Electrolytes and Probiotics and Apple Cider Vinegar

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by RedLadies, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. RedLadies

    RedLadies Hatching

    Jul 28, 2014
    Central Florida
    I'm still new at chicken raising and want to be sure I'm doing the right things...

    First some background:
    I have 2 "sets" of chickens. The first set (6 red-variety) I got from TSC on March 1st and estimated them at 4 days old. The second set (2 hatched on June 2nd by a co-worker's son) were adopted on June 21st.

    The 6 Red pullets (aka, Reds) are 23 weeks old and are all laying eggs daily now - one has been laying for 5 weeks already. They get Layer crumbles and forage daily, and I give them various treats (watermelon, grapes, carrot tops, berries, etc) and egg shells a few times a week when I'm putting them into their hen house in the evenings. They have an automatic waterer that we just installed a couple weekends ago.

    The 2 EE pullets (from what the more experienced folks on this forum have told me - THANK YOU!) are now 9 weeks old and are referred to as the Chicklets. They get Grower/Starter crumbles and forage daily, and they too get various treats a few times a week. I still give the Chicklets electrolytes and probiotics in their waterer, but I'm wondering for how much longer...

    I have the 2 sets separated until the Chicklets are larger, although I did some supervised integration a few times this past weekend.

    So, here are my questions...
    How long should I give chickens the electrolytes and probiotics? Should I still be mixing it into the automatic waterer for the Reds, or are they old enough to just have plain water? Should I supplement Apple Cider Vinegar into any of the water? Should the Reds get egg shells daily?

    Thank you all for your input, advice, and guidance.

  2. hxgumdrop

    hxgumdrop Chirping

    Jul 29, 2013
    Bristol, England
    I wouldn't personally advise egg shells as this can cause them to eat the eggs they have laid. I give mine chicken grit that has oyster shell mixed in.
    I have a flock of a mixture of ages and I put apple vinegar into their water once a week, daily if they catch a cold

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