What to feed??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by silkie4, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. silkie4

    silkie4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Eastern Nebraska
    Ok, VERY new to raising chickens so be nice please! I have 4 silkie chickens. 11 weeks old...... they are still on the medicated starter food and still have a whole lot left in the bag.... Anything else they need at this point? and how much should they be eating. They appear to want to eat all day, does that mean they are missing something important in their diet??

    Also, the water thing that we bought at Bomgaars doesn't seem to keep water in it, once you fill it it is completely empty within 5-10 minutes! Any suggestions for a new "water bowl"?

    Any responses are greatly appreciated!

    Thanks

    Lynette
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If you have a rural store, like Tractor Supply, you will find all kinds of larger watering fountains. I find 2 gallons a day per dozen hens. You can do the math as it applies to your flock. I think anything smaller than a 1 gallon water fountain requires far too much attention.

    As for the starter, let them finish the bag. They can eat it until point of lay and you already have it, so..... let them finish it off. Yes, they eat periodically throughout the day. They prefer to eat this way. Birds pick and peck all day, if they can.

    Four 11 week olds might be able consume a pound of feed per day, tops. That means a 25 pound bag of feed should last you a month. It is not very economical to buy smaller bags. Store in a snap lid tub and it will stay fresh and away from the rodents and bugs.
     
  3. silkie4

    silkie4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Eastern Nebraska
    Thanks! The item we are using now for the water is a small red cone shaped thing, you fill the bowl portion and attach the bottom on and turn it over, then as the chickens drink, it is suppose to keep the bottom trough full of water. The water just seems to leak out and empties quite quickly. I will get something along the lines you are talking about.
     
  4. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Syracuse, NY
    I have to say that silkies might do better with a "nipple" water system. Since they are so fluffy. I two so I will find out.

    I use a clear empty cat litter jug. Thoroughly cleaned of course and with one nipple in the bottom corner. It's easy to fill and hang on the side of the coop or run. You can also use a clear drinking pitcher too.

    Enjoy your silkies

    Rancher
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    It seems your waterer has a small leak or crack somewhere that is causing the leaking out. Too bad. I once bought a metal 3 gallon that used a rubber stop when you placed the outer cover over it. It too leaked and allowed the water to drain out. My store took it back, thank goodness, as it was >$25.

    I actually find many of the waterers a pain. The most simple thing is to merely give them a small, short, little pail of water. They like using it too. Unfortunately, I sometimes have to be gone for a day or two and need a waterer that lasts them for two or three days.

    Here's one, it works, even if it is a bit of a pain. http://www.tractorsupply.com/livest...arms-poultry-drinker-3-5-gal-capacity-2167646
     
  6. franklinchickens

    franklinchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    Just curious about why you are using a medicated feed? We've had two rounds of chicks and have never needed a medicated feed - we just use the chick starter formula. Now all are on the pellets and then they free range. As for what else they need - the regular feed has all the nutrition they 'need' though chickens will eat just about anything you give them. Check the list of treats on BYC - mine especially love watermelon rinds, weeds, any greens, grapes & blueberries. They also love scratch (cracked corn) but not as a whole diet. Plain yogurt is also awesome. But as for need - not much - but for fun - lots of choices.
    Chickens scratch & eat all day long - that's pretty much what they do. Once you get a new watering system - just keep fresh water coming, and keep the food filled and they should be fine. You may want to make grit & oyster shell available for them but if they free range, and have a complete feed, you probably won't need it.
     

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