how often do you change food?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mendozer, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. mendozer

    mendozer Songster

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    I've been doing water daily b/c shavings get in no matter how high up it is. for food, i add 50/50 feed and scratch every other day but never dump any out because i think it's wasteful. I pick out the shavings and sometimes poop, and every few days I clean the feeder and put the food back in. Should i wait until all the food is gone before refilling or do this cycling method so old/new food is mixed?

    Also, because they don't eat the fine powdery alfalfa stuff, i add warm water to their feed in a smaller bowl and make "oatmeal" out of it. they don't touch the dry food after that until thats their only choice. i don't do this often because i don't want moist food getting moldy.
     
  2. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    We feed ours starter crumbles and never dump it, just add more as they eat it down. I don't recomend scratch for very young chicks, but if you do feed scratch or any other grains be sure you have grit they can get when needed to help digest the grain. Grit isn't needed if you only feed commercial feed, just if you feed scratch or grains.
    Good luck.
     
  3. AlienChick

    AlienChick Songster

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    Don't know how old your chicks are, but they should ONLY be eating chick starter for the first 8 weeks.

    However, if you choose to give them "treats" you must also supply them with a small dish of grit.

    They do not need any chicken scratch.

    I do not "change" the food; I just keep adding to it as needed.

    I scrape out most of the shavings (if any) and top it off with more food.

    I keep the water elevated on top of an upside down bowl so I don't have too much shavings to deal with and the water stays clean.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    How old are your chicks? What kind of food are you feeding them? I haven't ever seen a commercial chick feed with alfalfa in it before. Also chicks really don't need any scratch. I usually start a little scratch after the chicks are old enough to go outside. I treat scratch like it is candy. It really doesn't have enough nutrition to be anything else. I have no problems with adding more feed with what is left over. You're right about the waste. The only thing that makes me throw any feed out is mold. Alfalfa is a great nutritional treat. I would keep on doing what you have been with it. You can also use rabbit feed that has been moistened.

    Typically it is safer to feed day old chicks the medicated starter feed for the first 2 weeks, after 2 weeks they should have enough immunity to salmonella and other germs to be able to manage on a growers blend of feed. I just top off the feed, rather than thinking about ratios and mixing things. I hope this helps.
     
  5. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    As for water, I found that a water bottle like the kind made for rabbits works better than water containers made for chickens. You don't have to clean poop out of the water, and it just stays cleaner overall. The chicks will figure out where the water is faster than you would think. I haven't had any that I know have refused to use it for water yet.
     
  6. mendozer

    mendozer Songster

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    sorry about leaving out the specifics.

    We got them last friday so they're almost a week. My sis and girlfriend picked them up from the feed store when i was in class. The woman there gave them this organic starter feed, chick scratch, and a bag of grit. She said 50/50 for 2 weeks then scratch as a treat. She also said to sprinkle grit on the shavings every couple days so they eat it as they want.

    this is their feed: http://www.scratchandpeck.com/products/nfstarter
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  7. Bahachick

    Bahachick In the Brooder

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    Do not give them scratch. Unless you want them to have problems and under develop. As long as the food is clean no need to toss it. No need for grit with chick feed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  8. mendozer

    mendozer Songster

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    oh ok i'll stop with the scratch. so they don't need grit with feed right? after a couple weeks then give scratch as a treat right?
     
  9. Bahachick

    Bahachick In the Brooder

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    Hold the scratch man until they are 18 weeks old. If you wanna give them treats give them watermelon or fruits. Bugs, maggots worms etc...
     
  10. mendozer

    mendozer Songster

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    got it. i gave them an earthworm the other day and they looked at it like they didn't know what to do with it. some of them pecked at it but stopped. i took it out because i didn't want it to rot in there. so they get scratch almost when they reach laying stage at 5 months?
     

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