Feed?

LastDollarFarm

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 9, 2012
12
0
22
Glenburn, Maine
My wife and I are new to chickens. We restored a nice 8x10 coop and a 8x15 run fully enclosed. Last weekend we got 11 pullets. 3-Red Stars, 2- Brahmas, 2-Barred Roks, 2-R.I. Reds, and 2-Black Roks. All 9-12 weeks old.

We put the feeder with layer pellets in the coop with the idea of just keeping that full all the time.. We then spread out a combination of layer pellets, cracked corn and oyster shells on the ground every morning.

My concern seems to be that they are not feeding at the feeder in the coop at all. Is this because we are spreading feed on the ground? Should I move the feeder outside? Should I not spread the pellets on the ground with the cracked corn?

My children do feed them lots, and lots of worms, and grub they dig up in the woods every day after school.

The chickens seem to be very healthy and happy. Just being an overconcerned chicken owner. AQll feedback and suggestions welcome.
 

A.T. Hagan

Don't Panic
12 Years
Aug 13, 2007
5,379
211
303
North/Central Florida
All 9-12 weeks old. 

We put the feeder with layer pellets in the coop with the idea of just keeping that full all the time..  We then spread out a combination of layer pellets, cracked corn and oyster shells on the ground every morning.
This time you were right to be concerned. If the oldest of the birds is only twelve weeks old they are too young yet for layer feed.

What feed exactly they should be on at this point is partly a matter of what you can find in your area. You could simply keep them on chick starter (or starter/grower) until you find the first eggs or you could hunt up a grower feed. Failing any of that try to find a general-purpose poultry feed such as Purina Flock Raiser and put them on that until the first eggs come along.

Layer feed contains too much calcium for birds not yet laying and is a bit low in protein for birds still actively growing.

I'd cut out the oyster shell until they actually begin to lay, but don't worry about what you've already thrown down. Nor would I give them much corn other than maybe a half a handful per bird in the mornings to get them out and scratching. Keep them on their starter/grower/non-layer feed until you collect the first eggs then gradually transition them over to layer feed until all the old feed is gone. Bugs/worms/grubs are a great treat as is green feed (young, tender, green leafies, etc.).
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom