What Do Chickens Eat? 0 395

Chickens eating
What do chickens eat?
What do chickens eat?

When it comes to raising backyard chickens, there’s a big difference between what they should eat and what they will eat. Chickens are notorious scavengers and seem to enjoy nothing more than pecking their way through the dirt, eating just about anything that they come across.

Chickens will eat – or attempt to eat – just about anything that fits into its beak, ranging from fruit and vegetables to small insects and bugs. In the past, chickens on farms learned to get by on scraps from the other farm animals but this meager existence, while enough to sustain them, meant that the hens did not lay many eggs.

This brings us to our first item that chickens SHOULD eat. Commercially available hen pellets are small pellets specially formulated with minerals and proteins to replace the nutrients that are lost when hens lay eggs. These pellets can be brought in large volumes and should be made readily available to your chickens to eat as and when they need them.

When you look at your hens, you will see that they have a pouch where their throat is. This pouch should be full of food when the hen goes to sleep to allow for optimum production of eggs during the night.

Calcium is very important for chickens and, whilst there is some in commercial feeds, you should supplement it with ground up oyster shells. Your flock will also need grit to allow their gizzards to function and digest food properly.

Aside from these essential items, the rest is up to trial and error. A good idea is to chuck table scraps, vegetables and even garden weeds into the chicken’s enclosure. They will eat what they like and shred up what they don’t. If you are feeding your chickens enough pellet food, it is unlikely that they will ever overindulge on one item, but you should be careful about feeding them too many carbohydrates such as bread. If they eat too many carbs and not enough protein, they will become overweight.

As a rare treat for your birds, you can try sunflower seeds or meal worm, but make sure it is a rare treat and not an everyday occurrence. Overweight chickens do not produce good eggs. It is also worth mentioning that chickens love cracked corn as a snack. Although chickens love it and will thank you for it, it is best avoided. Cracked corn has no nutritional benefit and gives the chickens absolutely nothing aside from empty calories. If you must feed them some, do it in winter and only in extreme moderation.

Finally, many people will feel strongly about feeding chicken meat to their birds. Many people will state that it is wrong or causes health problems. There is no evidence to back this up, but the same can be said that there is also no evidence to suggest that chickens need meat to survive and prosper.

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How to train your budgie 0 1263

Training a budgie

Budgies are a great starter pet as they don’t take much money or time to set up their habitat, and are cheap to look after, only needing to be provided with daily food and water and the occasional new toy.

It’s important to have the correct sized cage for your bird, however, so they can stretch their wings and exercise, plus you’ll need to create a toilet area. A twelve by twelve by eighteen-inch cage is perfect for a single budgie, but you should increase the size for a pair or more. Ask your local breeder or veterinarian for advice. These sizes of cages are only suitable if your budgie is getting the right amount of exercise outside the cage. Read on to find out how you can do this.

Exercising your budgie

One of the best things about having a new budgie, especially a young one, is that you can train it. Here are some tricks you can teach your budgie to get the most fun for you and your new pet.

Ping pong

You can play ping pong with your budgie by rolling a ping pong ball towards it. If your budgie doesn’t roll it back, keep a treat in your hand so it gets the idea eventually.

Budgie tunnelling

Get your budgie to go through a short tunnel by tempting it with food, then increase the tunnel length. You can buy special connecting tunnels from pet shops to give your budgie an amazing adventure and plenty of exercise.

Budgie skateboarding

Yes, budgie skateboarding is real and it is great for both you and your budgie. It’s a great way to teach your budgie balancing techniques and to improve its spatial awareness. Sit your budgie on a mini skateboard from a pet shop with a treat so it gets used to it, and push it along gently. Repeat the process until the budgie can balance and skate.

Find out more about budgies and other pet birds

How to ensure your parrot lives a long and happy life 0 262

Happy pet parrot

Are you considering getting a parrot as a pet or have you recently made the great decision to get one? Today we are going to explain how to ensure your parrot lives a long, happy and fulfilled life.

When you decide to purchase a parrot as a pet you have to be aware that they can live for a very long time depending on the exact type and breed. Your new parrot from day one will become a huge part of your life and most definitely a part of the family.

Consider the size of the cage

The first thing you will probably think about when getting your parrot is its cage. This is going to be where your parrot spends most of its time, so it is essential that the cage isn’t too small. Your parrot will be happy within its cage but not if the cage is crammed and leaving it feeling hemmed in – it should definitely be big enough so that your new pet can fully stretch out its wings and have room either side. Cover the bottom of your cage with newspaper as it will get messy each day – this offers an affordable and quick way to change it over every day.

Where you place your cage is just as important. Do not place your cage in the kitchen as fumes are extremely bad for parrots. Do not place near a window or in direct sunlight. Look for a calm, quiet spot for your bird to enjoy.

Feeding your parrot

When feeding your parrot, you need to remember that they enjoy a varied diet including parrot pellets from your local pet shop and a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables. Parrots can be given various other foods, but it is important to check that they are safe first, as chocolate and avocado are not.

Letting your parrot out of its cage

You need to ensure you let your parrot out of its cage at least once a day, ensuring this is supervised. Parrots are extremely clever and should be stimulated to ensure they remain as happy as possible. Give them a selection of suitable toys and you can practice tricks with your new pet. Most importantly, look after your parrot and ensure it is loved and well cared for.

Learn more about caring for pet birds