Feed for Game Chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by featheredplanets, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. featheredplanets

    featheredplanets Crowing

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    I was wondering if there’s a specific feed I should give my Modern Game bantams? They have chick crumb (18%). They just don’t seem to be doing great with the cold, I keep them in a pre fab style coop, run is protected in plastic, but I thought they may also need supplementing with something?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Great Horny Toads

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    All chickens generally need an adjustment time when temperatures begin to drop. It's normal. They may stay inside, shiver or huddle. Generally it takes around a week or so to them to acclimate to the new temperatures. Every drop may bring out the same behaviors.

    I believe your feed is fine. Your housing may not be adequate. Prefab coops often lack insulation, and good ventilation. Don't close them up too tight as that will increase moisture and cause it to feel more cold. If you are where it freezes you could use straw bales around the outside of the coop to provide additional insulation. If you aren't where it freezes than bales can become rodent infested.

    Also provide deeper bedding, and something to stand on out in the run to keep them off the ground. Hay, straw, or other bedding types.
     
  3. featheredplanets

    featheredplanets Crowing

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    Thank you. The plastic is wrapped so that there is 6” of mesh uncovered at the top and there are two run panels uncovered. They have straw on the run floor, thinking about hay instead. They don’t seem to like roost though? They have a flat roost but I’m not sure if that’s uncomfortable with the long legs, they tend to just sleep in a bundle.
     
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  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Great Horny Toads

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    How old are they?
     
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  5. featheredplanets

    featheredplanets Crowing

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    16/17 weeks
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    The modern game bantams will not be tough around cold for a variety of reasons. Yours currently are not quite in mature feathers which means they will get a little tougher. The long-legged goony bird look coupled with tight feathering and small size makes heat conservation for them tougher. Being cold delays interest in roosting up and off ground.

    You might also try using something like a log or branch so they can perch up together to conserve heat even during the day.

    Assuming they have free-choice access to grit, I would toss in modest amounts of black oil sunflower seed or even a wild bird feed mix so they can work around to find it.

    If I were to keep modern game bantams, I would keep them in a warmer environment that used for more typically proportioned or typical feathered chickens. It is easy to see the birds suffering cold stress at temperatures that are not yet cold enough to stress more typical chickens.
     
  7. featheredplanets

    featheredplanets Crowing

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    They have a hutch I can keep them in but I thought they’d appreciate their coop more because of the run. They have some perches in it and it’s bare mud with straw on top. But if they’d do better in the hutch I’ll ask my dad to move it into the chicken garden. I give them a wild bird mix (sunflower seeds, hearts, various grains) but they don’t really like it.
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Great Horny Toads

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    They are still just babies. Most will still pile at that age for warmth and comfort, so make sure they have a good thick bed. They should eventually roost, but I wouldn't push it. Keep them on that chick ration, and maybe give them a bit of cracked corn to scratch around for. Just toss a handful into the run once or twice a day.
     
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  9. featheredplanets

    featheredplanets Crowing

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    Okay thank you. Wasn’t too sure if it was normal or not because my Pekin roosts and she’s the same age and there’s not much info on them out there.
     
  10. DelaneyMGB25

    DelaneyMGB25 Songster

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    Hallo! Agreed with what’s been said, moderns in general don’t do very good in the cold. It’s good to keep them moving around though, and as said, a handful of bird feed or small treats will get them up and walking. Also, with bedding, under and around their roost area, make sure to clean up large piles of poop, especially where they huddle together on the ground. It will make the bedding wet, and colder. I use a litter box scoop to sift it out of my pens to keep my moderns warmer.
    Extra insulation is definitely necessary. The straw bales as mentioned above, or I use a blanket to cover the front of my pen to trap in heat, but still let airflow in. I highly recommend to not use a heat lamp. It might be the best way to warm your birds, but it can burn and dry their back feathers (which happened when I first had my birds), and without supervision there’s a chance it can catch fire if it were to be knocked by one of your birds.

    Feed wise, everything seems fine, as they are still babies. Once they start maturing into adults, I suggest switching over to a pellet, although there is nothing wrong with keeping them on crumbles.

    Good luck with your leggy Dinos! :plbb
     
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