We just brought our 4 new chickies home on Saturday.


10 Years
May 27, 2009
We named the smaller 2 Henny and Penny and the larger 2 General Sao and Kung Pao (don't worry we won't eat them just the eggs). We think one of the larger ones may be a rooster.

They are such herd animals - only one will venture out of the cluster to go to a new spot or to eat (Penny). It took a long time to get them to eat and they don't appear to be drinking much -- we have a plastic hanging feeder (the kind with the red bottom) and a 2 gallon waterer in the run - they haven't discovered the hanging feeder so I put the feed on a white tray and when they get near it they notice it and eat some. They want to stay in the hen house all the time unless we 'encourage' them out. We think the roost was in the way of the door so my husband has taken it out and will reposition it.

We kept checking on them -- at first we put them in the end of the run (it's rectangular and placed on the lawn - it's a chicken tractor) away from the hen house and they stood together and then would just plunk down. Slowly they moved to the other end of the run where they were pecking at the grass and weeds. We went off to town for a couple of hours and when we got back we thought they might have explored their new space but in stead they had plunked down exactly where we left them and went to sleep -- one's butt feathers were sticking out the side of the run. Kinda funny but since we also had seen them sticking their heads out of the run we decided to pick them up and put them in the nesting boxes so they couldn't be attacked through the walls of the run at night -- the next morning we found them still in the same nesting box as the night before). We also got some chicken wire and attached that to the outside of the run so they couldn't stick their heads or butts out (about 20SF of room). We are using 2 XL dog kennels end to end so the doors are on the outside ends -- we figured if it is strong enough to keep a german shepard in it can keep most predators out and then we added the chicken wire to make the spaces between the cage bars smaller so raccoons and such can't reach in and grab at the chickies. The hen house (about 10 SF room) is up against one end and the other end is where we would open to put the fresh food and water in. We have a 2 gallon waterer and a hanging feeder and a container hanging off the side with the grit for free choice.

We went to Tractor Supply and we were told that for 3 month old chickens we should feed them chick feed and chick grit. So that's what we bought -- I couldn't seem to find much of any other kind of chicken feed. We bought the stuff before we picked up the chickens - now I find out they should be eating grower or layer feed. But I have 20 lbs. of chick feed -- what to do now? Any thoughts?
Next time I will go to the smaller local farmer's co-op where I think they will be more knowledgeable. Is it a problem if they were not eating or drinking much the first 2 days?

How much should they be eating and drinking? I read they should each eat 1/4 pound of food a day but don't know about the water. Will they look for it if they want it or do we have to show them?

Thanks everyone,
They should be on grower feed until they start to lay. Food consumption depends on several things. Hot weather can slow them down. Do they get treats or a chance to free range? If so that can reduce your feed bill. Water is about the same. In hot weather they will drink MUCH more. I have a gal feeder for 11 grown chickens and even in this hot texas weather they empty it once a day. I still put out fresh water every morning and evening so it will be fresher and cooler. O Yea, Welcome to chickens and BYC.
the two gallon waterer is way too much water

you need to change water at least twice a day and then they will like the cool clean water

I never used big waterers just gallon sized ones

I hatched and fed 3500 chicks a yr so did have a lot of wterers to clean and fill daiy

they probably when full grown eat 1/4 lb of feed a day and you are better to keep them on the grower till they lay

it has more protein

they will need the grit if and when you feed them some grass clippings

any other questins email me

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