Feed / Newbie

dcs02d

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 15, 2010
48
0
32
I just about to go get my first three hens from a local farm. I need to buy some food. What feed do you guys recommend? Is it just as well to order online or should I head out to the local farm store?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,265
20,052
907
Southeast Louisiana
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Congratulations. Eggciting isn't it!!!!
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Depends on their age. If they are of laying age, get layer. This site gives some good information.

Oregon State Feeding Chickens
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/pnw/pnw477/#anchor1132074

I get mine from the local feed store. I am not certified organic so that might make a difference to you. Do you have any specific criteria that would cause you to mail order it? I think a vast majority of us get feed from the local feed store and most of the rest mix their own.
 

chicmom

Dances with Chickens
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
8,696
285
316
Strasburg Ohio
Hello!

The type of feed you buy really depends on the chicken's age. If they are little chicks, I use chick starter/grower. The brand I buy is what TSC sells, called Dumore. You can feed your chicks this food until they are 20 week old.

Now, if they are hens that are ready to begin laying, then you want 16% layer food, which gives their little bodies the nutrition they need to lay those wonderful eggs.

I buy Dumore, but you can get any brand, really. For laying hens, I like the pellet form instead of the crumbles because there is less waste.

Good luck with your chickens!

Sharon
 

flockof4

Songster
9 Years
Feb 10, 2010
272
5
119
Webster Groves, MO
I agree with the other posts. It seems that most feed stores have a chick starter/grower and then a layer feed. The difference being the % protein of the feed. It seems like the chicks need somewhere between 18-20% protein and then when they start laying it goes down to about 16% protein. Definitely check out that link to the OSU extension service and keep checking back here for different advice. Good luck.
 

JRchickchick

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 16, 2010
53
3
33
Eugene, OR
At the local store, Coastal, Purina has a little coupon page to get your new chicks off to a great start.

It's for Purina Start and Grow, and then for Purina Layena. Here they come in small and big bags, but $4 is nice savings!

If you go to:
www.betteranimals.com/newchick
and register your new chick, you get a $2 off coupon in the mail soon, and then another for their Purina Layena (for layers)
in a few months.
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dcs02d

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 15, 2010
48
0
32
Well I was planning to buy pullets. I want them feathered so they can go outside and I don't have to build any accommodations for chics.

Young hens I suppose. No plans to sell the eggs. I just want eggs that are good for me and my kids and hens that are fun for the two year old and 4 year old
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What is the best material for the nest and should I put something down on the floor of my hen house? The floor is removable and small so its easy to clean.

I'll google around but does someone know of a nice list of things that are bad for chickens to eat? I'll post it on the back door
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JRchickchick

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 16, 2010
53
3
33
Eugene, OR
Get yourself a nice book, like Chickens for Dummies. Plenty of great answers and good to have as a reference for the middle of the night when something has chomped on your chicken, or your chicken looks funny, and figuring out what to expect. I checked them out from the local library first and Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, and both are really good books.
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You'll need to give them some grit, and some calcium in the form of oyster shell for promoting good shell production. When you eat eggs, save the shells, crunch them up and feed back to them too. If you have cracked eggs, you can cook them up and feed them back to the chickens for good protein too.

You might cut a piece of scrap vinyl flooring to put down to help protect the floor, then pine shavings on the floor 3-4" or so, and toss some chicken scratch daily to get them to scratch in it and stir the bedding, to keep it from matting down, and forming a stinky matted mess. That will work in the nests too.
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