Brand New Chicken Raiser With Food Question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by GhostChicken, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. GhostChicken

    GhostChicken Hatching

    Apr 23, 2008
    I'm guessing you get these types of questions all the time but I am a new chicken rearer...Basic story...Feed store had them in for Easter...irresistable little faces...brought two home. They have immaculate setups with everything they need. I've always made sure of that. We have an old 10 long x 6 wide x 5 high wooden well ventilated enclosure that was originally built as a reptile enclosure but never used and given to us, the "animal people." They're having a ball in there. They've always had a heat source and access to natural day and night cycles, about 8 inches of shaved pine for bedding, two separate feed troughs, no tap water, only spring,etc. When they are adults, the plan is to give them to a farm, as we are in the suburbs and aren't zoned for chickens, as much as I'd love to keep the little buggers.

    Anyway, my question concerns feed. The feed store has advised us to feed "Manna Pro Chick Starter: Medicated Complete Crumbles for Chicks" which we have been doing. They are now 6-7 weeks old and I am wondering, should we still keep feeding this food at this point and is there anything else we can add to it to make it more healthful/platable?

    Oh and one more...We were supposed to go to the feed store today to pick up new food, as they are completely out. Well, I am permanently ill, and just started a new medication which apparently causes EXTREME drowsiness as I slept right through the feed store hours. I feel awful letting the poor things go until tomorrow morning without any food. Is there anything I can feed them tonight until I can pick up their chicken feed tomorrow morning?

    Thanks in advance for putting up with the newbie! It is much appreciated, and I will post pics in just a few minutes here when I figure out how...That's another problem I have...They look completely different and I have NO idea what breeds they are! LOL! Take care!

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    If that cage is 10 feet by 6 feet by 5 high.. sounds like you can have yourself a pair of house chickens!!! (They do exist) The chick starter should be fine for them to continue eating, many "starters" are starter growers and meant to be fed up to egg laying age, which is about 16-20 weeks or so.

    I say keep them even if you aren't "zoned" for chickens. They are great! Get them used to the "dirt" outside and let them get a bit "dirty" because they will need to gain natural immunities to the stuff living in the soil. A chunk of dirt from the lawn would work out fine. Building up their immunities while still young is something you'll really want to do if you are going to be giving them to a farm, as you don't want their systems to get overloaded and then get sick because of it.

  3. ChickNLittle

    ChickNLittle Songster

    Mar 22, 2008
    Folkston, Georgia
    Chickens love table scraps. Just don't give them anything with onion or garlic. I guess that wouldn't even matter since they are not laying yet. [​IMG] If you have some plain bread crumbs that would be ok too. They also love veggies. [​IMG] Keep your chickens, your pen is way big enough. Especially is they are hens. Neighbors won't mind unless you have a rooster crowing at 5AM. Tehe! And then again, they may not even mind that. [​IMG]
  4. chcknrs

    chcknrs Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Kelso, WA
    In an emergency: yogurt, plain, processed oatmeal, yams-cooked, cooked rice, scrambled eggs, cat food, even dog food, but only for emergency and you may have to break it up some. I have an autoimmune disorder that the meds do that to me, so I know how you feel!
    Just make sure they have grit or can free range for grit. Table scraps work too, some people give cooked ground beef. Find what you have and what you would eat and try it. They usually won't eat what is bad/toxic for them.
    I try to plan ahead for food, in case I have a relapse. Now that I have gone mostly natural/organic I don't seem to have NEAR the problems. The more you go natural, the more you may find your problems lessen. JMO
  5. tvtaber

    tvtaber Songster

    Aug 2, 2007
    Central CA
    About that grit... grit is just little rocks birds eat to help grind their food up. There is appropriate grit in chick starter, making it an all in one food, but when you start feeding other food (soft lettuce, cooked rice, hard boiled egg, crushed cat food...) they will need a source of grit. Some sand from the yard, a chunk of sod turned upside down if your soil is not really fine, or some mixed rocky soil will do. Just put a frisbee or other dish in there with this stuff and they will scratch in it and find what they need. Pretty amazing actually!

    If those are both hens (may be too early to tell), I second the house chicken idea. For that matter, you could probably keep them in your yard in a dog kennel enclosure and no one would ever notice! I have five pygmy goats in my country yard but my neighbors (who can see them from their yards) still haven't noticed them. Folks just do not go outside and when they do are so focused on their chores or getting to the car, they never notice their neighborhoods!

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