The simple definition of broadcast feeding is throwing chicken feed on the ground! Before you lose interest, let me tell you the real advantages of feeding your birds this way!
You’ll have less pests!
For a few years now, I have totally stopped keeping my chicken feed in feeders. Feeders are convenient, but can attract a ton of unwanted mice and rats! (And the occasional opossum!) Leaving a huge amount of feed open to the public everyday-and night- is an open invitation to nasty pests.
My chickens are free range all day. They have access to water in the coop and in different places in the yard. There is only one spot where I feed them, and I broadcast feed them! If you feed only what they can eat in about 30minutes, you’ll have fed them enough. I like to do this twice a day in the same area, an area far from the coop and out in the open.
Broadcast feeding is easier on your wallet.
If you have a hanging chicken feeder, mice can still very easily jump onto the feed and have their way. This doesn’t seem like much, but soon they’ll tell their friends! These pests will not only be spreading disease, they will also be stealing from your wallet. Since I started broadcast feeding, or cutting back on available daily feed, my store bill was cut almost in half!
Always scatter your chickens’ treats onto clean ground. Preferably NOT on the floor of the coop if it is rarely cleaned. Tossing some off in a grassy area will have your hens humming!
It promotes natural foraging.
The more zoological definition of broadcast feeding would read something like, “the distribution of food that encourages natural and instinctual habits; a type of recreation that stimulates brain activity and overall well-being of the animal.”
Chickens were made to spend all day searching for food. They are meant to get out, exercise, and eat bits of grains, grass, and insects as they find them. Broadcast feeding encourages this natural desire to scratch.
Your chickens will have lots of fun looking for morsels and you’ll enjoy watching them! It’s an easy way to keep your flock entertained and help them bond to you as well!
The best broadcast feeds are whole corn,sunflower seeds, halved dried peas, whole oats, rolled oats, and freeze dried (or fresh) mealworms.