It is currently Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:47 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: chicken feed
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 5:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2003 11:08 am
Posts: 118
Location: Ladonia
We just bought 12 chickens and I need to know what to feed them beside just chicken scratch. They are about 4 months old and are now free range chicken with a 10x10 chicken coop for the night time. Any advice would sure be appreciated

Rick

_________________
Life is a Garden. DIG IT!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 5:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 9:49 pm
Posts: 66
Location: ,
Rick,

Congrats on your chickens. I predict you will really enjoy having them. They will probably start laying when they are 5 to 7 months old. The good news about pullets is that they usually are prolific layers. The downside is that the eggs are usually on the small side. As they get older, the eggs will get a lot larger, but the frequency of laying will decrease somewhat.

Upmost concern with chickens is predator control. Sounds like you have thought that through. We've been lucky and our losses have been limited to a few birds that inexplicably kicked the bucket and one massive trail of carnage due to a neighbor's marading dog. Some of our neighbors have experienced a lot more losses due to bobcats and coyote. I was speaking to Lynn Magedson at Good Earth Organic Farm and she thought our practice of going down to "tuck the birds in" at night was good for keeping predators away. Many predators get active at and right after dusk. If you make a habit of visiting your chickens at this time and making sure they are all in the roost, you may help to keep some predators away. Also, you may get a chance to see some Texas rat snakes. We also have a livestock guardian dog on the property and her scent and presence probably helps as well.

Regarding feed, scratch is probably the one thing you don't want to feed your chickens. You may wonder why since it probably seems like they love it alot, but scratch is the poorest quality feed. It's the bits and pieces left over from all the other feed manufactured at the mill and it is low protein to boot. They love it because it is like eating potato chips or twinkies.

To get decent egg production, you will need to supplement their diet of bugs and forage with a feed containing additional protein and minerals - especially calcium. Most farmers who specialize in pastured layers have their feed custom milled. They will often use kelp meal or Fertrell's poultry balancer to provide the minerals, etc. Look for something labeled for layers with 16% protein. It can be either pellet or crumble. Doesn't seem to matter, whatever your chickens will eat. Purina Layena is "certified natural", whatever that means.

When you start giving them the layer pellet, take away the scratch. Otherwise, they will fill up on it rather than the better foods (bugs or layer feed). Although most feed supposed will have sufficient calcium, you may need to add more. Offer oyster shell or feed their own egg shells back to them. I bake them at 200 degrees for about an hour and them crumble them up into small bits. The chickens really go for them.

You can offer your chickens other types of food. Various greens, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, etc. This is stuff you will likely be putting in your compost pile. I through the stuff on top of the pile and the chickens poke through it and take what they want.

Fresh water - always - is a critical input. With winter coming up, you may need to be careful about the water freezing over. I keep some water and feed in the hen house and during some cold nights, the water will freeze. I've seen blood from the chickens trying to peck through the water in the morning. Occasionally on really cold days, you may want to confine them to the hen house during the day.

You've probably already realized that you will need to keep any garden beds that you don't want destroyed fenced from the chickens. We use the green coated fence around most of our flower beds and it works fairly well. We might have chickens get over it a few times at first, but soon they learn to ignore the forbidden area. We have 5 foot fence around our veggie garden.

Good luck with your chickens!

Marlyn


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 4:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2003 11:08 am
Posts: 118
Location: Ladonia
Thanks so much for that good info. We do make sure that they are in the roost at night and we have 3 5 gallon waterers. I went and bought the good crumbles and did 3/4 crumbles and 1/4 scratch to get them started. Again thanks so much for the info

Rick

_________________
Life is a Garden. DIG IT!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:32 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:51 pm
Posts: 747
Location: Garland, Texas
Marlyn,

All I can say is...WOW! Between this post on chicken care and your goat post...Some of the most concise, informative posts I've read. I only wish I had goats and or chickens to take advantage of your wealth of knowledge!

_________________
Keeping it clean and green here, Boss.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 6:08 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:18 pm
Posts: 1093
Location: McKinney,TEXAS
Do I get any credit for being smart enough to marry her?
Tony M


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 9:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:51 pm
Posts: 747
Location: Garland, Texas
Tony M wrote:
Do I get any credit for being smart enough to marry her?
Tony M


:lol: Yes, Tony. We'll give you credit for that move! Plus we'll give you extra credit for recogizing the fact :lol: It won't hurt things a bit, if you point her to your post. :D

Seriously now... :) Ya'll have to have the best cared for menagerie in the area. As someone mentioned here before, if (or more hopefully when) your schedules allowed, I would welcome the opportunity to sit down and listen to a talk from the pair of you addressing your practices.

_________________
Keeping it clean and green here, Boss.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:56 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:18 pm
Posts: 1093
Location: McKinney,TEXAS
Mr. Clean-
I've had several members of this forum come out to the house and take a look around. If the timing is right I still have some late watermelon in our vegie garden.
Organize a trip or come out alone, we'll be glad to have you. Here's what you will see: Laying hens, chicken tractor, livestock guardian dog, Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats, (three in milk, a weather (casterated male pet) and a 7 week old kid) a vegetable garden w/ raised beds, orchard, recently built farm pond, a 1951 restored Ford 8N tractor, native plantings using xeriscape techniques, a near state record Burr Oak (free acorns) and 10 sweet acres of country.
Tony M


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 12:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:51 pm
Posts: 747
Location: Garland, Texas
Thank you Tony M, that sounds great. As soon as I have regained my mobility (still recouping from a major fracture of my ankle while on vacation :? ) I would love to arrange a visit. Everythng sounds good with chickens, goats, and xeriscaping topping my list of interest!

I will PM you and provide plenty of notice so we can work out a mutually convenient time.

_________________
Keeping it clean and green here, Boss.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 7:33 am
Posts: 764
Location: Plano & land at Dodd City,TEXAS
Tony-
What all did you do to restore the 'red belly'? We bought one a few mo ago from a neighbor & it's given us a few problems. My not-at-all-mechanic husband put in new points & plugs but when it continued to die we got a 'specialst' out who cleaned out the carburetor. Died again & 'specialist' said the ignition wasn't firing correctly-but ok now. So it's kinda "what wil be next". We had heard they were really reliable-but that's probably providing the points are gapped & the carb is clean!?!?
Have friends on 23 ac in McKinney who are going to raise chickens & goats-they need to talk to you guys!!
Patty

_________________
Plano Patty & Jim


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: red belly
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 4:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat May 10, 2003 5:48 pm
Posts: 806
Location: Weatherford,TX
Ck your fuel filter & gas tank. Older equipment has rust, water & debris in tank. A gas tank cleaning & sealer may be in order.

_________________
The "soap" you use is normally chemicals, etc. Use real SOAP !!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: chicken feed
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 10:43 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:53 pm
Posts: 6
carhoods wrote:
We just bought 12 chickens and I need to know what to feed them beside just chicken scratch. They are about 4 months old and are now free range chicken with a 10x10 chicken coop for the night time. Any advice would sure be appreciated

Rick

Howdy-new user here. I see you got a lot of great advice for the chickens.
We fed ours a lot of table scraps in addition to the laying mash. We always saved the shells from our shrimp feasts for the "girls" as an additional source of calcium...they go crazy for em. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 7:33 am
Posts: 764
Location: Plano & land at Dodd City,TEXAS
Sorry for highjacking the thread, but thanks to KHWOZ for the tractor suggestion, now to see if we can remove the gas tank...
Patty

_________________
Plano Patty & Jim


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by eWeblife