin-rich supplement to the diet, oregano is beneficial for parasite infestation (worms and coccidia).
Protein in winter - it's a must
Especially when there is hardly any animal protein in the form of insects to be found outside, the chickens are dependent on good gifts from their keepers, as long as they do not receive laying meal or other complete feed that contains a balanced nutrient composition.
Protein-rich feed, which is a good source of amides, can be found in germinated grain and sprouts, in germinating legumes and finally also in quark, which should be added to the moist food.
Otherwise given as a treat, it is essential in winter to provide the chickens with adequate nutrient intake, as the time it takes to eat feed is also significantly reduced due to the shorter day length.
There are phases in a chicken's life when the need for nutrients, especially the need for trace elements and vitamins, is significantly increased. In autumn, when the moulting begins - even if it is only partially moulting - the chickens need more nutrients to develop new plumage. Also, when the hens get happy and breed, they ingest less, the more important it is that what they eat is of good quality.
For these situations there are special dietary supplements that can be added as a cure.
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