Newby to Raising Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cdb1949, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. cdb1949

    cdb1949 Chirping

    Sep 22, 2012
    My husband and I decided we wanted chickens so we got 5 hens and one rooster yesterday. They are acclimating well and are very well behaved. Our dogs, however, will take a bit longer to acclimate to the chickens. Each are older, at or near egg laying age. Wonder what you guys feed your kids? (we call them our kids). Aside from the usual feed and water, I am reading that they love lettuce, bananas, apples, squash, etc. Wonder what your feedback is on this. I want to move slowly but we already compost for our garden so want to separate some of the veggies for the chickens. Any ideas?

  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Crowing Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009

    Roosters should not be fed layer feed due to the excess calcium levels so I would advise a "All Flock" feed such as Flock Raiser and add in Oyster Shells for the hens. They should be fine with treats like those as long as they have plenty of grit.
  3. thebanthams

    thebanthams Songster

    Jun 12, 2010
    Safford, Arizona
    Hello! welcome to BYC!! If you want eggs, give them good laying crumbles. I give those to my chickens every morning. In the afternoon I throw scratch. I do give my chickies, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, watermelon on a hot day!, canteloupe, squash. When my garden finish growing in the winter, I will let them out to "compost" they are good diggers! and they help find all the yucky bugs!
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Hello! Welcome to chickens! If you want info on training your dogs let me know and I can give you some tips and tricks to try.

    If they are not laying yet you should feed them a non-medicated grower or flock raiser. I would keep an oyster shell on the side for when the girls start laying. As soon as ALL of them are laying switch over to a laying feed.

    I feed my chickens lots of veggies and table scraps. (fruits, veggies, whole grains breads and pastas, meats)

    Here is a good list of things they can and can't have.

    Mealworms are the BEST. Great source of protein and chickens love them. They are cheap and easy to far at home if you are interested and are a great tool for making friends with your chickens also. Sometimes I also buy bulk grains and germinate them overnight as a healthy snack.

    Good luck and enjoy, Ask lots of questions!
  5. Big A Chickens

    Big A Chickens Songster

    Jun 29, 2012
    Palmetto, Georgia
    Hi and[​IMG]So glad you joined us!!!![​IMG]
  6. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They do love treats, including various bugs and veggie/fruit scraps. Most have little or no protein, though, so be careful you don't end up depriving them of sufficient protein. Things like game bird feed and BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) have a little more protein and could be used as a treat or additive to the feed, to balance. They generally love scratch, and there are a lot of different mixtures out there that are sold as scratch. Often they are mostly corn, which is a lot lower protein than regular feed, plus scratch usually has no added vitamins and minerals. For me with a small flock, because scratch comes in 25 lb bags, I just skip it and give them BOSS for a treat -- which they also love. You don't actually need to feed them anything but their regular feed, whether you go with layer or flock raiser or whatever, and maybe a calcium and grit source on the side, depending on how much grit and calcium they get from the soil, rocks and plants in your area.

    While layer is not the best feed for roosters, many people feed them layer anyway, with a flock like yours, one roo and a handful of hens, out of convenience.

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