This is How They Fed Chicks 100 Years Ago

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bestpractice, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. bestpractice

    bestpractice Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2011
    from I.C.S. Poultryman's Handbook
    A Convenient Reference Book For All Persons Interested in the Production of Eggs and Poultry for Market and the Breeding of Standard-Bred Poultry for Exhibition
    International Textbook Company
    Scranton, PA

    All text is quoted accurately from this book. Anything in SQUARE BRACKETS [ ] is a note from ChickenFeed Website.
    No food is given to young chicks for the first 48 hr., but grit of some kind is supplied to clean out their digestive organs. Beginning with the third day, they may have stale bread moistened with sweet milk and pressed until nearly dry. For the next 2 or 3 da. a mixture of stale bread crumbs and fine oatmeal makes a good ration, and is better fed in small quantities at frequent intervals. [NOTE: Remember, this is 1912, before additives were put into bread. If this is tried, make sure the bread is healthfully made.]

    For chicks that are a week or more old, a simple ration can be made of 4 parts, by weight, of cracked corn, 2 parts of broken wheat, 2 parts of oatmeal, and 2 parts of granulated meat scrap. The corn should be broken into small pieces and the meat scrap must be of good quality, rich in protein, and of small size; meat scrap that contains fat is not fit to use in this ration. After the chicks are 6 wk. old, a ration made of cracked corn, whole wheat, hulled oats, and meat scrap can be used. In addition to the grain and meat ration, grit, green food, broken sea shells, or bone meal are necessary for young chicks. All food fed to chicks should be in small particles to avoid disorders in the crop and digestive organs. [NOTE: A Vitamix blender can handle tough grains. Used ones can be found. Don't blend to a flour. Use a commercial starter mix to compare grain size. Blend a few seconds, pour though a seive, re-blend the big pieces, and repeat.]

    The accompanying table gives the feeding standards for young chicks.


    Food Quarts

    (a) "for chicks having the free range of a farm"
    Shelled corn 16
    Wheat 8
    Hulled oats 4
    Pearl barley 3
    Millet seed 0.5

    (b) "for bantams or chicks of tender constitution"
    Millet seed 0.5
    Cracked Kafir corn 1
    Cracked wheat 2
    Cracked wheat 2
    Canary seed 1
    Oatmeal 1
    Finely granulated meat 0.5

    (c) "for those partly or wholly confined"
    Fine siftings from
    cracked corn 40
    Cracked wheat 30
    Oatmeal 10
    Millet seed 3
    Granulated meat 7

    (d) "for those partly or wholly confined"
    Fine broken corn 35
    Cracked Kafir corn 6
    Cracked wheat 40
    Hulled oats 30
    Broken peas 5
    Animal charcoal 5
    Millet seed 5
    Meat scrap 10

    (e) "for half-grown chicks on the range"
    Cracked corn 50
    Whole wheat 50
    Clipped oats 30
    Barley 10

    (f) "for half-grown chicks on the range"
    Cracked corn 200
    Whole wheat 300
    Barley 200
    Clipped oats 100
    Screenings 200
    Buckwheat 100

    Mixing of Chick Foods:
    The term chick food is used to describe mixtures made from food materials that are used for feeding chicks. Many kinds are manufactured and sold commercially; if they are of good quality, their use may be convenient and safe [!]. Chick food can be made of numerous kinds of grains and seeds. Any of the mixtures given in the accompanying table form suitable chick foods. After the grains in (a) have been ground and mixed, 4 qt. of beef scraps should be added to the mixture; (a) is adapted to chicks having the free range of a farm; (b) is for bantams or chicks of tender constitution; (c) and (d) are for those partyly or wholly confined; (e) and (f) are grain mixtures suitable for half-grown chicks on the range.

    Feeding Schedule for Chicks:
    Chicks thrive best if fed five times a day until they are 6 wk. old, after which age they may be fed four times daily; and at 8 wk. of age, three meals a day are sufficient. The following schedule may be observed in feeding five meals a day:
    First Meal---Soon after daylight. Bread crumbs, seed, or small grain, according to age.
    Second Meal---Eight or nine o'clock. Egg food, mash feed, or chick feed, according to age.
    Third Meal---Noon. Small grains or chick feed, scattered into chaff or dry litter of some kind.
    Fourth Meal---Two o'clock. Either egg food, mash feed, bread softened with milk, or johnny cake.
    Fifth Meal---Four o'clock. A full meal of small grain or chick feed, scattered in the chaff or litter.
    The small grains and chick feed should be scattered in dry chaff or cut straw. Fine or short-cut alfalfa or clover hay makes good litter; sand, sawdust, or chips of wood are undesirable litter for chicks. Clean, dry earth may also be safely used for litter.
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    How fascinating. [​IMG]

  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I note that they mention charcoal. I like to occasionally throw charcoal from my woodstove in the run and they peck at it. I suppose this is for minerals.

    Thanks for posting!
  4. bestpractice

    bestpractice Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2011
    I thought the charcoal was odd, but I really didn't look to find more information about it.
  5. Fuzz Fuzz

    Fuzz Fuzz Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 16, 2012
    This is a nice peace to read.
    Thanks for posting it
  6. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    Very interesting. My mom asked me what I fed my baby ducks, I guess when her grandparents used to have ducklings they would give them milk and bread.
  7. AlaskaChicks

    AlaskaChicks Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 16, 2012
    wow, that is really interesting. i am so new to chickens i don't have any experience with them yet. I love this kind of ... historical information!
  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    The charcoal they are referring to is activated carbon and is used as a detoxicating agent.

  9. bestpractice

    bestpractice Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2011
    Cool, thanks for the info.
  10. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    This is pretty neat!


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