New to Chickens--what "supplements" to feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by horsepowerhaven, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    Hello! I'm new to chickens, and I just purchased 3 hens and one rooster (13 months old). They are currently in a coop, but once settled I will allow them to free range during the day.

    I'm currently feeding them organic laying feed. What other supplements do they need to stay healthy and pest/worm free? I would like to be as organic and natural as possible. I'm very excited about eating fresh eggs and the natural bug control. Now if I could just get them to eat the gophers...

    Thank you!
  2. dichotomymom

    dichotomymom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2008
    Dayton Indiana
    We don't give anything. I did give my very first flock the marek's vaccine but nothing since then and have had no health issues. Histoplasmosis is endemic here but haven't had problems with that either. Just keep things clean and you shouldn't have many problems!
  3. dianer29

    dianer29 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2009
    ACV in their water daily,minced garlic in brown rice.If you get get them mealworms or crickets that helps for protein.
  4. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    Quote:Thanks! How much ACV in their water? How much garlic, and how often? Live crickets from a petstore? Do you just turn them loose in the coop? Sorry for all the questions, I'm a complete beginner when it comes to chickens.

  5. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    ACV 1-2 Tbs per gallon of water 1-2 times a week ......

    I also give RoosterBooster Electrolytes in their water 1-2 times a week

    [​IMG] from Alaska
  6. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2009
    Ribera New Mexico
    What does the ACV do for the chickens??
  7. RocketDad

    RocketDad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    Quote:Same thing it does for humans - makes the salad taste better![​IMG]

    Seriously, some say that we shouldn't give citrus to them, because of the acid affecting their shell production, and then others are saying to give acid to them to help calcium uptake. I'll stick with giving them pellets, scratch, and whatever my kids don't finish eating.
  8. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    What about Oyster Shell and Grit? There is a thread specific to a feeder style for these items, but why are they necessary for the chickens? What benefit do they have, and is it detrimental to not give this to them?

    Can you find these items at a local feed store?

  9. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    [​IMG] to you, horsepowerhaven

    grit is little pebbles and rocks that all birds swallow to help digest their food. They don't chew stuff like we do. The grit goes to the gizzard, and the gizzard muscles contract to grind up the food that gets mixed with the grit.

    oyster shell is a source of calcium for any hardworking hen that's laying an egg every day. Hens put a LOT of their own calcium into those egg shells, and they need all the help they can get.

    If your girls are out foraging they'll get all the grit they need out of the ground. You can get oyster shell at most any feed store. Put it in a sheltered feeder where they can get it free choice (which means whenever they want it).

    The best supplements are fresh air, sunshine, weeds, bugs and compost heaps. I know that looks like a cliche', but it's absolutely true. There's something about sunshine that you just can't put in a feed sack.

    If they're confined to quarters you can put up a cabbage pinata. Cut a cabbage in half, tie it by its stem with a string, and hang it in the pen so they can pick at the cut side hanging down.
  10. Quote:They do need these items and you can find them at a feed store or at Southern States if you are near one.
    Our LOVE scratch. a corn and millet mix. they do not need this but they love it and it helps them stay warm in the winter because when they scratch in generates heat in their bodies.

    And [​IMG]
    From, VA

    I know you will enjoy this forum a lot [​IMG]

    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009

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