Newbie questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NewToFarming, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    Ok, I started this chicken adventure 6 weeks ago and I must say I have become truly addicted! This was my first experience with chickens and I just want to be sure I am doing everything I need to be doing correctly. I must say they are all growing (very fast) and all look healthy. But, I was wondering if there is anything else I should be doing? I just got done with making a larger area for them in the barn it is a 25 x 25 ft area….lots of space & perches for them and I do allow them to free range during the day. I am still giving the 6 week olds chick starter feed but they also get into the grower/finisher I have out for the older silkies. I was thinking about maybe putting out half chick starter & half grower/finisher. The chick starter is 20% protein & the grower/finisher is 15% protein. Would that be ok to do for both the younger & older ones in the coop?
    I also give them treats like lettuce, watermelon, other fruits & cheese. Is there anything else I should be doing for them or giving them??? Do they need any supplements or anything? I also wasn’t sure when to start the oyster shell for the hens.
    THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP & INFO ON HERE!!!
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    You can put the crushed oyster shell out, free choice, at any time. The hens that need it will take it. I use an empty tuna can nailed to an inside coop wall next to the feeder.

    Don't mix oyster shell WITH the feed. The extra calcium is harmful to growing, underage chickens. Most pullets start to lay around 20 to 24 weeks of age, some wait until even later.

    I kept my chicks on chick starter until they were 8 weeks old, but that's just me - I was able to keep them separate until then.
     
  3. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Oregon
    Be sure there is free choice grit so they can digest any food that is not in the commercial feed. You may need small and medium sized. I don't know how predator proof you made their area but remember almost every predator likes chicken for dinner! Chicken wire is only to keep the chickens in an area but many predators can literally tear it apart--and they will. Protecting your girls from predators is a major part of having chickens. [​IMG]

    Watermelon if fine--especially in hot weather as well as many fruits! A little cheese like cottage cheese is also OK as long as its not a salty cheese (too much salt can cause serious problems). Dark leafy lettuce is great and nutritious but avoid iceburg lettuce as it doesn't give them enough nutrients and just fills them up.

    Lastly--take lots of pictures [​IMG] and enjoy them!
     
  4. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    Yes, I forgot to mention I have been giving them chick grit and also the larger grit for the older ones. I try to juggle the treats that they don’t get the same thing everyday. That way they will get a variety of nutrients. Like one day watermelon, one day lettuce. I think their favorite day is when they get a little bit of everything! [​IMG]
    I think we have their indoor barn coop secure enough. We actually converted one of the stalls into a coop so the bottom 5 ft is solid oak planks all around and the upper part we actually put up 2 rounds of wire. One was the chicken wire & underneath is the smaller wire. I figure this would add strength to it and also if something got through the first part they would have lots of trouble getting through the seconed layer.
    So far it is working great. They have lots of room and lots of perches & nesting boxes. I was also given this large metal round warmer thing that you would put the heat lamp in the middle and it heats up this huge round metal piece to make heat light have a larger area it can heat. It has to be about 6 ft diameter and it hangs a few feet above the ground so they will be able to go under it in the winter if they need that extra warmth. I will have to do some adjustments to their coop area for the winter months but this warmer thing will definitely help them. I wanted them to have ventilation but also be nice and toasty! [​IMG]
     

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