Question about seeds and food in general from a newbie

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by LilRalphieRoosmama, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Hi all - new to this site and new to chickens. We've got 16 that are 6 weeks old and we're just starting to experiment with foods. Already found they love grass, clover, and grapes, but I'm afraid of giving them something we shouldn't. I have some leftover hampster/mouse food - seeds and pellets. Can they eat that?

    Seems there are more things they CAN eat than things they can't. Can anybody tell me besides the obvious toxic things what they shouldn't eat?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 3, 2007
    Appalachia
    In general, I would stay away from food formulated for other animals like hamsters, just because they may have been fortified with vitamins and minerals that are out-of-balance for birds. If your chickens free range, this isn't such a problem, because they have more power to pick and choose and eat what they need. The seeds from the food would probably be good... the pellets MAY be, but maybe not. Even sheep and goats can't eat the same food because there's too much copper in goat food for sheep (or is it in sheep food for goats...?).

    I'm sparing with treats, myself, but lots of other people here give leftovers from the table. Birds don't usually like citrus, and green potato peels are bad for them. Don't give them anything moldy or "off." Stay away from anything too salty.

    Again, I like to stick to very few treats in order to make sure most of their diet comes from range and their feed. When I do give treats, I give mine simple things like rolled oats and the occasional scrambled egg. Others give leftovers every day.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Thank you for the info! I'll toss the hampster food just to be safe.

    Another question - they are on the medicated feed. How long do we have to keep them on that? They are 6 weeks old this week.
     
  4. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 3, 2007
    Appalachia
    It may depend on the brand and whether you're feeding chick starter or chick starter/grower. I think (think!) starter grower can be used up to 18 weeks or so, and starter usually to 10 or 12. It will usually say on your bag somewhere. At 6 weeks old, they're still good on chick food, I'm sure. I keep mine on the same brand of (medicated) starter/grower until I switch to layer feed.

    If you do switch feed, it's best to switch slowly... in other words, mix it together with the old for a few days to make the change more gradual. I had to buy a bag of a brand I don't usually get one time and the switch was not very gradual. It gave them messy poos for a while. It wasn't a bad brand, their systems just weren't used to it. They seemed to like eating it just as much as their regular stuff.
     

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