Hello from Texas! New chicken mom here :)

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by jhoffLVT, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. jhoffLVT

    jhoffLVT Out Of The Brooder

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    Good morning everyone!


    This is my first time raising hens, as I have had broilers for show, and apparently there is a huge difference in raising the two. Raising a large number of broilers at a time for meat & sale is a different process & feeding.

    We just have a small starter coop for now, says it will house 3-4 hens but obviously will only house two comfortably and we're OK with that! I just have a few questions, since I have read so much contradicting stuff on the internet. The hens will be cooped at night, with an attached secure run on bad weather days. However, most days will be free range from 1p-dark and of course on the weekends.

    1) Probiotics, yay or nay? Type and how often?

    2) Grit? I have seen this mentioned once somewhere but that was it so I wasn't sure if this was something I need to incorporate into their diet especially since they will be free range?

    3) Deworming, I've read pros and cons & being in this field, I'm aware of what type of parasites these guys can carry... I've read a lot on Wazine dewormer, but some sites say that if I use probiotics then I don't need to use a dewormer? I don't understand how probiotics can deworm anything, if that were the case people wouldn't treat their dogs and cats for intestinal parasites?? So things just aren't adding up about that...

    4) Type of feed I would like to stay away from Purina, as I know there are better quality feeds available. Are there recommendations for a more organic, non-GMO type feed??

    Since we are just getting two hens (for now!) I don't need anything in large scale, but do want to start these girls off on the right foot for egg production for my family.

    Thank you all for your help! I've been stalking this website for a few weeks trying to learn as much as I can!
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  2. Ashley Stroud

    Ashley Stroud Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to the flock and happy New Year!
    I lurked on here for a good while before jumping in, as many others have! It's a great bunch of folks and always willing to help or point you in the right direction :)

    I feed my girls Scratch n Peck brand feed--its organic and non-gmo verified and they have two options Soy-free (I think), and Corn&Soy-free. Not sure if it's sold in Texas, but maybe folks on your state's thread can answer better. Where am I? Where are you!
     
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Glad you decided to join us.

    IMO:

    I would not worm unless you detect worms. Some worm their flocks regularly, but I don't believe we should treat unless you know there is a problem and try to identify the pest for specific therapy.

    You should offer grit. They need it to digest plants and bugs. I don't know how you could be sure they find it foraging. I add some to their feed.

    I don't know about probiotics for chickens. They are quite safe for humans and for cats ( sold specifically for felines). But do not believe they will prevent intestinal parasites. If the chickens are healthy, it would seem a cost that is not necessary?

    Type of feed is a personal decision, determined by availability and cost. If you are committed to only non-GMO then research those available and find proof of the issue. GMO is a big issue to me, but from what I have read, cross pollination may obliterate our corn and wheat non-GMO sources.

    I envy those who free range, but the predators in my area are too numerous. Those who do free range know there will be loses. SInce you will have only 2 hens, loss of either or both would be devastating. Make sure you plan how to try to protect yours.

    Good luck. Hope this helps.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!
     
  5. JLBS

    JLBS Just Hatched

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    Welcome to BYC!

    I make my own chicken feed from grains. Here is the recipe I am currently using. It's adapted from a recipe I found online.
    4 cups Oat groats
    4 cups black oil sunflower seeds
    6 cups wheat
    2 cups millet
    2-4 cups corn
    1 cup buckwheat
    1 cup sesame seeds
    1 cup flax seeds
    1 cup quinoa
    1/2 cup nyjer thistle
    1 cup shelled (unsalted sunflower seeds)
    The recipe also calls for something called Brewers yeast (animal grade), and seaweed flakes.

    I also give them mealworms, fresh or dried.
    I give them all the bugs I find in my garden.
    They also love scraps from my garden like chopped carrot tops, radish tops, baby radishes, kale, etc...

    The very cool thing about making your own feed is that you can tell what they dislike and what they like and adjust the recipe for them.

    Offer grit even if they are free range. I give them clean crushed eggshells and even some crushed sea shells from the pet food store. It's supposed to give them calcium for good egg laying.

    For prbiotics and deworming, I am really not sure. I think if you have a lot of hens then you're more likely to need that type of thing. If one hen has worms or disease, they could pass it along and get the whole flock sick. I watch my birds carefully and I read a lot of posts here before proceeding with something I'm not sure of. I am out here in So Cal where people think owning chickens is strange so I use my friends here at BYC who know their stuff.

    Hope your new chickens are a blessing to you and that you have a great time raising them. God bless!
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Enjoy this wonderful new adventure you are on and if you have any questions, feel free to ask. Welcome to our flock!
     
  7. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

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    Welcome to BYC!!! There are loads of members on here…so if you have ANY questions…just ASK!!!

    Hope you have loads of fun and all your answers answered here on BYC the BEST CHICKEN KEEPING FORUM on EARTH!!

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  8. CrazyChookz

    CrazyChookz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello and [​IMG]. Have a happy 2015!
     
  9. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
     
  10. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.
     

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