Best feeds?

Beakz

In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 31, 2012
67
0
39
What feed is best for chickens under a year?? What about scraps and treats? I have 2 and also how often should bedding be changed? Thanks!!
 

Angelpoo

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 26, 2012
117
2
73
My chickens are on layer pellets as soon as they are big enough to swallow the food... After a week old I gave them scraps... Anything is great as long as its not chicken. I think you can give them fish but i don't provide them with any meet other run the worms they pick out of the ground :). Favs are bread, oats, and corn. They eat pretty much everything! The bedding really depends on what you think. Some people pile more bedding on as soon as it looks dirty and keep piling all through the winter to decompose and create heat in the winter. I on the other hand have had to help clean that out at the end of the winter and its like 15 pounds of puke eveey shovel full... If you only have 2 chickens though you might want to look into doing this if you don't have a heat lamp or a well insulated coop because they keep warm with the warmth from other birds. I tend to clean mine every month or two depending on how gross it gets. It really depends on the smell you can handle and so that its not wet with crap and just picture it as you. How clean would you like it... Keeping in mind that in the summer they are outside and in the winter they pretty much live in the coop. Sounds like your new so I will let you know that if you decide to let the chickens out to free range dark egg yolks are ok... It just means they have a good diet. You might have preditors get them... But unless they are sitting on eggs or have been eaten they will always find there way back home... No use chasing them around at night to get them in either if you can wait just before dark they will tuck themselves in and you just need to lock the coop up :) fresh water should always be available to keep from being sick if you have anymore questions please ask :)



Sincerely,
BeautifulJade
 

ChickensRDinos

Songster
7 Years
Aug 19, 2012
2,242
240
208
Los Angeles
I would highly recommend waiting to feed layer feed until your birds are actually laying eggs. (how old are they?) Laying feed does not help birds start laying it is for birds that ARE laying. Young birds that have no way to expel the excess calcium have calcium build up which can lead to long term health problems including kidney failure and egg production problems.

I would start your birds on a chick starter if you are getting them as babies. Medicated or not is up to you - I would read about it and make a choice for yourself. The chick starter has a higher protein that they need when they are very young. At about 8 weeks I switch to a grower or flock raiser feed. I keep a supply of oyster shell (for calcium) and grit, each in a separate container on the side. The chickens will only eat what they need.

If I have ALL laying hens I will switch to a layer feed. But, if you have young birds, old birds or rooster I would just stick with the grower with calcium on the side.

The BEST feed is really a personal choice. You can buy organic or non. You can buy soy or animal protein. Pellets, mash or crumbles (people usually prefer one of the others due to what is the least waste for them) See what is available locally and decide how you want to raise your birds.

I farm mealworms and have recently started growing my own fodder for snacks. I can send you info on either if you want. I also give some table scraps: veggies, meats, whole wheat breads and brown rice from time to time. I also give a handfull of corn based scratch daily.

I have 5 birds. I clean the poop board under their roost every day. With so little birds it is easy and fast. I use pine shavings in the nest boxes mixed with a little DE. There are lots of good options though. I clean out the nest whenever they look like they need it. Every few weeks or so.
 
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Chris09

Circle (M) Ranch
10 Years
Jun 1, 2009
10,999
598
328
Ohio
My chickens are on layer pellets as soon as they are big enough to swallow the food...
Why?

Layer feed is for fowl that are laying, by feeding non-laying fowl a layer type feed you are doing more harm than good.

Chris
 

Angelpoo

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 26, 2012
117
2
73
They should be laying but they stopped for the winter and it only has higher proteins and calcium for making eggs
 

Chris09

Circle (M) Ranch
10 Years
Jun 1, 2009
10,999
598
328
Ohio
They should be laying but they stopped for the winter and it only has higher proteins and calcium for making eggs

Here is your first post,


Quote:

Non-laying fowl should not be on layer feed.
Non-laying fowl includes Chick, Growing Birds, Roosters and Non-laying Hens.
The reason being that the high amount calcium in layer feed can damage the kidneys.

Chris
 

Jrb599

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 5, 2012
36
0
22
Raleigh, NC
Here is your first post,


Non-laying fowl should not be on layer feed.
Non-laying fowl includes Chick, Growing Birds, Roosters and Non-laying Hens.
The reason being that the high amount calcium in layer feed can damage the kidneys.

Chris
How do you give your chickens calcium? Do you put it in a bowl? How does a rooster not get it? What do you use for calcium?
 

Chris09

Circle (M) Ranch
10 Years
Jun 1, 2009
10,999
598
328
Ohio
How do you give your chickens calcium? Do you put it in a bowl? How does a rooster not get it? What do you use for calcium?
I offer a mixture of oyster shells and calcium carbonate in a bowl off to the side, the roosters don't tend to get in to the mix.

Chris
 

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