I am researching raising chickens. About to start building a coop. I have yet to find anywhere that tells me what the chickens eat as food, not as a treat or anything. Help? Also any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.
As a short and simple answer, if they are babies, then you need to feed them Chick Starter. If they are old enough to lay, you need to feed them layer pellet. Layer pellet comes in several different ranges of protein. Opinions differ on what percentage is best. But I buy anywhere from an 18% to a 22%. Depends on what my feed store has at the time. Hope this helps you!
I found this sometime ago for someone on here and thought it might help you out also.
What you could also do and it will eliminate the hassle of when to switch feeds is just feed them a good game bird feed that is right around 20% protein.
I and a lot of people have switched to a game bird feed and really like the results that it has on the birds and also not having to have 3 or 4 different types of feed sitting around for different ages of birds.
I just realized I have NO idea how much to feed. The way it looks is ill probably have 2-3 baby chicks. Most likely rhode island reds. How much should I feed while they are babies, and how many treats and when they are adults? Also when do they start laying?
I've always kept a full feeder in with them to eat when they want. I fill it each morning and clean out wood chips that they kick into it sporadically throughout the day. Recently I attended a seminar that said their treats should be no more than 10% of their diet to maintain appropriate nutrition.
More importantly make sure they have clean fresh water always available. Some people use nipple waterers (like a hamster bottle.) Others have the water container suspended from the ceiling of the coop or from the mesh of their outdoor run. Or raised on bricks or blocks of wood -- all these methods keep the water off the ground and less likely to get muddied or pooped in.
One thing you can do when they are somewhat bigger is to offer them a pan of shallow water -- they seem to like to walk through and cool their feet. Another cooling method is to fill plastic pop bottles with water and freeze them. Once frozen just lay them about the run area -- the hens will huddle around them to keep cool. If you have electricity available you can certainly suspend a fan over them.
Here in Ohio temperatures rarely reach 105 -- but the humidity is always 70% or more. Hot doesn't begin to cover it.
The very most important thing to know is that should you acquire more chicks from even the most pristine situation, the MUST be quarantined for 30 days prior to being introduced to your established flock. Nothing wipes out a flock faster than one lapse in judgement.
And so, do we get pictures when you get your chicks? We like pictures.