chicken feed

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russell34

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chicken feed
« on: August 02, 2009, 07:39 »
hi im new too this and need advice !!
i pick up three chickens this week and need advice on feed.
coop is built feeder and water containers bought
what feed do you recommend ? what kind of bedding/straw?
plus inside the coop it is completely empty advice on perches ?
bedding boxes or just cover the whole of the inside of the coop with straw?
all advice and help appreciated

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joyfull

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Re: chicken feed
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2009, 08:20 »
What age and breed of chickens are you getting? Perch height and feed depend on knowing these factors. Don't use hay as this may have mould spores - I put straw in my nesting boxes only (some others don't use it at all) and on the floor I use hemcore, others use dust extracted shavings and some even use cushion floor which makes cleaning out a doddle  :D. Dont forget to get oyster shell and grit. Once they start laying you can wash their own shells, bake them and then crush them to feed back to your hens instead of oyster shell. You can have external nesting boxes or like me I have a long wooden box that they lay in and a small lidded rabbit box as well. others have plastic crates, tyres, posh nesting boxes that the eggs roll down, in fact hens will lay in just about anything - 1 of mine squeezes under a tarpaulin on our lowloader trailer and lays there every day  :D
Staffies are softer than you think.

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SMD66

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Re: chicken feed
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2009, 08:42 »
chicken layers pellets, whatever brand you can get locally.  They need access to it all the time.  Water all the time too, I put apple cider vinegar in the water, (dont use in galvenized containers) which you can get from feed stores/equine suppliers or on-line, not the stuff in the supermarket.  I use 15ml per litre, this stops algae growth and keeps the hens guts slightly acidic to prevent worms etc.  Some people use a higher concenterate than that but I find this works for me.
re-perches, hens prefer to get up high to roost, it makes them feel safe.  As long as the perches are slightly higher than the nest boxes they will be ok.  I would recommend covering the nest boxes overnight for the first week or 2 otherwise if they get used to sleeping in them it is a hard habit to break.  They do a lot of poos overnight and you dont want nest boxes full of poo where they are going to lay their eggs.

good luck, enjoy your hens  :) 
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Samantha :)

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jo40

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Re: chicken feed
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2009, 20:49 »
Why not galvanised water containers?
I use the plastic one a the moment, thought the galvanised were supposed to be better.
Jo

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Foxy

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Re: chicken feed
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2009, 20:53 »
Why not galvanised water containers?
I use the plastic one a the moment, thought the galvanised were supposed to be better.
Jo
[/quote

ACV is acidic so will corrode metal (galvanised) feeders :)

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joyfull

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Re: chicken feed
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2009, 21:04 »
Russell - still waiting for breed and age of your chicks  :D. If they are a heavy breed they will need lower perches and also if they are very young then rearers pellets may be the feed option to start. Ask the breeder what feed they are used to they may even give you some to tide you over  :). Joyxx

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hillfooter

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Re: chicken feed
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2009, 01:19 »
Hi russell34,
You seem to be a long way down the road without having done a lot of research and to answer all your questions in a post is asking a lot so I'd suggest you get a good  simple begineers book such as Katie Thears "Starting with chickens" which isn't without it's flaws but you won't go far wrong if you follow the advice.
To attempt to get you over the immediate requirements I suggest

! Perches - should be made from rectangular (not round) batons 38mm x 22mm is fine with their edges rounded.  They should be arranged in rows (fixed together) about 50mm apart so the droppings fall through to a dropping board covered with litter.  They can be angled upwards from the floor or be level sent at a convenient height.  There's no rule I know of which says that different breeds require different heights though don't make it too high that they might injure their feet jumping down.  it all depends on your house design.  The chickens should not be able to get under the perches. Go and look at some commercial houses particularly any made by Forsham Cottage Arks (check website) who are probably the leader.

2 Litter - I'd recommend softwood shavings (dust extracted) available from equine suppliers (not hardwood or saw dust or bark).  You can use chopped straw not hay for the nestboxes, and the floor too if you want though shavings are better.

3 Food - assuming your hens are 14 weeks plus then use Layers Pellets (not mash) in gravity fed feeders not troughs.  If younger use Growers Pellets.   Suspend them at a height level with the chickens backs outside the house preferably under a covered run.  Stand water on the ground.  Get some Poultry Corn for treats no more than 1 handful per chicken per day.

Read Katie Thear and /or this sites reference section.

Best of luck
Truth through science.

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GeeGee

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Re: chicken feed
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2009, 01:25 »
Wow, thats all the same advice I got when I started out, good to hear it seconded.  Though I stand by the "if it makes sense then its probably right" advice I got.  You hear these wacky statements about not having food down for them permanently and things that just sound odd...
If you can't be good be very very bad!!!

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IMOmimey

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Re: chicken feed
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2009, 01:32 »
Read through a few posts o this site too, its Brill.  Beware the old school generation who I have heard say "in the war, we had chickens in the garden, and they lived off our table/kitchen scraps". They maybe did, but they were often kept as utility birds, and ended up as ..(gulp)..sunday dinner.... after a short time, so a long happy life was not their priority..(understandably in the circumstances I'm sure, but we've got Tesco for that now!! :lol:
Pets:if you don't love them like family, don't have them



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