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Feed advice

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by pennypenny, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. pennypenny

    pennypenny Out Of The Brooder

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    We are first timers and our girls are 3.5 weeks old. I have a bit of chick starter left and want to know what to go to next and at what age? Can they have mealworms yet as a treat?
    Also, for the long term, what feed do you recommend? They will not be free range because I can't trust my dog with them. We have 6 girls and I would like feed that promotes laying. I am not opposed to making my own either. What ever is best for them and most cost efficient. I do plan to feed scraps and mealworms too.
    Please remember I am a rookie, so don't use too many big words ;)
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    FIRST OF ALL IN SMALL WORDS [​IMG] And now for the big ones =D=D=D Use starter feed or all flock feed until they start to lay. At that time you can switch to layer feed. If you have a mix of layers and non layers, I suggest using all flock and provide oyster shell on the side. Reason for oyster shells is to provide the needed calcium for egg shell production. If all your hens are laying, then easiest way out is layer feed. It has the needed 4% calcium in it. All flock may have less than 2% and starter feed usually has about 2%. These values may vary slightly from one feed producer to another. Layer feed does not require you to provide grit. But if you do give them anything else, like seeds or other food, then grit is needed for your chickens to grind their food. You said they would not be free range. Oysters shells would provide the grit needs. You can give them other forms of grit on the side. Course gravel sand is an option.
    WISHING YOU BEST
    [​IMG]
     
  3. pennypenny

    pennypenny Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you CaveManRich! I hope they will all be layers ;) So there is no need to give them grit while on starter food, correct? I picked up a bag to start at 4 weeks old, but it sounds like it is not nessesary unless I supplement with another type of feed?
    Can they have mealworms at 3 weeks old? If yes, should I offer oyster shells/grit with it?
    Lastly, is there a lists of table scraps or fruits/veggies that are not good for chickens?
     
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    I'll give you a easy, intermediate, and a more complex way of feeding them.

    Easy way --
    Feed them a good non-medicated chick starter or starter/grower from chick to death.
    When your birds start laying offer oyster shells in a bowl.

    Intermediate way [1] --
    Feed a good chick starter or starter/grower from chick until they are laying. When the hens are laying switch them to a layer type feed and offer oyster shells in a bowl.

    *Note* When the hens start to stop laying do to season, molt, age, illness, etc. or you have chicks or roosters around the hens you need to remove the layer feed and replace it with a non-medicated chick starter, starter/grower or all flock feed.

    Intermediate way [2] --
    Feed a good chick starter until they are 12 weeks of age then switch them to a all flock feed. When they start to lay offer oyster shells in a bowl.

    Complex way --
    Feed a good chick starter from chick until they are at about 12 weeks of age then switch them to a grower type feed, when they start to lay switch them yet again to a layer type feed.

    *Note* When the hens start to stop laying do to season, molt, age, illness, etc. or you have chicks or roosters around the hens you need to remove the layer feed and replace it with a non-medicated chick starter, starter/grower, or all flock feed.

    If your feeding any type of treat you will also need to provide some form of grit.
    Also you should be providing oyster shells to all laying fowl even when they are on a layer type feed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  5. pennypenny

    pennypenny Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you Chris09! Do you have a favorite brand of feed?
     
  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    I don't really have a "favorite" brand but I do like feeds with animal proteins and products in it.
    Purina Wildlife Game Bird feed is good, Mazuri, Buckeye Nutrition is good, Kent feed is also good
     
  7. pennypenny

    pennypenny Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the great recommendations! Would those be grower feeds or layer feeds?
     
  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    The feed mfg.'s that I posted make a good range of feeds it doesn't matter witch one you get.
     
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I would add that feed changes should be mad gradually, not overnight. Get the next feed type, and mix it in the feeder with the original feed, so it takes a few days to change over. Mary
     

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