Feeding Backyard Chooks
LOTL loves chooks!
There is so much to love about chooks. They are great pets, recycle scraps, create compost and give us delicious eggs. No wonder they have become such a popular pet. Here are a few tips to ensure your lovely feathered ladies produce regular, hard shelled eggs with rich orange yolks.
Chickens need plenty of cool, fresh water. In summer their water requirements can be up to half a litre of water per chook per day. Water is required to help digestion and nutrient absorption necessary for producing eggs.
One of the best things about chooks is that they can recycle your kitchen scraps. However scraps are not a sufficient diet for growing and laying birds. Chickens need high amounts of protein to produce your breakfast omelette. Laying hens should be fed an appropriate layer feed with high protein.
For thick shells that won’t break your chickens need a sufficient supply of calcium. Again a good layer diet may provide this or you may need to supplement with shell grit. Hens that have a low calcium diet will start to produce weak eggshells and develop brittle bones.
Chooks also need their greens to promote luscious orange yolks. Let them out to eat grass and give them a few handfuls of home grown greens. Most green grocers are also more than happy to supply fresh scraps for chooks. Free-ranging chickens will additionally find lots of insects and worms that are a great source of proteins and vitamins.
So feed your chooks a good diet and you will be rewarded with gorgeous free-range eggs. Happy egg collecting!
Dr Aish Ryan is a veterinarian, pet owner and pet lover. She runs Vets at Home mobile veterinary clinic in Melbourne. She loves her job and making vet care easier for pets and their owners. Preventative care is a strong focus of her visits and house calls give her more time to get to know her patients and their owners. She combines western medicine with acupuncture, tui na massage, food therapy and lifestyle advice for optimum care.
Dr Aish shares her life with 3 fur babies, 1 dog and 2 cats. Her day doesn’t feel like it has started until her dog has been walked. At night she turns quietly on the bed so she doesn’t wake the cat. She thinks we can all learn a lot about the important things in life from our pets.