Feeding Growing Pullets?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Miss Sue, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. Miss Sue

    Miss Sue In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2007
    I have four chickens--two are about 6 weeks old, the others 8 weeks. They live in an Eglu coop and run, and seem to like it.

    Every night I enclose all of them in the coop portion and put in food and water inside the Eglu with them--and remove the food/water from the run so that it doesn't attract predators. Do the chickens need access to food and water at night?

    Also, what should the chicks be eating at this age? I give them the medicated starter right now. Plus, they love treats, which I give in very small amounts, like tomatoes, grapes, and watermelons.

    Thanks for all advice. We're loving having chickens, but I haven't kept one since the 9th grade biology class hatched egg (which turned into a hen!) came home with me many years ago.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2007
  2. Welcome!

    I’m a big scaredy-cat so always (24/7) give them access to food and water. Mine free range all day but even so I keep food/water for them up on the porch. It is so easy to keep a couple of extra feeders around.

    Do they have access to grit? I think they need it if they get treats.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2007
  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!!!

    I always leave the food inside the coop to protect it from the weather and I always leave the water outside the protect the coop itself from the moisture. I lock my chickens up at night when they go to roost to protect them from preditors and then let them out in the morning. They are thirsty in the mornings but once they've had a drink they're fine and they go in and out of the coop all day, even though they free range, to lay eggs and eat. I've done it this way for years without a problem.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2007
  4. Miss Sue

    Miss Sue In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2007
    Thanks for the welcome!

    I will get some grit at the feed store this week.

    At 6 & 8 weeks, are they old enough for the grower (vs. starter) food?

    The chicks spend a lot of time inside the coop, even in nice weather. I may start shutting it during the day (when I'm around) so that they're out and about more. Actually when it rained recently, they seemed to like being out in it.

  5. mac_chooks

    mac_chooks In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    I'm envious that you have an Eglu!

    Anyway, I was also wondering about the food containers being hung on the run and if that would draw raccoons or other animals. Do the food and water containers fit in the Eglu itself? Have you had trouble?
  6. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Maybe you can check the feed bag to be sure, or find the website of the feed manufacturer?

    The only kind I could find here was a starter/grower so I'm keeping mine on it until they get laying age. But I think I remember from reading when mine were babies that the first 2 weeks is supposed to be starter, then switch to grower?

  7. momoftwinsinwi

    momoftwinsinwi Songster

    May 29, 2007
    Rochester, WI
    I use Humour or Humor feed, can't remember exactly, TSC carries it and on the back of the bag it says to use chick starter til 10 wks old and then grower til I think 18 weeks?? and then layer feed. Hope this helps! [​IMG]
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I would at least always leave water down.

    You should be switching off starter by now and going to a pullet developer ration. You are also beyond where you need to be using medicated feed (which you can get by without honestly). A pullet developer has lower protein so that your layers don't grow too large, too quickly. That can cause them to start laying too soon, which has long term effects on their laying ability and longevity.

    I have never found a pullet developer in a feed store where I live. So I mix cracked corn into a all purpose ration to get the protein to 15% or 16%.
  9. allen wranch

    allen wranch Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    Until the birds are about 18 weeks old or laying, feed them starter or starter/grower. If your area doesn't have grower, keep giving them the starter until it is time for layer feed.

    Some people feed starter or grower for the life of their birds and just add oyster shell for the extra calcium when they start laying.

    It is best to have food and water available 24/7, but if you have a varmint problem, take up the feed at night.

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