newbie Silkie owner-so confused on feeds-what is the right kind?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by fluffychicksmomma, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. fluffychicksmomma

    fluffychicksmomma In the Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2010
    Our Silkies are 3 months old, they have been on starter crumbles since day 1 and since they have been outside whatever they might eat out there,(which so far appears to be nothing, I haven't seen them so much as touch a bug!). It appears our feed store has no more chick starter at the moment and I am pretty much completely OUT! Gotta get something. And unfortunately, gotta get 50 lbs of whatever cause that is my only choice. (we have 8 chickens). The feed store currently has "scratch grains", a "layer pellet", something for meat birds and something called "premium poultry feed", which I am kinda leaning towards. Mind you, you can't see what is in the bag, and it doesn't have the ingredients listed like my various horse feeds do, so I can't tell anything from that. My husband said the layer pellets felt pretty big through the bag, and being Silkies, they are still pretty small. Plus, they won't be laying for quite a while yet, so that doesn't really seem appropriate. I have no idea what "scratch grains" are, and I am wondering if the "premium poultry feed" would be okay? Can/do chickens eat any of the stuff that horses eat? Am thinking of sweet feed which has cracked corn, oats, barley and molasses. Horses rarely get any, once in a great while as a treat, just wondering if its something chickens would like as a treat or could eat if they're in a pinch? Theres no point in asking anyone who works at the feed store. They never know anything, usually some bored-looking teenager. So I figured I better come straight to the experts! [​IMG] Appreciate any advice!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

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    I don't know what the "premium poultry feed" is. Does it have a % protein on it? Sometimes the information is on a tag onthe bag instead of printedonthe bag. Maybe it is time to shop at a different place.

    This link might help.

    Oregon State - Feeding Chickens
    http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/pnw/pnw477/#anchor1132074

    At 3 months, they are too young for layer. Layer feed contains more calcium than is good for a growing chick. It can cause liver damage to growing chicks. The scratch grains are very high in calories but very low on anything the chicks need to grow. Treat it like candy, not meat and potatoes. For you, these two are definitely out.

    If you are raising them to be a laying flock, at 3 months they need a feed with about 15% to 16% protein. That feed for the meat birds is higher in protein than is really good for them, but many people on here feed growing chickens feeds higher in protein than is good for them. You mention that they are outside. I don't know if that is in a pen with a bare dirt floor or if they have access to grass and such most of the time. If they do have access to grass and such, they will balance their diet some by eating whatever is out there. If you have to shop at that store, I'd look at the premium poultry feed and the feed for the meat birds and get the one that has the lower protein level. But my first choice is to find a feed store that sells Grower, or a mixed Starter/Grower.
     
  3. briteday

    briteday Songster

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    In a pinch you could see if they have turkey grower, broiler grower....they shouldn;t eat layer yet because they don't need the higher calcium. And scratch grains are just for treats. I would not feed the sweet horse feed either becuase the molasses may give the birds runny poop.
     
  4. I use a 20% crumble for my silkies. There conditon isnt as great when they are on regular layer pellets, plus they lay better on the 20% also.
     

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