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Chicken food consumption observation

Posted by on Tuesday 12 October 2010 in chickens | 2 comments

(Just a note to myself really – but if anyone has had a similar experience/any advice/thoughts, I’d love to hear about them.)

Our four girls get through 20kg of layers pellets a month. For the first few months, we got the same each month (Farmgate, I believe) then last month, we got some different stuff, from a different shop (“Golden Yolk” – not sure if that was the make). This month, they’ve moved onto a third sort (Crowthers) – from the same feed shop as the second one but more like the first ones in appearance.

The Golden Yolk pellets were green in colour, like the grass nuggets for feeding to sheep and goats at hands-on educational farms. I remember someone saying at some point in my chicken learnin’ that chlorophyll makes the yolks extra yellow, so that makes sense – food packed with green bits = golden yolk. In an “exactly what is says on the tin” manner, the yolks were very rich in colour – but the chickens ate considerably more per day (20g per day extra) than they did the previous stuff — and they pooped a lot more too.

(She’s alarmed because I’m talking about her poo on the internetz.)

I initially dismissed it as them eating more because it’s getting cold but now they’re switched back onto the non-green stuff, they seem to be eating a bit less again. It’ll be another few weeks before I know the exact figure that they’ve eaten each per day but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was back to the original amount or even perhaps lower. It’s not that I gave them more treats last month – in fact, properly less since less is coming out of the garden. I suspect the Golden Yolk stuff was bulked out by the green, and they needed more of it to get all the nutrients they need.

It’ll be very interesting though if they’ve eaten less per bird of this third variety than they did the first type – that’ll show me the difference between different lookalike pellets — and save us money in the future. In terms of cost per kilogram, the third type is the cheapest at around £0.31/kg, then the Golden Yolk stuff at £0.34/kg and finally the first stuff at £0.40/kg. The feed is so cheap that it only costs fractions of a penny more per egg but that mounts up – especially if we add to the laying team.

Anyone else noted differences in commercial food quality?

(Oh, and btw, automatic chicken pophole door? Best. Purchase. Ever.)


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  1. Jan (#2)

    We only ever use “Marriages” feed, which is good value but very much brown coloured and dull. Ours get all that they need in terms of grass from the garden, With all 3 of them they keep the place lawnmower free for much of the year, and 3 seem to be just the right number. Any more and they would probably rake the grass out. They do have an annoying habit of kicking out all the sticks and stones from what used to be called the flower beds, which plays havoc with the lawnmower.

  2. louisa

    We’ve been on Crowthers exclusively since I wrote that blog a 14 months ago – until today, when I had to get a bag of the Golden Yolk stuff again because the supplier was out of Crowthers — probably not a bad thing to get them more greenery at this time of year. The Crowthers is brown and dull but seems to be be a good balance of cost/quality.

    I wish we had a lawn for ours to play on – though they have the same sticks & stones habit as yours — they just kick the flowerbeds all over the patio instead ;)

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