New to this!!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Imthgirl, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Imthgirl

    Imthgirl Hatching

    9
    0
    9
    Jun 5, 2012
    Hello everyone! As a mother's day gift, I received 7 hens and I couldn't have been happier. We just finished their new & improved coop with a run and they will be going in it tomorrow. We are so excited!

    But since I am new to this, I have just a couple questions. Out of my 7 girls, 5 are all the same age (around 9 weeks old) and 2 are 2 months old (almost 3 months old). Currenlty they are all eating medicated chick starter. My question is, what do I feed them after this and when do I make the switch? Also, do I provide scratch on the floor of the run? I have also heard of people using oyster shells and wanted to know what this was all about.

    Thanks in advance for helping out a newbie!!!!
     
  2. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Songster

    492
    17
    111
    Dec 21, 2010
    VA
    [​IMG]

    Glad you are joining us on BYC! As for the feeding, you will find varying opinions on what is best to feed and there are lots of options. As a starting point, I found it easiest to use FlockRaiser and I switched my chickens to this around 18 weeks of age. I do supplement with crushed oyster shell (for calcium) and grit - I offer it free choice and also mix a handful or two into their feed containers. The reason I used FlockRaiser is that the protein level is a little higher and when I used Layena (lower protein) the chickens tended to resort to feather picking. I use scratch sparingly - mostly as a treat to get them to come inot the coop when I need to put them up or as a bedtime snack in the winter for extra calories. A good pelleted or crumble food should provide all the basics. I like to supplement with leafy greens when mine can't free-range as it helps give good yolk color.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Imthgirl

    Imthgirl Hatching

    9
    0
    9
    Jun 5, 2012
    Thanks for the warm welcome and for the helpful advise! I guess I was just concerned since I have two different age chicks. But I will probably switch them when the youngest ones turn 18 weeks.

    Thanks again [​IMG]
     
  4. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Songster

    492
    17
    111
    Dec 21, 2010
    VA
    Switching when the youngest turn 18 weeks should be fine. Another way to determine when to switch from the medicated chick feed is when the feed runs out. When I got my first chciks, I bought a 50 lb bag of medicated feed - fortunately, my chicks managed to eat most of it by the time they turned 18 weeks but I started with 28 chicks and they ate a LOT! I guess what I am saying is, if you bought a large bag of feed, don't be afraid to feed it a little longer - or give it to someone with baby chicks if there is a lot left.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Imthgirl

    Imthgirl Hatching

    9
    0
    9
    Jun 5, 2012
    Great, makes sense! Thanks again!!!!!!!!![​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: