how often do you change food?

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

  1. jenesis536

    jenesis536 Songster

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    They only need chick starter right now - no grit is needed for chick starter only. If you start feeding scratch, they will need grit, but you should wait until they are older for both. I just refill as needed with the chick starter.
     
  2. Desert Rooster

    Desert Rooster El Gallo Del Desierto

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    i never change the food, there's never anything left to change out [​IMG]
     
  3. SunnyCalifornia

    SunnyCalifornia Songster

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    In my experience, the chick starter seems to be a good basic food for the first 4 months. Plan to stick with that for now. My babies have never been real fond of fruits and veggies until they were a bit older. They didn't know what to do with worms either, however, at about 2-3 weeks old, if you buy crickets at the pet store, the chicks go nuts for those!! And its hilarious to watch them chase them around the brooder. The small ones are the perfect bite size for chicks!

    After about 4 months, their palates get a bit more adventurous, and they enjoy fruits, real worms, yogurt, oatmeal, etc. See the "chicken treats list" here on BYC for a great list of treats for older chickens. I keep crumble in their coops. That is my chickens' primary food. Almost every morning, I'll give them a little treat like fruit, raisins, or yogurt. I save the scratch for "extra" when they are free ranging. They love the stuff, but I know its not as nutritionally complete as their other food.

    As long as the food stays dry, I wouldn't worry about changing it more than once a week or so. If it gets wet, change immediately, as sour food is bad news. (Edit: just saw your mention of mixing with water... as long as its eaten up right away, I think you're okay)

    Have a great time with those chicks! And congrats on your chicken adventures!
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  4. hansolo

    hansolo Songster

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    I dont think you need to stick to any rule of starter only.
    Think like a hen, forget about the book, use common sense, of course.

    I feed mine with starters to make sure they have proper nutrition but give them all kinds of treats all the time. Somebody on this forum was right on about when they are young they are less interested in foreign food but that changes as they get older. I let mine free range outside whenever possible and they get dirt/grit that way and they eat all kinds of stuff outside.
     
  5. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

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    Quote:Mendozer [​IMG]

    I use medicated chick starter for 3-4 weeks then regular chick started unmedicated and mine thrive! I give them a little scratch around 12-14 weeks old as a treat maybe once or twice a week. I give 20-25 birds about a handful or cracked corn or scratch every other day of so the rest of the time they have all you can eat chick starter until about 16-18 weeks then I will mix in layer pellets with there food for 2 weeks as a transition.

    Nate
     
  6. CowgirlPenny

    CowgirlPenny Songster

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    I just refresh as needed. I don't completely empty it unless water is spilled in it, or there is poop inside.
     
  7. Bahachick

    Bahachick In the Brooder

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    Yes.
    Scratch does not have the nutrients they need and will fill their stomach so they don't eat what they do need. When this small they are not much into bugs, wait a week or two. Chickens are not dogs, they do perfectly good and sometimes even better without treats.
     
  8. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

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    Quote:Exactly!

    Nate
     
  9. Bahachick

    Bahachick In the Brooder

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    Now that mine are around 45 days old they love onions, cabbage, cheese, bread (2 slice toasts/46 chickens), cockroaches (we got 1 1/2'" long ones here), lizards but I only give them fruits and veggies that are left overs and scrap. They run around all day destroying the flora and fauna around the coop. They are not keen on green peppers and tomatoes. But the end of the day they eat chick starter for food. I give them these treats to make them run around like nuts and so that they entertain us [​IMG]
    I am no chicken expert having these guys here for a month and a half only and never meeting chickens that were not breaded before but I do take time and read these forums and I try remembering what I read.
    I know wet food is no good (high protein content and wetness is not a good combination), scratch and treats are not good really. It is only to spice up their lives once a certain age.
     
  10. KIDDSBANTAMS

    KIDDSBANTAMS Songster

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    I don't know exactly what you consider scratch, but if you mean cracked corn I read in the Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens that a way to prevent pasty butt is to take cracked corn and grind it up in a blender or grinder and mix with their starter food and it would help prevent it. I did it this time and not one chick had pasty butt, they are growing like crazy.
     

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