Feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KDOGG331, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. jlashaw

    jlashaw Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm not sure why they put that on the label. In my opinion, it's there so that people don't feed their birds an unbalanced diet, which would result in vitamin deficiencies, then the hens won't lay eggs. The same thing happens when people feed their chickens too many table scraps. They fill up on snacks, then don't eat their layer feed. I feed oyster shell because it's rich in calcium and makes the egg shells nice and hard. I have a few older girls and when they lay, the eggs break just by hitting the soft nest. So, after feeding oyster shells, they don't break anymore. You will learn as you go. Just keep asking BYC ppl!! You're doing the right thing by researching. Just make sure you have a proper setup for your chicks. Brooder box, light, feeders, etc... Research what kind of bedding to use and so on. What breed of chicks are you getting? Oh and make sure to dip their beeks in sugar water when they arrive!! It's so exciting getting new babies [​IMG]
     
  2. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    That makes a lot of sense, thanks for the info. :) I will definitely keep researching ad asking! I've been on here off and on since 2008 but these are our first birds and i've learned so much already. I'll dip their water. :)

    We are getting 2 each of barred rock, buff orpington, black australorp, easter egger and then 1 free mystery chick. all female from Meyer :)
     
  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Just went to our local place, Morrisons Home and Garden (an Agway) and got all the supplies. :D

    Got chick starter, feeders, waterer, pine shavings, and grit. Also dog treats. :p the guy had said they don't need grit that little and mentioned oyster shells once they start laying but when he left I grabbed it because I thought I'd read they did but I later remembered that what I'd read actually said if they're just getting chick food they don't need it and the grit is a little bit later once you start giving them treats and things. Ah well. Lol

    Anyway, only thing we need now is the actual brooder and either a heating pad or a clasp for the heat lamp depending on the method I use.

    Also marbles for the waterer so they don't drown. I'M JUST SO EXCITED. It's so soon already

    Oh and we also got 2 huge, really nice pumpkins.
     
  4. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    I think I will probably go with a different food once they get older though but for now this is good. I'll post a picture and then make a new thread for the other supplies
     
  5. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    [​IMG]

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  6. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens seem to like the Scratch and Peck layer pretty well. They did not want to eat Purina, but, they do like Purina's medicated grower that I feed to chicks.
     
  7. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Thanks for the tip. :) I might need to look into the scratch and feed one.once they're older
     
  8. jlashaw

    jlashaw Out Of The Brooder

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    I have two Americaunas and one Easter Egger, 6 black Australorp + black Australorp rooster. Love my blacks. They are such nice chickens. Even my rooster. My girls only take a day off from laying every now and then. Back to the feed, I feed what my brother in law grows and actually grinds or rolls for the chickens. It's nice to be able too see what they are eating. Green peas, yellow peas, wheat. Sometimes lentils. Depends on what I ask for. I do like the brand Nutrena though. Especially when the chickens molt, I give them the "Feather Fixer"
     
  9. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    They seem like awesome birds and if I ever get a roo, which won't be anytime soon, I think it will probably be an Australorp or Orpington just because they seem like such nice birds. But wow, that's so awesome that you're able to make it fresh like that. :) and oh, I think Nutrena was actually the brand I was thinking of. I saw an ad for the nature best thing here which is how I found it but then I couldn't remember the name but saw another ad for it today and now this post so thank you. :) I may start using that after I run out of the Agway stuff. I didn't realize they were the ones that made Feather Fixer though, that's cool. Been hearing about that one some today, I think I read it in the molting forum
     
  10. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

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    What he said on the price [​IMG] I can not imagine paying $30 for 40 pound of chicken feed. You can put your general location in your signature and MAYBE someone will know if there is a local feed mill. I buy local, Poulin Grains, 2 towns north of me. The price changes every time I buy but it is always in the $11 to $15/50 pound range. I guess it just depends on the price of the ingredients they use. Scratch is similar price, it should not be more than 10% of their diet. But they love it, some people refer to it as "chicken crack". Mine also love Black Oil Sunflower Seed (BOSS). But it is EXPENSIVE! Well more than double what feed costs. But they don't get much, maybe 1/4 - 1/3 cup each morning to share for 16 chickens. You can train your chickens to com when called if you train them to this sort of treat. Some people feed meal worms to their chickens but I've not tried that (they are spoiled enough already) and they are expensive unless you raise them yourself.

    Also, chickens are naturally anything BUT vegetarian. They eat bugs, they eat grubs, they eat worms, they eat earwigs. Give them almost anything that isn't spoiled from your kitchen. They can not chew (scares as hen's teeth you know [​IMG]) so whatever it is has to be sized to swallow or that they can peck apart. My wife doesn't eat the fat on meat, but the chickens love it. Bacon grease that has solidified? They are on it like white on rice (don't feed too much rice, it is actually not a very good food source for chickens OR people). If you have corn on the cob, give the cob to the chickens, they will make sure nothing is left on it. Mine don't care for lettuce or carrots or cucumber peel, but they love the rest of the cucumber. And apples, actually pretty much any fruit. Figure out what they like by giving them everything. Chickens living on a solely commercial feed lay eggs with pale yolks just like factory farm chickens. Chickens fed a varied diet lay eggs with much more yellow/orange yolks.

    That last bit is probably because they are loading up their feed with calcium. I personally would NOT buy it. However it works, chickens seem to know EVERYTHING they need to know (other than they can not hatch non fertile, or plastic eggs nor can they hatch pine shavings). When they are ready to start laying (anywhere from 16 weeks to 6 month or more) you will know: their combs and wattles get bigger and redder and their face around the eyes will get redder. They will probably start to squat if you put your hand over their backs), put the oyster shell in a separate container attached to the wall high enough up they don't scratch too much of the bedding into it (they can fling the stuff FAR!) They will eat it when they need it and (you can see when they need more), just like they will eat grit (also in a separate container) or find grit sized stones on the ground when they need it. Don't put these in their feeder, they will likely just toss it out when picking out the food unless they need it in which case they will stop by the oyster shell container as often as they like.
     

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