Best food for newborn chicks and on?

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11 years 6 months ago #33784 by sonyajh
Please guide me ... first time rearing chickens from eggs ... should be hatching in next couple of days (apart from first one that died :(

Any info gratefully received, but most particularly the food.

If I shut the broody in with her chicks, it's got about 6 ventilation holes around 5cm in radius each, will they be ok? Am scared the chicks will fall down the ramp ... by the way, the ramp is 45 degrees in angle, will that be ok for them to use?? and from what age?

1/4 acre urban lifestyler [:D]

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11 years 6 months ago #447502 by Inger
Chick Starter Crumbles from the NRM brand is my choice of food for newly hatched birds from any of the poultry and water-fowl breeds.

If you put a barrier across the front of the nest box, which is high enough to stop the chicks falling out, but still leaves enough space for the hen to get in and out for food, water and to poo, that should keep them safe until you can move the family to a safer house.

Another alternative is to put sides on the ramp, so the family can get up and down without danger of falling.

45 hectares between Whangarei and Paparoa. Registered Dexter cattle, Wiltshire sheep - black, white & pied.
New Hampshire Red poultry & Dorking poultry. Pilgrim Geese, Appleyard Ducks.
A cat called Pusscat and still looking for another heading dog.

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11 years 6 months ago #447503 by Stikkibeek

sonyajh;447694 wrote: Please guide me ... first time rearing chickens from eggs ... should be hatching in next couple of days (apart from first one that died :(

Any info gratefully received, but most particularly the food.

If I shut the broody in with her chicks, it's got about 6 ventilation holes around 5cm in radius each, will they be ok? Am scared the chicks will fall down the ramp ... by the way, the ramp is 45 degrees in angle, will that be ok for them to use?? and from what age?

I use NRM chick starter, which is a chick crumble with a coccidiostat in it. It's quite ok for mum to eat this as well while she is rearing the chicks. One 10kg bag lasts me roughly 6 weeks and so I feed this until 5 weeks and then change them over to grower in that last week. It can be an advantage to shut the broody in for the few days over hatching. she will be less likely to abandon the later ones that hatch. Once the chicks are a few days old they will be strong enough to manage the ramp and pick up pretty quickly how to negotiate such things. You might need to supervise them for a while when you first let them out. If your broody is a good one, she will respond to a chick in distress (such as being left behind at the bottom of a ramp)

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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11 years 5 months ago #447565 by sonyajh
Where do I buy NRM from?

1/4 acre urban lifestyler [:D]

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11 years 5 months ago #447566 by stephclark
you can buy the chick crumbles from any stock feed supplier or from wrightsons, RD1 etc ( if they are in the HB )..
where do you get your chookie food from now?

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11 years 5 months ago #447626 by sonyajh
Hi Steph :D Long time no see, my friend :D
I bought some from Farmlands yesterday, thanks a lot :D
What's happening in your world? PM me if you get a chance

1/4 acre urban lifestyler [:D]

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11 years 5 months ago #447627 by Andrea1
We feed chick crumbles for the first 6 weeks, and then switch to growers for the next 6 weeks (give or take a few days either way). Crumbles seem to have much less waste than mash, it least in our experience. These are for the chickens which are contained. Every year there are a few mums who hatch eggs in the tree belts and come out with the chicks which we are not able to catch and pen. They seem to grow at only a slightly slower rate than the penned and fed chicks, but then again I'm not catching and weighing them to document any growth rates. We don't feed the loose ones, we only provide them with water.

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11 years 5 months ago #447628 by Andrea1
Oh, and I forgot to add that once they're off the growers, they just get a mix of wheat and barley, and the penned ones (breeding groups) get all the weeds and lawn cuttings to fossic through.

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11 years 5 months ago #447653 by sonyajh
that's great thanks - wish my property was large enough to have surprise hatches ... how wonderful would that be! :D

1/4 acre urban lifestyler [:D]

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11 years 5 months ago #447676 by Andrea1
Not when it's over 100 chicks at one time, like what happened one spring I spent being sick and not keeping track of chooks.... THAT was not fun. Still, after all these years keeping and breeding chooks (over 25 years now!), I never get tired of chicks. Good thing they're so cute, though I sometimes jokingly threaten them with becoming chick kebabs and put on the BBQ.... [:0]

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11 years 5 months ago #447697 by stephclark

Andrea;447881 wrote: Not when it's over 100 chicks at one time, like what happened one spring I spent being sick and not keeping track of chooks.... THAT was not fun. Still, after all these years keeping and breeding chooks (over 25 years now!), I never get tired of chicks. Good thing they're so cute, though I sometimes jokingly threaten them with becoming chick kebabs and put on the BBQ.... [:0]


OMG!.. cute yes.. 100 chicks hell no!!...

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