The feeding basics


In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 31, 2012
When do I stop using starter feed and what do I use after that? I hav heard of lots of things chickens are fed alongside feed? What are the feeding basics?
After Grower/Starter at about 16 weeks they should be give a layer formula. The Layer formula is lower in protein and has added calcium they will need to make egg shells. Extra treats can be given but, you will need to make sure they have grit or small gravel available. Cracked corn or scratch, meal worms, earth worms, grass, alfalfa, oatmeal, cherrios, bird seed, table scraps like fruit and vegetables or and any bug they can find. Summer months or when really hot you can add electrolytes to drinking water along with plain water.
Everyone has their own style and ideas of what works... I can tell you how I do it and then you can decide if it works with your style.

I used medicated chickstarter until the birds are 25 weeks old or until they start laying, which ever comes first. Then I switch over to laying pellets. I offer a bowl of oyster shell once the birds start laying.
I feed my pullets starter/grower until they start laying eggs. Then I switch them over to layer. I free range all my birds and give them treats like pumpkins, watermelons, pears, and many other food items. You can give them treats just make sure you don't over-do-it, a little bit goes a long way. Enjoy your hens!
Oh, I forgot to mention that I let my birds free range for at least 4 hours a day. They supplement their own diet with what ever they can find. Their favorite hunting spot is the compost pile - uggh...

My speckled sussex love to free range in the edge of the woods while digging through all the leaves. The marans like to free range in the grass in the openess of the yard. The delawares don't really have a preference...

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