New CA desert location military family :-)


8 Years
Apr 17, 2011
Twentynine Palms, California
We recently added two chicks to our little family. We also have 3 labradors, and 5 children between us. My husband is a US Marine with 21 years in the service and currently stationed here in the hot California desert.

Last month after living in Japan for 3 years we moved back to the states with the kids and dogs and decided we had room for, and "needed" chickens lol. This was decided after visiting our local feed store for dog food and seeing chicks. *sigh* So we're in it now. We're responsible pet owners no worries about that. But we are still learning the ropes.

The husband and I built a coop last week, but the chicks are still "living room chicks" because they are small, and I'm still not confident in the coop structure. I've heard there are coyotes in the area and we do have a fenced in yard, plus a locking coop but I still worry.

The one question we have is about food. They are on the medicated starter right now. They are approx 8 weeks old each, two dif breeds. We don't know if they are roosters or hens yet, but were wondering do we continue them on the starter, or can we switch them to scratch now? Or is there something in between the two?

Anyway, thanks in advance for your help!
Welcome to BYC. Welcome back to the states as well. I'm retired Navy myself. Keep your chicks on starter/grower feed til they are about 18-20 weeks old or until one of them lays an egg... then switch them over to layer feed. After you start them on layer feed, only give them scratch as an occasional treat, not as a supplement. Layer feed has the proper minerals, nutrients, protein in it for proper egg development whereas scratch lacks those minerals and is lower in protein.
And what dawg53 said about feed.
Me and my family cant thank your husband enough for his service to this country and your faamily's hardships when he's away risking his life for all of us.

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