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Chick starter

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have some left over medicated chick starter from the Spring this year. Is it OK to feed it to my adult birds? And do I have to feed grit or gravel to my free range birds? They have every chance to find it themselves in the yard and pastures. But the eggs seem to have very thin shells and break easily when I pick them up. Thank you for your help!
post #2 of 3

Because the feed is medicated, I would not recommend feeding that to laying hens.  In general, the feed has a shelf-life of about 6 to 8 months if kept in ideal conditions.  For the most part, ideal conditions don't exist in the "real world."  Always make sure that old feed isn't buggy or moldy or smells "off" before you feed it to animals.  This can cause big problems that isn't worth the few dollars you saved by using the feed.


You do not need to feed grit or gravel to those ranging birds.  They will find enough of that on their own.


Make sure the hens are getting enough calcium in their diet.  This is the most likely cause of thin-shelled eggs.  Provide a supply of oyster shell for these birds to supplement their diet.  Also, this could be an age-related issue.  Shells will get thinner as the egg gets larger.  Eggs get larger as the birds get bigger.  There is a finite amount of calcium that goes on each egg shell.  If the egg is small, the shell is nice and thick.  As that egg gets bigger, that calcium is spread out over a larger surface area, so the egg shell gets thinner.  This usually coincides with molting.  The birds may begin to molt and when they return to production after the molt, the shells will be stronger.  Molting provides a chance for the reproductive tract to take a break and rest.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your advice! Everything seems to be going good now, everybody is happy! EXCEPT
one of mySalmon Faverollers had a bad experience with a hawk and she has puncture on her chest and a cut on the back of her head. I washed it with warm soapy water and put peroxide on it and it finally quit bleeding! She is eating and drinking, but I do have her separated from the rest of the flock. Is there anything else I can do for her? I don't know what meds are good for injured chickens. I don't want to loose her, she has just started to lay nice big eggs. Any help will be greatly appreciated . Thanks. Oh, by the way, her name is Gladys!
Edited by Sissy ward - 2/19/16 at 6:45am
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