What should I be feeding my hens? They're not laying age yet.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by HensCanberra, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. HensCanberra

    HensCanberra Hatching

    Oct 6, 2013
    Hey everyone! :)

    First post and first time chook keeper here.

    I have four chickens, three hens and a rooster. Two Australorps and Two Isa Brown X's. They're 8 weeks old now and I've had them since day old from a friend.

    I allow them to free range all day from dawn to dusk in my large backyard and they seem to be eating plenty of grass, other leafy greens and insects and I also feed them a soaked/fermented mixture of organic chicken starter/grower mixed with a poultry herbal based supplement (http://www.greenpet.com.au/products/GREENPET-BIRD-&-POULTRY-SUPPLEMENT.html).

    Do I need to be feeding them anything else? When, and how, do I move them onto a layer mix and would it be better for me to introduce that dry or keep it soaked/fermented as I'm doing now with their chicken starter?

    Thanks everyone!
  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Free Ranging

    Jun 23, 2013
    The Big Island/Hawaii
    I'm still learning and this site helps a lot. There's a forum on Fermented Food, you may want to look it up and ask your question there. I've gotten different feedback on when to start layer feed, some say wait until they start laying while others say at 18wk.

    My 6 pack make 18wks tomorrow but aren't expected to lay for another few weeks (Wyandottes, Ameraucana, Orpingtons). I've decided to do the All Purpose until they lay then give them Oyster Shells on the side. Comparing the nutritional values of layer vs AP, they are similar, the difference in value is fiber & calcium (AP has less). They grub all day so thinking they're ok but read alfalfa crumbs adds extra fiber.

    I'd like to try FF but it seems like extra work & not done with layer, so I gave up on the idea. Check out the FF forum, alot of posts.
  3. countrydream7

    countrydream7 Chirping

    Sep 5, 2013
    getting new chicks Tuesday bought dumor starter feed is this good for them and how long do u keep them on this then go to what feed thanks
  4. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Free Ranging

    Jun 23, 2013
    The Big Island/Hawaii
    I use medicated chick starter, told by the breeder to keep them on it until they're 18wk then change to grower or all purpose or layer...depends on what kind of chickens you're raising. I decided on AP after comparing the nutritional values, when all my pullets start laying will switch to layer. Using AP I can put a dish of oyster shells for the added calcium lacking in the feed, Layer has all that is needed for egg laying but told that "extra" calcium not good for chicks. It gets confusing at times, everyone has their our opinion due to experiences and you take in all the info & decide which is best for you. Have fun
  5. This is called a Feed Chart. Most feed companies create this charts to offer a suggested feed schedule for their products. This one is from Purina, as it happens. It shows the "basics" of what to feed when.


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