I feed free choice, as I imagine most people on BYC do. Flock raiser can be fed to any chicken at any time, with the possible exception of young chicks before about 6 or 8 weeks, when the texture may be too coarse, and when you may want to feed medicated feed. Many people feed only flock raiser, with a calcium source such as oyster shell separately, for any hen who feels the need for extra calcium. This way the cock birds and maturing chicks don't get calcium they don't need, and chicks can be hatched in the flock without fear of layer feed harming the chicks. Flock raiser may have a bit mroe protein thatn a layer formula, and in some cases may even have a protein sourced from animals.
I was thinking leaving a steady supply of food was correct but I'm new at this and don't want to harm them unknowingly. Thanks for the advise. I also bought a probiotic vitamin mix to add to their water. I was told it was a good idea since I don't know what these two were started on. I've only had them a couple days. Do I need to worm them and if so can I buy it and do it myself? I'm very glad I found this site! I need experienced advice for sure!
A boost fo probiotic and vitamins might be a good idea, but I wouldn't keep doing that indefinitely, just as a sort of juping off place. Their feed should have the necessary vitamins, etc. )Although there probably aren't any probiotics!)
I give my birds about a handful of organic layer pellet to each bird everyday. They also get a few handfuls of cracked corn from my daughter throughout the day and kitchen scraps as they are available, sometimes 3 times a day, sometimes none, if its raining the dog gets a lot of scraps, the coop is 150' from the house.
In addition to all of that they also get outside of their 300sq' run and free range on about 2 acres of grass, squash and pumpkin patches and fruit tree drops/orchard treat and lots of berries. They are spoiled rotten but my girls give us yummy eggs and our big rooster keeps his eye out for hawks and feeds the hens when he finds treats.
If they end up with leftover pellet in their dishes when I go up in the afternoon then I will just skip a feeding and usually once a week I let them clean up the coop by throwing a small handful of corn down and leaving them inside for 24 hours. The coop gets scratched and pecked clean, all the eggs are inside (no egg hunt!), and everyone is super grateful to get out the next day...try it out, your birds will appreciate the run even more after a day inside every week.