Newbie chicken owner - would like feed advice

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by AKMomma, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. AKMomma

    AKMomma New Egg

    9
    0
    9
    Aug 17, 2011
    Chugiak, AK
    Hi all,

    Just want to say quickly that I LOVE BYC.com! I've really learned a lot - coop ideas, feed, chicken anatomy, etc.

    Quick background: I have 11 4wk old chicks of various breeds - not sure exactly what types but the neighbor we bought them from said they look like: cochins, barred rock, maybe a few salmon faverolles, etc. Currently they're in a dog crate in the garage - they're almost completely feathered and we're finishing up their coop and run so we can transfer them in a week or two.

    They've been eating non-medicated chick starter and water - growing great! Healthy and active. I've brought them outside to a temp run on sunny days and they really seem to love scratching and digging in our mossy/grassy yard.

    My neighbor gave me a run down of what he feeds them - it seems a bit overwhelming - he makes his own mix of corn, barley, oats and supplements with wild bird food and layer pellets, oyster shells, etc.

    I just wanted some advice on when to stop the chick feed and when to start the next feed type...and what? We have a mill store I go too and I'd prefer to keep things cheap and natural - so do I just buy layer pellets (is this okay for any roosters I'd like to keep?) and then supplement with oyster shells, grit and kitchen scraps? Not sure if I'll have the space and patience to gather large amounts of raw materials and mix myself....

    Anyhoo, thanks for reading and I appreciate any help you could send my way. I've only had these little birds for about 4 weeks, and I wonder how I ever lived without them! So much fun to watch :)

    Thanks all,

    AKMomma
     
  2. sherylreno

    sherylreno Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,813
    16
    148
    May 13, 2011
    Reno, Nevada
    You can purchase flock raiser in pellets or crumble form and feed a full flock even if they are laying eggs or not. I always give oyster shell as an upon needed to the flock.
     
  3. AKMomma

    AKMomma New Egg

    9
    0
    9
    Aug 17, 2011
    Chugiak, AK
    Thank you sherylreno for the quick reply ^.^ I'll look into that. Is there a particular age to switch from crumbles to pellets? I've read online anywhere from 4-5 weeks all the way up to when they start laying...pellets seem awfully big right now.
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I don't provide layer-specific feed any more, just the "All Flock" pellets. With crushed oyster shell in a separate dish, free choice. I do keep chick starter around for the little ones which were brooder raised, and try to make sure there is some for the broody moms and their chicks, but of course the big birds will get into it more often than not.

    Momma hens can still break up the pellets, though. There is SO much less wasted feed with pellets!
     
  5. ThomsonCentennialFarm

    ThomsonCentennialFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    163
    5
    91
    Aug 17, 2011
    Holliday, Missouri
    I started mine on a mixed feed at 8 weeks, crumbles, oats and cracked corn with some grit mixed in, and they get scraps and grass/hay/straw. I mix my own in the wheelbarrow then store it in metal trash cans. To each his own I suppose. I read up on a lot of different feed mixes before I started doing my own.

    The only thing mine won't eat is soy hull pellets. Completely ignore them.[​IMG]

    EDIT: The crumbles I fed were starter crumbles, until 18 weeks. Just to clarify! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  6. cravenchx

    cravenchx Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,869
    12
    143
    Aug 7, 2011
    Piedmont of NC
    We are new ourselves, but we were warned
    to give starter feed until 18-20 weeks old. Malformed
    legs and beaks were the things to be worried about.[​IMG]
     
  7. sherylreno

    sherylreno Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,813
    16
    148
    May 13, 2011
    Reno, Nevada
    I started mine at 3 months but you must teach them to eat it, while you still have crumbles around. You start with giving the pellets as treats and before you know it that's all they will eat. They actually refused to eat the crumbles once I started mixing the pellets into the feeder. I finally had to spread the crumbles on the ground and made it treats until it was gone.
     
  8. AKMomma

    AKMomma New Egg

    9
    0
    9
    Aug 17, 2011
    Chugiak, AK
    Oh my gosh! Thanks for all the great info guys and gals :) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. kera!

    kera! Chillin' With My Peeps

    436
    1
    111
    Jan 1, 2011
    Navajo County
    I feed mine medicated starter for at least 10 weeks and then go to medicated grower. and at 18- 20 weeks I give farmers Helper Ultra Kibble this mixed with scratch one part Ultra Kibble ten parts scratch..
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by