Super Newbie chicken feeding question...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WhiteMountainsRanch, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I have been following all the advise from my feed store, (now I know a no no since I found BYC). I started my 1 week old chicks on;

    As an aid in prevention of coccidiosis where immunity to coccidiosis is not desired.
    Amprolium .........................................0.0125%

    They said as long as they are eating a mash that they don't need grit, and looked at me like I was crazy when I said oyster shells.

    So now my pullets are 18 weeks old and that's all they eat, Kruse's starter mash and water.

    I looked at the different Brands of chicken food, and most had really weird ingredients, besides the organic ones.

    I only want to do what's best for my girls... Should I change to the organic food? Starter or Layer? Mash or crumbles? Do I need grit and calcium? Should I be adding some sort of electrolytes or vitamins to their water? Is there anything else they should be getting "standard" in their feed, such as BOSS?

    I searched a bit here on the boards but didn't see too much regarding these super basic questions... Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2010
  2. Liana

    Liana Songster

    Mar 9, 2009
    Southern NH
    Yes, if they are eating mash, they don't need grit. Grit is necessary to break down things like grass, weeds, black oil sunflower seeds, etc. Do your girls have access to outdoors? If so, then they are finding other things to eat besides the ration you give them, so you may want to provide grit to be sure they can get enough. They don't need supplemental calcium until they start laying. Then you can feed Layer and/or provide Oyster Shell free choice in a separate container. Organic feed or not is by your preference. Crumbles or pellets - whatever works out best for you and your girls. No need to add electrolytes or vitamins to their water unless there seems to be a problem.
  3. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Yes they have a large chicken run and sometimes free range in the evenings...

    Do they need grit if they are on crumbles or pellet?

    Thank you for responding... I am definitely going to change around how I feed them now! [​IMG]
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    They do NOT need grit if their only feed is commercial pellets or crumbles or mash. However, if they free range, they'll probably get plenty of their own gritty stuff to do the job..... because, whilst they range freely, they are eating things other than commercial feed, trust me!

    You only have to provide oyster shell if they are laying.
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Your chick starter mash is just fine. The medication is fine, too. Helps prevent coccidiosis, an internal parasite.

    I usually feed starter until 16 - 18 weeks, then I start mixing in layer feed for a 2 week transition. I prefer pellets, less waste. Have oyster shell free choice once they start laying.

    ETA, my runs are dirt and sand, so I don't need grit. They free range several times a week, too. I think you should start the transition to layer a bit faster, and provide oyster shell when you get the first egg.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010

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