What Do You Feed Seramas?
The first question we are asked when someone gets a Serama from us is what to feed them. I say ‘Good for you!’ That’s a smart question to ask. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are Serama owners. Below I am going to tell you what we feed and why.
So chickens are omnivores, right? If left to their own devices they will eat just about anything from small mammals to insects to plants and grains. Because we here at Reflections Farm house our Seramas indoors they don’t have the option to forage for their food.
We feed a commercially prepared feed. We look for the highest quality feed that is available in our area. How do we decide what will be the best feed for our needs?
*First we read the Guaranteed Analysis posted on every bag. That tells us the percentage of some basic nutrients such as protein, calcium, phosphorus, fat, fiber and other nutrients.
*Second we read the entire ingredient list. One of the most important things we are looking for is the added vitamins AD&E. These vitamins are critical for healthy birds that are not outside free ranging. Lack of sufficient ADE may have a profound effect on the vigor of your birds effecting everything from feather quality to breeding success to the survivability of chicks.
*Third we look at the manufactur date of this bag of feed. I would like to always be able to buy feed that is just 2 or 3 weeks old when I get it but that isn’t always possible. By the time a bag gets to be 3 or 4 months old, and depending on how it has been stored those important vitamins may be seriously degrading. We have found that stores that have very active feed sales tend to have fresher feed as they are constantly restocking.
Here in central Oklahoma we have found that Nutrena Naturwise products fit our needs the best. Our chicks get Nutrena Naturwise Chick Starter/Grower. Birds over 4 months old get Nutrena Naturewise Meat Bird for the slightly higher protein. The birds on Meat Bird get a SMALL amount of Kickin Chicken mixed in (read directions and don’t over feed. More is not always better).
We do make Oyster Shell available free choice to all egg laying females for added calcium. Not all eat it but most do. The males tend to ignore it which is good since excess calcium can cause death in a male.
Some random thoughts are:
Trying to save money by buying cheap feed products may cost you money in the long run from loss of health & vigor in birds.
Unless you are a poultry nutritionist mixing your own feeds or adding a lot of supplements may give your birds a very unbalanced diet.
Due to Serama’s small size we feed crumbles rather than pellets. Chicks up to about 3 weeks old have their crumbles ground very fine with a coffee grinder. This is the basics of our poultry feeding program and our outside egg layers get basically the same diet.
Happy Serama raising!
City Chicks at Reflections Farm & Silkied Serama at Reflections Farm