silkie-mom

In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
82
1
41
South central Virginia
I feel sort of stupid, but what are scratch grains and should I be feeding them?

Also, my silkies are around 14 weeks old now, and I still have them on grower/starter feed. At what age should I change them to something else, and what should I put them on? I've heard several different things.
These are strictly pets.....not for eating or eggs.
At what age can I stop adding antibiotics to their water? I've been adding it since I got them at 3 days old.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
239
421
SW Arkansas
Ouch! They don't need the antibiotics prophylaticly and it can make the antibiotics ineffective when you do them for illness.
You can keep them on starter/grower until about 20 weeks or when you get your first egg; then switch them to layer feed. Whether or not you care about the eggs, the hens need the nutrients in layer feed to replace what their bodies are putting into the eggs.
Scratch grains are like chicken candy and not necessary. You can offer them some as a diversion. It gives them something new and different to peck at and they do love em. If you can't afford or don't want to feed scratch for some reason, that's fine. The hens will do just fine eating their layer feed only. Consider it like feeding a dog. You give them regular dog food and then every once in awhile give them a dog bone. Scratch is a chicken's version of a dog bone.
 

silkie-mom

In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
82
1
41
South central Virginia
oh geez.....off the anitbiotics they go!!
I will certainly get some scratch grains this week! Can't wait to see them try them!
I want only the best for these spoiled brats, so I will get them on layer feed in a few weeks. Thanks for the advice!
 

shelleyd2008

the bird is the word
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
23,381
96
351
Adair Co., KY
I got some scratch grain along with my regular feed this last time, cause there were a few days that we had frost in the morning. It has gotten so bad now, that whenever I go outside, I get mobbed by chickens, especially my silkie and jap babies! It is so comical, and they absolutely LOVE it!! I have heard that it makes them get hotter, so this will be a winter only treat for us.
 

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