Chicken Feed

Discuss, share and chat about all things relating to keeping Chickens including health issues
JMcElroy
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Chicken Feed

Post by JMcElroy »

Hi,

I am due to get 3 chickens (not sure how old yet, but maybe 6 months) in the next month or two. I am trying to find out information on what type of grains to feed them. I believe oats are not good, and certain veg such as nightshades. I think I'll be ok on the veg part, its more the grains. I have no idea what to purchase prior to them arriving.

Any advice would be great.

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Mo
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Re: Chicken Feed

Post by Mo »

A lot of us just buy layers pellets (for hens old enough; there are also growers pellets for younger birds as the calcium needs to be right) . Simpler than mixing your own.
Dance caller. http://mo-dance-caller.blogspot.co.uk/p/what-i-do.html
Sunny Clucker enjoyed Folk music and song in mid-Cheshire
JMcElroy
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Re: Chicken Feed

Post by JMcElroy »

Thats great. Thanks a million for that.
Gwenoakes
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Re: Chicken Feed

Post by Gwenoakes »

I asked the people I bought my hens off, what were they feeding them. You could try that, I thought the move would be traumatic, so maybe keeping the food the same could only be good for them.
bikesandbirdsbob
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Re: Chicken Feed

Post by bikesandbirdsbob »

I know that in a few weeks they will be getting treats (meal worms , sweet corn , cabbage , mixed corn pellets , veg of all sorts , pasta from your dinner plate , not a good thing but I doubt if any body does not give kitchen food to them ,Bread is not a good thing in great amounts and most bugs in or round your favourite flower beds .
Most pet hens get spoilt terribly .
Can not believe that your pet hens will not be the same .
Chickens only eat what is good for them . Seem to leave the onions etc alone , will not stop them digging them up for worms under them .
Bob
Freeranger
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Re: Chicken Feed

Post by Freeranger »

You can buy sacks of corn and mixed grains for them if you want to give it as a treat as well as the pellets. The extra protein can help with feather regrowth after the annual moult or if they need building up at all.
As other treats, they tend to like moist things like berries, cucumber, peas etc
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KarenE
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Re: Chicken Feed

Post by KarenE »

Their main food source should be layers pellets or you can get them in a ground up form called layers mash. This is assuming they are point of lay/adult birds and not chicks. As Gwen said, try & find out what they are used to being fed on and that will help. You can buy large sacks of layers pellets and smaller sacks of mash, so do make sure you have something rat & mice proof to store the feed in.

You can also feed them mixed corn or even garden bird seed if you want to give them treats, but not too often. Mealworms they also like although you're not supposed to feed them the ones imported from China so check the packets. They'll eat most fruit and veg, greenery, sweetcorn, peas, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, salads etc etc and as bob said they'll forage for bugs and insects given the chance and your garden plants and grass will get eaten too. Kitchen scraps shouldn't be given - DEFRA rules - unless you're a vegan household (to stop cross contamination) but you can feed stuff if it hasn't gone through your kitchen. Many chicken keepers ignore this so just be aware and make your own decisions :-D

Other useful stuff to have in your chicken keeper's medicine/general health cabinet - zolcal D or limestone flour for treating soft or shell-less eggs (boosts calcium); harkermectin for treating lice and mites; poultry tonic or spice for general pick me ups; apple cider vinegar for general pick me ups; flubenvet for worming (powder or pre mixed pellets); grit if they won't be free ranging; some disinfectant for cleaning out and cleaning up (virkon is good and if we get avian flu back you'll need it for cleaning and footbaths); smite or similar for prevention and treatment of red mite infestations (prevention is better than cure, trust us!)

Finally - make sure their coop and run are predator proof!

Don't let that long list above put you off! Give them some pellets or mash, treat them occasionally with whatever comes along, a handful of corn in the evenings is good esp if you can train them to come at the shaking of a tin and get ready to spend hours and hours enjoying their company!

Any questions, just ask
Karen
Alpha chick to: Dorian Grey, Pokey, Mango, Smudge and Coco
Chief servant to Marley the cat
Remembering Weeps, Rexie, Sage, Cassie, Toffee, Captain Gabby, Commander Nugget, Ronnie, Juno, Special Poetry and Reading Casper, Tigger, Tophenanall Rembrandt, Chestnut, Tiddly and Willow
Also my lost furries Charlie and Jasper
JMcElroy
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Re: Chicken Feed

Post by JMcElroy »

Thank you all. So much great information there. There sure is a lot of learning to do.
Freeranger
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Re: Chicken Feed

Post by Freeranger »

Don't let the amount of information we're posting put you off getting them.
Just like you'd research any other animal, it makes sense to know a bit before you start, but they actually are quite easy to look after as they very much know their own minds and their needs are simple - food (pellets), water, somewhere to roost, somewhere to nest, somewhere to scrat, security, a good avian vet. Let them out in the morning, feed & water them, put them to bed at dusk. Everything else is refinement - you'll soon want to interact with them, and they may be ill from time to time.
There are loads of experienced people here to advise whenever you need it.
bikesandbirdsbob
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Re: Chicken Feed

Post by bikesandbirdsbob »

In a nut shell .
Could not put it better .
Bob
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KarenE
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Re: Chicken Feed

Post by KarenE »

Yes i agree, they are actually quite low maintenance really and very easily pleased! My 2 new girls are following me around the garden after an occasional gooseberry and all of my lot eat grass out of my hand and think it's the world's best treat. Simple souls the lot of them!
Karen
Alpha chick to: Dorian Grey, Pokey, Mango, Smudge and Coco
Chief servant to Marley the cat
Remembering Weeps, Rexie, Sage, Cassie, Toffee, Captain Gabby, Commander Nugget, Ronnie, Juno, Special Poetry and Reading Casper, Tigger, Tophenanall Rembrandt, Chestnut, Tiddly and Willow
Also my lost furries Charlie and Jasper
violetgarlic
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Re: Chicken Feed

Post by violetgarlic »

Hi. I'm also a new member here and in this area but I found out that one of the main things to do is to make a chicken coop as big and free as possibe. For example, this coop will allow to keep from 8 to 10 chickens. And it looks amaizing! Also, it's better to add stability to a feeder to prevent problems or even it's better to use hanging plastic feeders. For example, I foung this buying guide for chicken feeders and wanted to get something like the third one there but people on the other forum had told me that it will be very small. So I've decided to buy something plastic like the first one from the guide and later to build my own feeder. As for the food, they will nedd special chicken food, which is already balanced with all the vitamins and minerals they need.

This is what I found out so far :-D
violetgarlic
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Re: Chicken Feed

Post by violetgarlic »

Sorry for posting so much info that you migh already know. But since everything here is new for me, I'm so excited to share what I've found :-D Hope that something will be useful for you!
JMcElroy
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Re: Chicken Feed

Post by JMcElroy »

Thanks Violet. I have a big coop, to fit 8-10 hens. Feeders are all sorted and working well. I have them on grower pellets, a little seaweed, a little organic grain and they free range every day. So getting there. Hope you are enjoying your new adventure. I'm loving it. Thanks again.
Freeranger
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Re: Chicken Feed

Post by Freeranger »

Violet, you make me think back to the 'early days' when we had ours and were still finding out about them - it was a very exciting time. I think it must be like having a first child!
If you really want to blow your mind, you could look at the second thread on this Chicken Keeping index - loads of photos of the coops ad keeping arrangements of some brilliant laners past and present.

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