Feeding Brand New 2 Month Old Barred Rocks (just ordered)

kdt_ntexas

In the Brooder
Jun 19, 2020
16
53
43
I am a complete know-nothing newbie here, I'll put that out there up front.

OK, so the chickens will be picked up in 2 weeks, I'm getting 10 hens and 1 male. My goal is eggs

I will have the coop and run finished by then. I have the watering situation figured out.

Now comes feed. I know I need food and I need grit (preferably granite), perhaps some oyster shell mixed in. So I have a twofold problem ... WHAT to feed and HOW to feed. FWIW, I want to go organic if possible.

My plan so far:

What to feed
  • Finisher feed for another 2 months, and then switch to layer feed (about 16 weeks)
  • Chick Grit, then switch to adult grit at 16 weeks
  • Crumbled Oyster shell
  • Dried mealworm treats

How to feed
  • Several "v-neck" DIY feeders from PVC, or commercial metal wall-hanging feeder (perhaps two to prevent bullying)
  • Separate bowl/bucket for grit and oyster
  • In all cases undercover/out of rain
Metal Chicken Feeder
Another Metal Chicken Feeder

DIY PVC:
diypvc.jpg
 

MrFluffyandGirls

Songster
Dec 30, 2018
668
1,652
171
SC, Low Country
I feed mine chick starter until they lay the first egg then I start them on layer feed. I do keep chick grit available since they may eat something that needs some grinding.
I would not offer oyster shells unless they are laying and need it but mine have never needed it; I assume they're get enough calcium from a well balanced layer feed and free ranging. That's the way I feed mine but everyone probably does it different for different reasons.

Your feeder plan looks good. Mine waste the heck out of gravity feeders and I have to feed mine on a daily basis due to moisture reasons. I live in the low country and its so humid with moisture that if I put that much feed in a tube it would get moldy in the tube or it gums up in the tube. But that's just my luck. Others have much success with gravity feeders and I'm jealous. 😆

Looks like your doing your homework ahead of time and those are going to be some lucky ducks, or shall I say Chickens!:lol:
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
11,804
21,839
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
Don't mix oyster shell in, it should be on the side for hens to take as needed. Don't crumble it either, ideally it should be in flakes as those bigger pieces take longer to break down in the body for better calcium absorption.

I wouldn't switch to layer at all (or maybe a 50/50 mix would work?) since you said you're getting a cockerel too.

Your grit schedule is off IMO. They outgrow most chick grit at around 6 weeks, maybe 8 weeks at most? After that I offer a 50/50 mix of pullet and layer grit, so birds can pick and choose the size that suits them. Bigger the grit, the longer it'll last in their gizzard.

grit2.png


As for HOW to feed, I did have a PVC feeder before and had mold issues (both inside the PVC and from birds billing out the feed and leaving it on the ground). If you can keep feed area completely dry that might not be as much of a problem in your set up.
 

CatsandCrops

Chirping
Apr 7, 2020
146
215
73
Cleveland, OH
We use the DIY PVC pipe feeders without issue. We have 3 inside our coop and they hold about 3 weeks worth of food (we typically go on vacation for 2 weeks in the summer so wanted to ensure someone watching them wouldn't have to refill it). We also have two smaller PVC pipe feeders; one holds grit the other holds oyster shells. Since they are inside the coop they are out of the weather and we haven't had any issues with mold etc.

Do you have two sources of water for them? I'm a nervous nelly when it comes to their food and water so we have a water station inside the coop and one out in the run as a back up
 

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