newbie chicken layer

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by drum stick, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. drum stick

    drum stick New Egg

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    Hello every one.

    I am a new to the chicken owner world but my family and I are enjoying them a lot. Here is a little bit of info on my chicken family. We have 2 Red Sex Links (alphas), 1 Ameraucana (beta) & 1 Cuckoo Maran, (beta), They are all about 9 1/2 mo old. My coop is 4 x 4 x4 and side nesting box , it is up in about 4 ft high and they have a area the hang out I about 16 x 25. I have purchased my feed from Pahvant Growers in delta utah. I will add some picture of my chickens and the coop over time.

    Here are a few questions for now.

    1.I have noticed that the 2 Red Sex Links are the alpha in the group and the other two follow them around every where like a personal body guard. I am only getting eggs from the 2 Red Sex Links the other 2 will not even go into the coop when the other 2 are in there laying there eggs. I get one egg every day around 10 am and the other around 3:30 pm and that is it.

    2. Feed: the place that i order the feed from is calling it chicken feed. how do i know what i should be feeding them exactly. the mix that they are getting right now is. cracked wheat, barley, corn. they also get a lot of veggies that i feed them daily and they get to free range in the yard as well.

    3. I am using staw for the 3 nesting boxes and i have sand on the floor of the coop to absorb the droppings. is this good or bad. and what other choice have you tried.
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  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Hi there - and welcome!

    The red birds pictured do not look like sex links - can you post a better shot of one or both of them?

    On the feed issue - is it identifiable pieces of those grains that you can see individually? If so, that sounds like scratch grains rather than an actual complete formula feed. The difference is that the scratch grains are meant to be fed as a treat and not a staple. It is often called "chicken scratch" so I can see how it could also end up being referred to as chicken feed, but it is not nutritionally sufficient to support healthy production.
     
  3. Ashley Stroud

    Ashley Stroud Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello and welcome! Your birds are cute and look like a great little flock.
    Don't forget to introduce yourself on the Where Am I Where Are You forum; there you can find folks in your local area.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you

    I'm new to chickens as well. This is my first year with them. I use builders sand in my run and coop.

    Best of luck with your flock and remember, any and all questions are good questions here!
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! X2, on you might try getting better pictures of your red girls, they look more like Production Reds or hatchery Rhode Island Reds. Chickens mature at different rates so won't all start laying at the same time, if the pictures are recent, your other two girls don't look as mature yet, their combs and wattles aren't as well developed, so they will probably be a while longer before they lay. RIR and Pr Reds are often very dominant birds, so they are going to be at the top of the pecking order, they sometimes will also be bullies, you might keep an eye on the flock to be sure the reds don't keep the other pullets away from the food etc, if the reds start guarding the coop or keeping the other birds out you may need to take steps to deal with it.
    Do you have a label / ingredients list of the food you are feeding? Like Ol Grey Mare said, it sounds like what you have is some sort of Scratch feed which is only supposed to be fed as a treat... it is usually around 8-10% protein (it should say on the label) (There are some whole grain mixes that are complete feeds, but they aren't as common as Scratch feeds.) Usually people put hens on some sort of complete Layer food, it is usually 16-18% protein.
    You might want to check out the Coop/Run forum for ideas and suggestions on what to do with your Coop. I also like shavings and hay/straw for the nesting boxes, I use sand/gravel for the runs, but have shavings in the coops just because I find it easier to clean. A lot people like and use sand and are very happy with it. https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/9/coop-run-design-construction-maintenance
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. drum stick

    drum stick New Egg

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    Jul 15, 2014
    hey guys thanks for the info and quick to help. that is awesome that this group is that friendly. Well i will add some better picture of each one tomorrow and as of the feed well that was a big opps. i have 250 lbs of it ahhhhh. well can any one tell me if there is any one that sell to correct feed. i am guessing that i need layer feed is that correct. i also say a add on ksl for some feed about 16 18 protein. this is the add they have is it a good one. The 4 Grain mix has wheat, corn barley and canola in it. It is a more balanced nutrition and has a protein count of 16 - 18 percent.This is $13.50 per 50# bag and if not. where should i shop.
     
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    It sounds like your feed should be fine for the girls, nice that you can find a grain mix. You might just want to have oyster shell available on the side for them. Check the Calcium content of the mix, if it is under 4% or so (laying hens need about 4% in their diet) be sure to have the oyster shell available. Most chicken feeds are pretty similar, the main differences are the high Calcium content of Layer mixes and the protein % varies depending on what life stage it is for, 16-18% is fine for laying hens.
     
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Glad you joined the flock [​IMG]
     
  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us! You got given some good advice here. If your hens are laying they will need a formulated layer feed, but you can still feed them scratch grains as a treat on the side. It is important that they get enough calcium in their diets though. Here is some more info and feeds and feeding:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/feeding-chickens-an-introductory-guide

    The sand/straw that you are using is great. Sand does help a lot with keeping mess and odour under control! It's so much easier to clean up than other materials. I always used straw/dried grass in the nest boxes, though I've seen people use sand in the nest boxes with success as well.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    You've received some great advice already!
     
  10. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.
     

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