BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Managing Your Flock › What do you feed your 3-4 month old chickens?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What do you feed your 3-4 month old chickens?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I have a question regarding what  and when to feed them other things other than the store bought "layer" feed.  My girls are about 3 1/2 months old and curious as to when I can feed them other things.  I was giving them a worm here and there as I was gardening the woman at the feed store said I probably shouldn't yet.  They just started on Layer feed and sometimes I throw in their cracked wheat and grit. 

 

My question is when can I start giving them extra things?  For example I have some spinach that bolted so I was thinking of giving it to the chickens?   What does everyone feed their chickens at this age? 

 

Thanks so much! :)

post #2 of 24

They still seem a bit young for layer feed. If they aren't laying eggs yet they should still be on grower or starter/grower feed.

 

Did the lady say why not to give them worms? That seems kinda odd to me for her to say that because as soon as a chick goes out for the first time, any bug they see could become a meal. There's really no way to stop them from eating what they find so why not toss them some? I mean by now yours are outside somewhere right?

 

As for the veggie scraps- go for it! Just don't be to dissapointed if they turn their beaks up at what you offer. Sometimes it takes them a little while to go for something and then sometimes they just flat out don't like it. It's fun to try new things though and see what they will and won't eat. With my first batch I had to cut everything up pretty small and serve it on a plate for a long time. If I just threw it on the ground whole they wouldn't touch it. Thankfully, they got past that and became "normal" chickens who eat what's tossed in the run. A true favorite that is in season right now is corn on the cob. That one you can just throw in the whole ear and they will pick it clean. It was the one exception to the small bites on a plate rule with my bunch.

post #3 of 24
My chickens are 2-3 months old. I've read on this site that I should wait until they actually start laying to feed laying pellets. The extra calcium can cause liver damage. I did hang a head of romaine lettuce in the run the other day. I tore off a few pieces and gave some to the bolder ones in the flock. A couple hours later they had devoured the lettuce! There were only a few stray pieces in the floor, so I know they ate it, rather than just tearing it up. I also give them any bugs that I can catch.
LGDs: 2 chihuahuas (LOL), one SAB. Flock: 3 LH, 4 RIR, 5 BA, 6 BO, 4 BSL,1 BB, 2 EE, 1 JBG, 1 ? Hen, good layer but don't know the breed/mix, 1 turkey
"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."
Proverbs 16:3
Reply
LGDs: 2 chihuahuas (LOL), one SAB. Flock: 3 LH, 4 RIR, 5 BA, 6 BO, 4 BSL,1 BB, 2 EE, 1 JBG, 1 ? Hen, good layer but don't know the breed/mix, 1 turkey
"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."
Proverbs 16:3
Reply
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

The woman said they may choke but the have been outside for awhile and I'm sure have found bugs like you said.  I'm glad I asked!  The guy at the feed store said to start them on layer food now.  I still have grower food left and after reading your responses, I'll keep them on it until they start laying. 

 

Thanks so much for the responses. 

post #5 of 24

Good grief how big are the worms where you live?! ep.gif

 

I can't imagine a chick that age choking on worms. Even if you do have some super sized anaconda worms, I bet they could peck it down to size and be just fine. wink.png

 

Honestly, between the choking on worms comment and the switch 'em to layer feed before they're laying comment, I gotta wonder what in the world your feed store folks are doing with their own chickens.

 

Also, as long as your birds have access to dirt, you really don't have to provide grit. They pick up plenty of dirt,  little pebbles and grit like stuff just by pecking the ground. But, if your birds seem to be using it, then by all means keep it available for them.

 

Did you try the spinach by the way? If so how did they like it?

post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 

It's funny you say that because this same store talked us into buying a fence that had 2 x 4 square holes for the run.  They guy said "oh yeah that is fine I use it and have no problems, it'll keep out the unwanted predators". Meanwhile $200.00 later our neighbor comes over and said he used that same fence and a mink got into his. So back to the store we went and got chicken wire to re-enforce it, every inch. NOW, that I am a part of this forum I'm nervous about that too!  :)  I will invest in hardware cloth at least put around the bottom portion of the coop and run. My husband feels pretty good about the chicken wire on top of the other stuff.  I want to go back and say you owe me 200 bucks.  At least I now have a resource to come to find out information through this site. :)

 

Our worms are normal size lol.  you are right too they kind of pull them apart and get them to the size they like.  I found it so funny to watch one grab it and the others chase her around for it. 

 

They ate the spinach too and loved it!  I cut it up in bite size for them and they ate all of it.  :)

post #7 of 24
Ditto on the spinach, TexasLea! Mine loved it. The first time I hung the romaine lettuce in the run they acted like they were afraid of it. Yesterday they started attacking it before I even got it hung in place.
LGDs: 2 chihuahuas (LOL), one SAB. Flock: 3 LH, 4 RIR, 5 BA, 6 BO, 4 BSL,1 BB, 2 EE, 1 JBG, 1 ? Hen, good layer but don't know the breed/mix, 1 turkey
"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."
Proverbs 16:3
Reply
LGDs: 2 chihuahuas (LOL), one SAB. Flock: 3 LH, 4 RIR, 5 BA, 6 BO, 4 BSL,1 BB, 2 EE, 1 JBG, 1 ? Hen, good layer but don't know the breed/mix, 1 turkey
"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."
Proverbs 16:3
Reply
post #8 of 24

I bet that your husband is right, the double layer of the 2x4 wire and the chicken wire will be fine for keeping your chickens safe. But, you could certainly add another layer of chicken wire if you want. My run is actually 2 layers of chicken wire, staggered so that the holes overlap.

 

I had a neighbor who just had a single layer chicken wire pen for her duck. We have alot of BIG raccoons around here and one night one reached through the wire and grabbed her sleeping duck by the throat. It killed it trying to pull it back through the wire. sad.png

So, I staggered the holes on mine so that nothing could reach through. It's kept the chickens safe for 5 years now so I'm knocking on wood that it continues.  

 

Congrat's on having spinach eaters!!!

post #9 of 24
Just reinterating wgat others have said: *No layer pellets/crumbles until they start laying (or very nearly) Starter, grower or flock raiser till then. *As for treats - feed them now! Just make sure your chickens have access to dirt/tiny stones or leave a bowl of grit in the run. *Don;t listen to anything your feedstore tells you LOL
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 

LOL no doubt on the listening to the feed store. :)

 

I was at a get together earlier and another person told me of weasels in the area getting someone's chickens.  I like the staggering chicken wire idea and going to do that.

 

Next I'll get a house alarm for the coop lol j/k. Although my husband wouldn't think I was joking as worried as I get about them. hahaha

 

Thanks for all the advice!! 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Managing Your Flock
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Managing Your Flock › What do you feed your 3-4 month old chickens?