Very new and confused

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Paulitacq, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. Paulitacq

    Paulitacq New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Sep 29, 2007
    My dad and I just recently got 6 Golden Laced Wyandotte hens and 1 rooster. When my dad was young he raised chickens, but that was quite a long time ago. He tried putting feed out in a feeder and it seemed like they were not eating. We are using 18% layer feed along with cracked corn and oyster shell. We started just throwing a scoop (about 1 1/2 cups) of each on the ground and they seem to be foraging for it. We also give them fresh grass clippings, watermelon, lettuce, dandelion and all the crickets my kids can find. They have a very large fenced area to roam, but we have had some coyotes roaming so we don't let them completely free. I have been reading everything I can, but I feel like we may not be feeding them correctly. Should we go back to filling the feeder with the layer hen mixture and they will just eat when they are ready? What about the cracked corn and oyster shell? Are the table veggies and fruit ok? I just feel like we may not be doing things right and I want to make sure I am taking good care of my chickens. They are so beautiful and I think they are finally getting used to us. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. RioLindoAz

    RioLindoAz Sleeping

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yuma, Arizona
    you should switch to cracked corn for about a week. then start putting different types of feed in the feeder so they can get used to eating different food and don't worrie if they are hungry they have to eat something.



    !!!WELCOME!!!
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    So I assume you purchased adult or point of lay birds. If that is the case, fill their feeder with only the layer and let them eat it at their free choice. The, get a rabbit hopper or some other dish and put in the oyster shell for the girls to eat when they feel like it. The rooster will not eat it usually. As for the cracked corn, do that on moderation or at night as a treat. All other house scraps and veggies are good for them so they can just eat what ever they feel like from what you give them. That is just fine. I would stop throwing feed on the ground because feed molds very easily and mold can make the chickens sick or even kill them if they eat enough of it.

    For the housing, the run idea is very good if you have cyotes. Make sure though that you lock them up in a secure coop at night as everything is out to eat them. Welcome to the board! Oh, and with grass clippings, be very careful wit thoes since it can lead to an impacted crop.
     
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    4,871
    22
    251
    Jan 11, 2007
    Offer your rooster a second feeder with no layer ration in it (I combine nonmedicated chick starter and grower > the grower I use has mixed cracked grains in it)... this is because the amount of calcium in the layer is too high for anything but a laying bird. (I do not give any scratch grains as the girls "snack"on the boys feed)
    you will see your hens also eating from it... see that as their "treat" and they will free choice feed from the oyster shell and yogurt to make up for any "dilution" of their feed (to make up for the calcium). In addition to yogurt being a great probiotic source, it is also a good calcium source > let them free choice feed on the oyster shell and live (not pasteruized) yogurt
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2007
  5. Paulitacq

    Paulitacq New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Sep 29, 2007
    Thanks everyone. I'm going to try to make some changes today with their feed. Silkiechicken, what does an impacted crop mean? They really like the grass so how much is too much? Thanks!
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Remember that when chickens eat grass, they snip the tips off, not the entire stalk. Clippings are usually too long unless you chop them very tiny. Impacted crop is just what it sounds like. No nutrition can get through if the crop is stuffed full of indigestible stuff.
     
  7. Paulitacq

    Paulitacq New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Sep 29, 2007
    Ok, now I'm worried that we might have already given them too much grass. Some of the clippings were very long! What do I need to watch for with impacted crop? How do I treat this? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2007
  8. devora

    devora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Check their crop in the morning. It should have 'emptied.' Here's a link w/ some info. I can't speak to it personally b/c I haven't had these problems. Maybe someone who has can check the link to see if it's accurate? WELCOME! And good luck w/ it.

    http://wiki.thepoultrykeeper.co.uk/index.php/Crop_Problems
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by