Is just the starter enough?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rosey516, May 22, 2016.

  1. Rosey516

    Rosey516 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HI everyone , I finally got my chicks they are now 5 days old is there anything else or any supplement I should be giving them? I am just giving them un medicated organic starter..
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    It should be fine. Make sure you check the date on the feed bag, and don't buy anything older than about four weeks, and then use it up within a month or less. It looses some vitamins pretty fast, so fresh is best. Mary
     
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  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    When you start offering other goodies, they will need grit. If you are going to feed organic, that should include EVERYTHING that they get to eat. Mary
     
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  4. kbky1973

    kbky1973 Out Of The Brooder

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    Start adding some small amounts of sand or grit for chicks in the feed right on top. I used sand here at home. Clean sand from out doors . No I didn't wash the sand just to ok a hand full and used that a little at a time. It's good for them. Done this first week, then after for 3weeks increasing size after 3weeks.bought a bag of chicken grit feeding that, for a couple weeks before letting them on the ground to peck. Feeding them cracked corn, they were ready to eat any thing.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If you're real conscious of providing your chicks with the best possible nutrition, why not consider fermenting their chick crumbles?

    Fermented feed has lots more nutrients as well as natural pro-biotics. My chicks are two weeks old and they've been eating fermented feed since they were one day old.

    It's very easy to do, just add water to the chick feed, a dash of ACV to kick start it, stir twice a day and leave for 36 hours to begin feeding. As it gets low, you can just keep adding more crumbles and water, and it will ferment much faster.

    I use small cat dishes for the chicks so they won't go swimming in their food.
     
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  6. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps


    Water and chick feed is all they really need for the first 10 weeks or so...once they are fully feathered (at ~5 weeks) they are good to go outside. Make sure that you decrease the temp in the brooder by ~5 degrees each week.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  7. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I knew that eventually the chicks I raised indoors were going to live outside, and I'd heard so many horror stories about chicks (even on medicated food sometimes) ending up with coccidiosis. So I took the advice of folks who had been doing this a lot longer than I had and tossed a big clump of sod, right out of the garden, into the brooder when they were about 4 days old.

    This did multiple things - it gave them something to do besides running from one end of the brooder to the other over and over again. It distracted them from feather and eyeball pecking on their brooder mates. It gave them the opportunity to ingest some small sand particles as grit, and if they wanted to nibble on the roots in the sod or found a worm, that was a bonus! And what else is in the soil? Trace minerals they don't usually get from a bag of food! But most important to me, it exposed them early on to what they'd be living on once they went out. We tend to keep them in these clean little boxes, exposed to absolutely nothing, then expect them to thrive when they go out and have to face all the pathogens that are in the soil, the water (and they'll drink from any source!) and the air. Why do we do that? A broody has her chicks on the same floor or soil she's living on from the start, and they scratch and dig in it, and eat it. They do fine.

    The fun thing to do is put the sod in there and watch them. First they hide - there's suddenly a big monster in their brooder and it's going to eat them alive!! Then a couple of the brave ones will go over and investigate. They'll peck at it, get on top of it and scratch, and the next thing you know it's a free-for-all in there! Digging, pecking, scratching, and when it's all broken down they love to dust bathe in it. It's just plain good for them all the way around.

    So supplements? If I could name only one thing that's as close to a perfect supplement as possible it would be that simple clump of dirt!

    Edited to add: Like @azygous I also brood my chicks outdoors now from the start. They do great!! So I don't rely quite as much on the sod, but if they are getting restless I still toss one in there.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
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  8. Rosey516

    Rosey516 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you .. There is so much I still have to learn as a first time mom of chicks.. I will do the sod when I get home from work..
     
  9. Rosey516

    Rosey516 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right now I have the wood shavings .. I will buy some grit also .. Thanks
     
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Wood shavings are fine for the bottom of the brooder. The clump of sod I was talking about is just that - dig up a dirt clod and put it in there whole...they'll do the rest. Good luck!
     

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