Educate me

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TubbyChicken, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. TubbyChicken

    TubbyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    I've read so much I could practically recite proper chicken care, but I would really like to hear from BYC members who have experience!

    I plan on having about 10 chickens. (Not 100% on that number yet, it's very approximate) Most of them will be hens and pullets of various breeds who we hope will lay well.

    I've read so many conflicting things about what to feed. Ideally I'd like to find Organic feed but have yet to locate any. So what and how should I feed?

    Layer feed? Oyster shell mixed in or separate? How much DE should I mix into the feed?

    I'm putting my flock together from two separate flocks, would it be best to find a medicated feed to ensure they are all treated?

    (For the record, I'll be very careful about the birds from each flock, I am visiting the farms to make sure they are both kept in clean environments and that they all look healthy.)
  2. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    Even if they LOOK healthy DO quarantine them for 30 days before adding them together. That way you can be SURE everything is ok.

    How old are the flocks you are putting together? That will help answer the rest of your questions. Oyster shell should not be fed to chickens under 18 weeks. And medicated feed is not really needed in chicks that are 8 weeks old or older. It's just a prevention so they can still get cocci even if they are eating the medicated feed.
    Layer feed should be fed to hens about 18-20 weeks old and older...not to much calcium for chicks under 18 weeks. Hope this helped a little. I'm sure someone else will help you out too [​IMG] Good luck with your chickens!
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  3. EliteTempleton

    EliteTempleton Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2008
    SW MI
    I know what you mean, there sure is a thick cloud of myths around chickens.

    Lets see what have I sorted out over the last 4 months...

    Roosters are not required for eggs, this must be the most common myth ever. I've even had people who have had their own flock tell me that. [​IMG] I heard if you do have Roosters then you need one for every 20 hens, they said it was so precise of a number that if you had 21 hens things would not work, that one could be a myth.
    They are good for protecting the hens, but not required to have around.

    How do you plan to mix your flock? If they are not chicks when you do it you will need to take steps to ensure they all get along and don't kill each other. In your case though from what I read about it, sounds like your best option would be to get even numbers, then on the day you decide enough time has passed move them all into a brand new coop in the night, the stress of a new coop and waking up next to an equal number of noobs is said to have them get along very well and quickly. You can keep them separated for 30 days if you have that kind of land, time, and space for coops, personally I say if you trust your sources then just mix them all into the new coop after dark on the first night. Others will disagree with that though, and I am new to this chicken thing, but it's your choice. I only separated the new bird I brought in for like 2 days, they are all still doing fine.

    Layer Feed if they are old enough for it. You might be able to find a local mill that you can get feed from, it may not say organic on it, but it might be, if not its likely close.

    Oyster shell info I vote for separate, but depends on the age of your chickens, otherwise apparently you can get grit with calcium mixed in, which I would consider for older hens. I have the oyster shell(or I will when they come of age), the grit, and the feed in separate containers, all free choice. Did you know you can give them their egg shells back as feed for calcium?

    5% of their feed can be DE, says this site

    Put the waterer up on a small brick or something, or hang it, so its like 3" off the ground, depending on the age of them, otherwise you will be cleaning that thing daily! [​IMG]
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Providing layer feed when they are laying should mean that you don't need oyster shells.

    If the flock is of various ages and some pullets not laying - you can offer oyster shells and a feed like Purina's Flock Raiser.


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