Petco and Canidae have joined forces to test Kibble Refill Stations at various stores throughout Southern California, which provide refills on reusable bags of Canidae Kibble to reduce plastic waste.
When selecting commercial feed, ensure it contains protein sources with high levels of corn and soybean meal as the prime proteins; fish meal is another great source of high-quality proteins as well as calcium and phosphorous.
When purchasing chicken feed, there are various factors to take into account. There are the usual starter, grower, finisher and layer options as well as organic, soy-free and corn-free varieties; as well as more exotic choices like soy-free options or those without fat content for energy purposes derived from grains or soybean meal. Most feed dealers carry organic and soy-free feeds; you may need to do your research online or call around in your area before finding them.
Pelled commercial rations provide complete and balanced diets for birds in confinement or free range environments, including corn for energy, soybean meal for protein and vitamins and minerals, plus additional elements like antibiotics to promote health and enhance growth, coccidiostats to control coccidiosis and mold inhibitors.
Petco now offers a soy-free version of their WholeHearted chicken food, designed to meet AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards and containing proteins, vitamins, and minerals in addition to DHA for cognitive development, probiotics for digestion ease and omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat health.
Scratch is a tasty treat that should only be fed in small quantities to chickens as treats, not as their main diet. Because it lacks protein content of regular layer feed, too much scratch may lead to protein deficiency if fed too frequently; furthermore, excessive scratch can increase pest infestations by inviting rodents and other predators.
Scratch is high in carbohydrates that quickly turn to fat, making it an unhealthy choice for chickens and best used as an occasional treat in addition to well-balanced layer feed. Incorporating this treat only at 10% or below of their daily nutritional needs. In extreme colder weather, excessive scratch feedings could generate too many calories and create excess body heat resulting in overheating that could harm them; also leftover scraps may become wet or moldy and attract vermin into your coop, making keeping it clean more challenging!