Feeding my 12 1/2 week old chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TheChickenMan13, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. TheChickenMan13

    TheChickenMan13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey everyone any and all input on this would be awesome!

    I have 2 cinnamon queens or red stars people have called them. They are 12 1/2 weeks old and I am still feeding them chicken starter. At what age may I start introducing other food like sunflower seeds, marigolds and other healthy stuff. I posted a thread at 7 1/2 weeks asking about crushed oyster shell and everyone explained to me about calcium in younger chickens is bad/harmful, what ago can that be introduced as well. This all may seem a little dumb but I am newer to chickens and I think I'm having a "pre-egg laying attack". LOL If anyone knows what I mean by that. I can't hardly wait.

    -Randy
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    You can start introducing other foods right away; at 12 weeks of age, your chicks are plenty ready to try something new. Just make sure that you provide them with grit (small stones, sand, etc.) so that they can digest the food properly. Also, don't feed them too much other food, as they still require balanced nutrition.
     
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  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    You can start feeding them other food at any time. Just make sure that if feeding plants and seeds that you provide them with grit. Don't give too much of the treats/healthy food (you don't want them not eating their chicken feed).

    When you first give your chickens other food, they may not like it. After a while, they should get used to eating it.

    Oyster shell should be introduced when your birds start laying.

    Hope this helps!
     
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  4. TheChickenMan13

    TheChickenMan13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Great thanks guys! Any other suggestions for food?
     
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    When they are chicks, my birds like scrambled eggs, mealworms, and dandielion leaves. As they get older, they enjoy other foods as well, like lettuce leaves, tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumber, canteloupe, watermelon, pumpkin, scratch grains, sunflower seeds, bird seed, and bread. My chickens do not like carrots, swiss chard, spinach, bell peppers, or other harder, tougher foods, but you could still try them.
     
  6. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Good treats for chicks include dandelion leaves, tender lettuce, scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, and moistened chick feed. Older birds can eat less easy to eat foods (that require more strength to tear, etc.), including spinach, swiss chard, kale, apples, different melons and fruits, mealworms and other insects, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Like Wyandottes7 mentioned, they don't usually eat (or at least mine don't) hard foods, such as carrots, celery, or peppers. Pumpkin and other squash is enjoyed, as well.

    In the cold temperatures of winter, it is good to offer high calorie foods like scratch grains, black oil sunflower seeds, pumpkins seeds, and certain oils. Don't give too many of these, though, as you don't want your birds getting fat. And, during molting, high protein foods such as wet cat food will help them grow in their feathers faster.

    Some foods to avoid include salty foods, coffee, raw potatoes, chocolate, avocados, tomato plant leaves, and really sweet foods. Apple seeds in large quantities aren't good either, and nor are cherry pits.
     
  7. TheChickenMan13

    TheChickenMan13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Great! This is all helpful info guys! And as far as the crushed oyster shells.....? Not until they start to lay eggs right? Then I can start mixing it there food?
     
  8. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    When they start to lay, you can give them oyster shell. Mixing it into the food is fine, but I prefer to just put it in a seperate dish. This way, they can take as much as they need.
     
  9. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, don't give them crushed oyster shell until they start laying. Then offer it to them in a separate dish so they can eat as much as they need. Keep in mind, though, that as long as you are feeding them mostly layer feed, they probably won't need any extra calcium--commercial feed contains all of the nutrients necessary for an egg-laying hen. But it is still good to offer oyster shell, just in case they aren't getting enough.
     
  10. TheChickenMan13

    TheChickenMan13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Perfect! Thanks for being so helpful everyone! Is the only way I can feed them to be organic to feed them from my garden, or is there a company out there that makes a organic layer feed? I asked the "girl" ( she was younger and idk how much she knew about the topic) where I bought my feed from and she said there really isn't a commercial feed company that makes 100% organic chicken feed. Can anyone point me in the right direction? The whole purpose to my chickens are for a step tiward a healthier lifestyle for my wife and I. They free range in the yard all day with my hen house door open so they may go in and out for feed and water as they please.any suggestions? Thanks again everyone

    -randy
     

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