grass vs. feed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by affacat, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. affacat

    affacat Out Of The Brooder

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    We have 4 chicks that are about 10 weeks old. We're going to be starting them on developer feed pretty soon.

    Over the weekend, we let them hang out in their run (instead of brooder), and they obviously ate a lot of grass/bugs/whatever. As a result, they ate less feed.

    Now, you'd think this would be obvious... but it isn't. Is it preferable to keep these chicks eating feed formulated to be exactly what they need? Or is letting them out for 8 hours a day okay? I know, i know, before all this they always ate 'naturally'... but that doesn't necessarily make it -better- for them. Any ideas?

    NOTE -- we still leave feed and water out for them when they were outside, and they did munch some. but they munched on lots of yard, too.
     
  2. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Being on natural feed is good for them. I would always have feed available if they want it but you will have AWESOME eggs if they get to eat grass and bugs and stuff!! [​IMG]
     
  3. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    Quote:x2!!! [​IMG]
     
  4. LoreenH

    LoreenH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ours are out at least 8-10 hours a day and, like yours, have feed available too. They graze a lot, and eat other greenery (2 hosta plants have disappeared). I've been told they appear very healthy.

    Here are 5 of 6, they are 11 weeks in this pic; they are now 15 weeks and on grower/developer feed.
    [​IMG]

    Here's an updated pic of all 6 at 15 weeks.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  5. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm counting on that being good advice. My 12-week olds luuuuuv their grass, hostas and dandelion leaves.
     
  6. affacat

    affacat Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks so much! my wife just worries a bit about them (so do i!) and we wanted to make sure. she still gets worried when she see one pluck a too long piece of grass.

    now we can let them out all day and not worry. ty!
     
  7. LoreenH

    LoreenH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've noticed ours usually pluck about an inch at a time, on rare occasion it's longer but they slurp it down like spaghetti....LOL!
     
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Grass, bugs and whatever is good but I still have their feed available for them. They get a lot of nutrition from grass, bugs and whatever but do feed my birds until they lay the medicated feed. In medicated feed the medication is amprollium which helps in the chicks development in their resistance to cocci. It is sulfa based. I feed it to the birds until I get my first egg then I switch over to Layer. If I have any medicated feed left over when I get my first egg, I mix in the leftover feed with the Layer feed. There is only a problem eating the eggs layed by the birds that have had the medicated feed when they start to lay if you have any allergies to Sulfa.
     
  9. ajay

    ajay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our girls free range, but still go back often to eat their feed. All I know is I am loving the smaller food bill!
     
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    I agree they do eat less and my feed bill is smaller too.
     

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