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When can I begin feeding

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by NoSkiveez, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. NoSkiveez

    NoSkiveez NoSkiveez Poultry

    Dec 27, 2009
    Casa Grande
    My Coop
    Hello everyone! I am new to chickens and to this site. Over the last few months I have spent a good deal of time reading but am just now joining. We decided on chickens because we wanted to have fresh eggs and we eat lots of eggs.

    We have 4 Amerucana's (3 hens and 1 roo and he was supposed to be a hen too), 2 Rhode Island Reds, 1 Leghorn, 4 Silver laced (3 hens/1 roo). They are about 11 weeks old. 1 Barred Rock mix roo who is about 4.5 months old, 5 Silkie babies (almost 2 weeks) that currently still live in my bathroom, and 5 Delaware babies (Christmas hatch) that also live in my bathroom (because chickens have a wonderful aroma!). We are waiting for a handful of Gold Laced to be hatched and two more leghorns. Initially our plan was only involving the 4 Amerucanas but my husband built a very large pen for them and we had adequate space. Roosters were also not in the plans either but things happen (lol).

    We've currently only been feeding the starter/grower crumble feed to the older chicks and the starter mash to the younger bunch. I was wondering when it would be acceptable to begin introducing other things into their diet such as oatmeal, cooked rice, legumes etc? Ive been reading alot about what is okay and whats not and most of the information doesnt include ages. I just dont want to do anything that will harm them or halt proper development.

    Im also wondering when its okay to begin giving scratch and grit. Our chickens have alot of open confined space but not free range as there is a concern over predators (house cats, stray cats, stray dogs, coyotes, etc) especially when we've got a pack of coyotes that are coming to check out or chickens during the day time, so we're playing it safe with them.

    Thanks
     
  2. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

    14,367
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    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    You can start giving them treats any time. They might be scared at first but it won't hurt them unless they trample each other!
     
  3. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    MERRY LAND
    They can start eating other things as soon as they are born, if they were with a hen they would be eating everything as soon as she took them out.

    However.... for best growth and health it is best to leave them on PURE starter grower, but no one can resist giving a chick a grape or two, but remember if they fill up on scratch/treats they cannot get the nutrition in that they need.

    As far as grit, if you are giving them anything other than bagged food, they will need some form of grit to digest the extras
     
  4. NoSkiveez

    NoSkiveez NoSkiveez Poultry

    Dec 27, 2009
    Casa Grande
    My Coop
    Fantastic. I had some left over oatmeal from breakfast and I took it out and gave it to them and they were afraid of it and I had to throw the oatmeal on the ground for them to check out. They wouldnt eat it out of the pie tin, only off the ground. The older roo had no issues eating out of the dish.
     
  5. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

    14,367
    31
    316
    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    Quote:Chickens are funny that way.
     
  6. NoSkiveez

    NoSkiveez NoSkiveez Poultry

    Dec 27, 2009
    Casa Grande
    My Coop
    Quote:We will pick some up today.

    Is there any recommendations on how much to give, how often and recommended method on giving it to them?
     
  7. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    MERRY LAND
    Quote:We will pick some up today.

    Is there any recommendations on how much to give, how often and recommended method on giving it to them?

    If they are ranging on grass/dirt that has rocks/sand they will pick it up themselves, but I always have a feeder full of grit and one full of oyster shell in case they need either. I give free choice, so its always available if they want it.
     
  8. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    Alaska
    [​IMG] from Alaska
     
  9. RocketDad

    RocketDad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    When I started giving the chicks treats, I gave them a jar-lid full of coarse sand too, to start their gizzards. It was amazing how quickly they gobbled up the sand! They knew that they needed it. I gradually mixed in larger and larger grit as they grew.

    Mine went nuts over fresh spinach and dried-out heels of whole-grain bread. Still do!
     

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