When to start feeding 'scraps'?

padavali

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 3, 2013
36
0
32
Good morning!

I am very new to chickens and so far, loving it! We have a mixed batch for now, including 15 broilers, and 15 egg layers. They are 3 weeks old to 1 week old. My question is this, at what point can I feed salad scraps to my broilers, all of which are 3 + weeks old? And to the egg layers? Since the broilers are growing so much faster, I am guessing that I can feed them the scraps earlier?

Thanks for your help,

Dianna
 

Puddin Fluff

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 30, 2012
5,362
396
291
River Valley, AR
I have always read that you can introduce scraps at any time as long as you have some grit for them to have as well. They need the grit in their crop to help grind up the scraps. Chick feed is basically made to disolve (as I understand it) and therefore doesn't require grit. Don't be surprised if they don't attack the scraps at first. It takes them a while to adjust to anything new.

Good luck. & welcome to BYC!
welcome-byc.gif
 

padavali

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 3, 2013
36
0
32
Thanks! I also have juicer scraps that are just calling their names... Is this grit something that I can add to the chick feed, and soon to be 'adult' feed for the broilers?

Thanks a lot!
 
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padavali

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 3, 2013
36
0
32
they eat sand? i have unopened bags od sandbox sand... will that work?

thanks again!
 

Puddin Fluff

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 30, 2012
5,362
396
291
River Valley, AR
just chedk to be sure that the sand has not been treated. I am not sure what they do to playground sand to keep the "bugs/germs" out. As long as there are no chemicals added it should be fine.

Yes, chickens eat dirt, sand, small rocks, glass (which is not good for them), plastic (which isn't good either), almost anything youput in front of them. Partly out of curiosity but the small rocks/sand/dirt assist in the digestive process. Since they don't have teeth, something has to chew up their food and that happens in the crop.

Once they are older and laying you will need to get oyster shell "grit" for them. It helps put calcium back into their bodies and also helps in the crop with digestion.
 

padavali

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 3, 2013
36
0
32
I have so much to learn! :)

I think I will just grab grit tomorrow and add it to the feed, better safe than sorry!
 

Puddin Fluff

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 30, 2012
5,362
396
291
River Valley, AR
If you just ask for grit they will probably give you the oyster shells which are small gravel sized. If your chicks are very young they may need something smaller. Also, don't add it to the food. Put it in a seperate dish and allow them to take it "free choice" as they need it. Somehow they just know when they need it.
hu.gif
 

JennT

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 14, 2013
29
1
26
I am fairly new, too. I gave mine a mix of carrot, celery, cucumber and bell pepper the night we got our chicks, who were about 1 week old. They loved me from day one lol! I put them in a kitchen Ninja to grind it up. I also put a little dirt and sand in their brooder for them to peck at, and they had their pellets (well crumble). I just kept an eye on their butts to make sure they were eating the gritty stuff when they needed it and not getting pasty butt. I was told to go ahead and also not to do it. The lady I bought them from confirmed that it should be ok. I plan to free range mine and figure if they were outside with a hen that they would peck at whatever they could swallow anyways. I also like to give them long strips to play with. It is like they play tag with it and keep away. I would say just make sure that you have something gritty available. I am too new to know how true it is, but those that said it was ok said that the chicks would know when they need grit and get it when they need it. Just my thoughts.
 

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