In the Brooder
Mar 3, 2018
Hey y’all! I am a first time chicken owner of 9 beautiful birds. (2 dark Brahmas, 2 ameracuanas, 2 blue laced Wyandottes, 2 buff Orpingtons, and once white silkie) and I am slightly concerned about their water intake, like all babies they are MESSY and I dump there shaving filled water about 5/6 times a day, and I am worried about how much they’re actually drinking. They seem to not be interested in it once it has shavings kicked into it (I would be too) and I have it raised up to chest height. so I was thinking I’d provide a mash maybe once a day? With equal parts water to feed? I feed purina chick Start and grow. Will this make them too full too quickly? Is this something I should transition into?
-side question that relates: is fermenting feed something that is okay for babies? I’ve read some on that and it seems to help people with the hydration.
Thank you for all feedback. I really appreciate it. :)
Ferment away! They'll enjoy it! I read on here a little while ago about a lady who got very sick so her husband had to take over feeding and watering the animals. He completely forgot to check one pens waterer and those young chickens only survived because they were being fed fermented feed, otherwise they would've dehydrated. Thankfully they were all fine.
Welcome to BYC! :woot

You are the one who would know best about their water intake. As for providing mash, if you do not see the chicks drinking much and you would like to add some mash, by all means, go ahead. I have a hen with cross beak. Though her case is not a severe one, I often feed her 'peep mash' (percentages vary slightly with what feed you use but I use a 1 to 1 ratio for layer pellets and with slightly less water for starter feed). I have also given her fermented feed as a chick... She ate it and loved it.
She is now full grown and a very healthy hen. :)

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