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How do you 'serve' your chickens their extras??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dixiedoodle, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    How do you serve your chickens all the extras: Protein: mealyworms/earthworms, bugs? oyster shell--what do you use for the oyster shell--how is it fed--w/feed or free fed?? Dust baths (what do you use(ash, sand, DE, or nothing) and how is it 'served' for the chickens), food (what type of feeders do you use, the size and how many chickens does it 'serve'? water--what type of waterer do you use and how many do you have per # of chickens? And where do you place all these items??

    What other 'extras' do you use for your chickens--swings, extra roosts, toys etc, to keep your chickens happy and healthy
    I hope this makes sense. I am new to chickens and have all these ideas, but not sure if they are ok to use or if it really matters..Thank you for any and all help. Dixie
     
  2. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    I am reminded of when I first started and thought I would kill me girls within a week because I had no idea what I was doing. Now I know they are tough little things...

    Serving treats: Mine rush me everytime I go by expecting something yummy. I don't think you serve them as much as you try to keep from being mobbed. A clean dish will work if you don't feed it from your hands. No paper towels or paper plates because they will eat those too.
    Make sure the biggest part of their diet is the proper feed.
    Treats should be just that- treats.

    Waterers: You can never have too many. I've got 2 medium waterers in the coop and 10 birds and one big waterer in the run (about 30x 30) because chickens are too lazy to go inside for a drink. You could probably get away with less waterers as long as you keep them clean and up off the ground (They love to kick dirt in them)

    Dust Baths: Can't really help you here, mine just dig a hole in the yard and dust in the dirt.

    Toys: Chickens will always show their curiosity for an object in direct proportion to how badly you don't want them to touch it.
    So, a wet paintbrush will attract everybody, while a shiny thing you bring specifically for them to play with will be ignored by all.
    Someone told me chickens like dangly, sparkly things. My girls are terrified of anything like that.

    Oyster Shell & grit: Chuck a handful or so in the run and replenish when you can't see any left. Oyster shell goes in a seperate dish somewhere in the coop near the food if you have roosters and you can mix it with the food if you only have hens. They are like little surgeons about picking out what they want and leaving what they don't.

    Secure shelter is the other important thing they need. That and lots of your attention!
    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I have galvanized hanging feeders in the main hen house. I also have built in feed boxes in my barn. I keep feed in the hanging feeders. One set of built-ing has mixed grains, one has oystershell and one had grit. all of those things are avaiabl as needed to the chickens at all times. I top off everything every day or as needed.

    I sprinkle food grade DE in the coop more in summer than in winter. I also dust seasonally with sevin dust to control any suspecting mites or lice. So far I have never had an infestation.

    I also use galvanized waters. They get filled every other day. If the weather is super cold they are filled as needed.

    My barn has lots of roosts and nest boxes. I have electricity for a limited source of electric outlet and light as need for me not for the chickens.

    I do keep an old clock radio out there and turned on. It keeps them accustomed to the human voice and not so skittish.

    I use a deep litter with about 12 inchs or more deep of bedding topped with shavings with I turn over as needed. My chicken have been in this barn since last June and I can't foresee needing to cleaning it out any time soon. My barn was built in 1915 and is a commercial style facility. someone with a much smaller area will have to clean it out much more often.

    I have a pan in the hen house that I dump treats in.

    You really don't need anything special to raise chickens.
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I have a brick with a hole in it outside by a tree that I keep filled with oyster shell. Left overs and scraps just get dumped on the floor in another part of the outside area. They all free range and start to pace their coop door when they see the front door of the house open or when my car comes rolling past them on the way to the garage. They make their own holes in the dirt under an old building that has fine sand/dirt as it's foundation. There are some huge holes under there now since a couple dozen have been been dusting and walking away with a tablespoon of dirt every day for the past 10 years.

    Other than that, they don't get anything special. They free range without any fences so they can get into all kinds of mischief if they wanted. Their favorite sport is leaving surprises all over the side walk and making bets on what human will step on it.
     
  5. Wooden_Pony

    Wooden_Pony Chillin' With My Peeps

    How do you serve your chickens all the extras: Protein: mealyworms/earthworms, bugs?

    Crickets, mealworms I shake the cup and call them over they now know what the cricket cup looks and sounds like they come flying across the yard. Those I just dump on the ground gives them something to chase after. Well the crickets at least.
    Earthworms and bugs they do that on their own while freeranging.


    oyster shell--what do you use for the oyster shell--how is it fed--w/feed or free fed??

    They have a dog dish in their coop full it is a free feed.


    Dust baths (what do you use(ash, sand, DE, or nothing) and how is it 'served' for the chickens), food (what type of feeders do you use, the size and how many chickens does it 'serve'?

    Dust baths they find areas that they like to dust in all I do it toss some DE inthe dusting holes so that they dust themselves in it.
    Feeder is a Little Giant galvanized hanging feeder. I think it holds 5 lbs of food. It feeds all 6 of my girls for a few weeks but they run free all day plus get household scrapes.

    water--what type of waterer do you use and how many do you have per # of chickens? And where do you place all these items??

    Well they have a bucket in the coop that they hardly use. They like our dogs automatic waterer.
    Bucket of water and feeder are both in the coop.

    What other 'extras' do you use for your chickens--swings, extra roosts, toys etc, to keep your chickens happy and healthy

    They have a HUGE palystructure they love to sleep on the picnic table that is under it during the afternoon. They love the back door step to nap on. We have lots of fruit trees that they get to snack on during the growing seasons. They get to run free all day. [​IMG]
     
  6. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:[​IMG]

    Its funny cause its true.
     
  7. Kaneke

    Kaneke Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm new and I'm cheap

    I didn't like the look of the "chicken equipment" for sale on the island; galvanized usually rusts or corrodes in that salt air, plastic tends to break easily in the higher amounts of UV light

    I wound up using an old bird feeder ("shed" type) for feeding the two cooped hens .. would hold 5 pounds of feed at least but I preferred to refill it every day .... suspended from the top oif the low coop

    for treats, I suspended an old wide mouth cream pitcher

    had trouble with them kicking dirt, leaves, etc into waterers I tried, finally suspended an old Japanese style tea pot, by the loops intended for the bamboo handle ... and they really enjoyed that, looked forward to my pouring fresh water into that every morning (I checked it afternoons too, but there was always sufficient water for them to reach

    plus they got a thick handful of damp weeds every morning to munch on or scratch through ... usually by afternoon only the stems were left
     

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