New flock owner with a feeding question,,,12 birds 20 wks plus old

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jakell2010, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. jakell2010

    jakell2010 In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2011
    Hi, I just got my coop and birds last month after much arguing with the wife, I got a 4x6 coop with automatic door and 4x8 run with door that is open all day and the birds have been free ranging the lawn and venturing farther each day, I currently have 2 Wyandottes that are about 20 weeks, 2 mature supposedly 1 yr old buff orpingtons, 4 juvenile Buffs, and 4 RIR sex links supposed to be in the 20 wk age range,,,,

    I have been feeding a mix of 33% crack corn, 33% crushed layer pellets and 33% layer pellets, I have one waterer in the coop and one in the run, also I have one feeder in and one out in the run,,,,,,plus. "scratch" is spread on the lawn daily,,,,

    I am using the mix because I wasn't sure what to buy initially and got a bag crushed pellets, then when I got the birds the breeder told me to use layer pellets, and I'm trying to use them up.

    I get about 3 eggs per day. My question is, am I doing anything wrong?,,should I be mixing corn in the feed at all?,,the birds can feed on what they want in the lawn anyway,,and they have 5 acres total to roam

    Any opinions or ides are appreciated, also how do I keep the water from freezing in the winter, I don't have electric to the coop, but could run an extension cord if needed.

    I am in the Hudson valley of NY, it does get cold here in January and february

  2. hcppam

    hcppam Songster

    I would be feeding lay mash or crumbels, and still have some grow mash out to the younger girls.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member 7 Years

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I am new here, but cracked corn should not be fed in that high of an amount--it is mostly carbs when they need 16-20 % protein. Your layer pellets are fine for the layers, but young ones should not be eating it because the extra calcium may hurt their kidneys. With a mixed flock of juveniles and layers you might just buy flock raiser or grower, and put some oyster shell out separately for calcium--the layers will eat what they need and the young ones won't eat it. Cracked corn is like scratch--they don't need it really, unless you want to "heat them up" a bit in the winter time, no more than 10% of their diet.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I don't think mixing corn in with their feed is really a good idea. Most chickens will bill out the feed to get to the corn, resulting in alot of waste. Also, corn is like candy to chickens. They love it, not exactly good for them though.

    If your juvenile buffs are anywhere close to the 16 week old range, you could feed everyone layer pellets - crushed or whole and only offer the corn in the evenings or mornings as a treat. A dish of oyster shell on the side is a good idea. It provides for strong eggshells without the hens having to rob the calcium from their own bodies to make em.

    My feeding routine for my free range flocks is this - I feed everyone a feed called Allway Kernels. It's a flockraiser type feed, suitable for feeding to all ages, from tiniest chick to oldest hen. Allway is a local brand, but Purina makes a flockraiser, I'm sure there are other brands as well.
    Oyster shell dispensers in both coops.
    I scatter out some chops (cracked corn) in the evenings or some scratch grains; which has some cracked corn in it, but also other grains and some BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds, which is high protein).
    Water inside and out, but feed only in the coop. Treats I feed outside. Leftovers, especially things like leftover spaghetti are a big hit.

  5. jakell2010

    jakell2010 In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2011
    Should've mentioned that I do have a grit tray and an oyster shell tray also available
  6. GhostRider65

    GhostRider65 Songster

    Mar 6, 2011
    NE Wisconsin
    I think your doing great, although I agree, the corn isn't necessary and more a treat than an actual food. But along them lines my neighbor feeds all her chicks, turkey's ducks, and peacocks, almost exclusively only cracked corn, a scoop of meat bird 1 tx a day, her flock is stunted but all alive on just that. SO what you are finishing up surely won't hurt them too much.
    I feed mine layer crumbles mixed with meat bird pellets for extra protein, they have a run that's fairly large and I grew them lots of greens and Kale and stuff so they get that every afternoon, plus each morning they get some scrambled eggs with their DE and other worm prevention herbs mixed in. Then after that I throw down some scratch, which is my mix of wild bird+ Boss+ cracked corn, maybe a coffee can full between the 3 pens and babies. Oyster is available to my hens and everyone has grit/sand/ assorted sizes of crushed gravel in the pen. They seem to be doing well, most important thing I can recommend is fresh cold water with a tlbs. of ACV, per gallon organic though the store brands is man made garbage, I use Bragg its the best available here anyway, and in this heat freeze some water bottles or cups of ice to add to keep it really cold and refreshing.

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