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Author Topic: What's for dinner?  (Read 1191 times)
Jerrymac
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« on: May 17, 2008, 02:00:36 PM »

I was browsing a farm store the other day and noticed all these different feeds for chickens. Some I remember are starter, starter/grower, grower finisher, layer, oyster shell, scratch grain, chicken grit.

Just when does one use these different feeds? Do you feed chickens different if you want them for laying... eating? What if you want them to lay for awhile and then might eat them later?

I thought you just got some chicks and turned them loose in the yard and they grow and do chicken things.
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2008, 06:53:23 PM »

i feed mine some laying mash in the AM (18% protein) and then throw them some scratch at mid-day and steal the eggs and then some more scratch at the end of the day and steal more eggs. if your chickens are outside in the field they don't need grit or oyster shell. starter is sometimes medicated for when they are chicks. grower and grower/finisher sound like broiler feed(higher protein).
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2008, 12:21:39 AM »

i feed mine some laying mash in the AM (18% protein) and then throw them some scratch at mid-day and steal the eggs and then some more scratch at the end of the day and steal more eggs. if your chickens are outside in the field they don't need grit or oyster shell. starter is sometimes medicated for when they are chicks. grower and grower/finisher sound like broiler feed(higher protein).

Egg-actly!  I do feed my chickens red oyster shell grit--minerals plus calcium.  I use it for my pigeons too.  Even with 35 pigeons, 25 chickens, and 2 turkeys, 50 llbs is like a tootsie roll--it lasts a long time.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2008, 03:58:45 AM »

The question is, at what age of the chicks do you start them on the different types?

And, Do you feed chickens different if you want them for laying or for eating? What if you want them to lay for awhile and then might eat them later?
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2008, 06:48:16 AM »

When they are chicks you feed them the starter stuff....maybe until 4 weeks old when they feather out. the grower feeds are for broilers....the cornish x rocks that grow to slaughter weight in 6 weeks...so don't bother with that stuff. you can mix a small amount of grit in with the starter feed since they are confined when on starter. don't free feed grit or they can fill up on it and not the feed. after 4 weeks and if they are outside you can stop the grit and switch to layer feed and scratch. introduce new feed by mixing with the old for a few days. if the starter is medicated you don't want to feed it when they are laying.
btw....chicken feed is very expensive these days.
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Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2008, 09:22:00 AM »

Jerry, I hear your quandry, I wonder the same exact things.  We have chickens, ducks and turkeys.  Just try and keep the older birds out of the baby birds feed.  When you have communal houses and yards, well.....then there is issues.  The ducklings are old enough now that they don't need the starter (I think, from what I read).  That is good because the stupid chickens prefer that to their laying pellets.

The turkey poults are still on starter and they only come out of their own tiny teeny yard for a few hours a day and I close their little yard up, they wander the big yards with the mothers.  The chickens love to try and sneak in and eat their starter too.  It really is quite a time consuming bunch of work to try and keep the chickens away from the baby food.  What gives.

You are getting good answers, and I am listening, because I am in the same boat and will be in that boat again when the chickens hatch from the incubator, when they get a little bit older to go out of the brooding pen. 

Jerry, just keep reading and listening, you will have to extract the information and figure it out, you will do it.

Are you lovin' to have the chickens around?  Sure is a cool experience eh?  So glad that you got onboard with it.

Turkey poults are so curious and really not that intelligent, I am finding out all kinds of strange things about them, they are not even remotely like young ducks that don't even stray 10 inches from the others in their clutch (is that what its called).  They stick together.  Not the turkeys, they are all over the map and I have to rescue one every now and then because I can hear it a mile away peeping its brains out because it can't figure out how to get back out of its house where it went to get a snack.  It can see its mothers, but can't figure out how to get to them.  Oh brother, they are worse than little children because they are so curious and get lost so easily.  Eeeks.  Have fun with the chicks, Jerry.  Beautiful and most wonderful day, lovin' this great life we all share.  Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2008, 10:09:41 AM »

When I had the muscovy & ducks I got all purpose poultry to feed everyone, just threw oyster shell for the chix. They were free range so anything missing in the diet they found.  They also get all the kitchen &cockatiel scraps.  Whatever they don't clean up goes into the compost pile.  Made it much easier to keep track & didn't have to worry if someone else fed.  For awhile a few years ago, it was hard to find unmediated chix food. The meds are not good for anything but the chix ( not really good for them either, much like antibiotics taken indiscriminately .)  Now the norm is non medicated except for most starters.  I keep the chicks on the starter till feathered or around 5-6 wks, now they are on all purpose, I may get layer when they are 16-20 wks cause the Guinea can have that.  Jody
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