• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

starting chicks--what to feed

 
Lorraine Long
Posts: 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just joined after reading on here for a while. We've had chickens and have kept them in a coop built on a wagon frame with run underneath so we could move them regularly onto fresh ground spring through fall. But we also fed them commercial layer mash or pellets because everyone said that was what we had to do to get eggs. Last year we started raising rabbits for meat and successfully moved them off pellets and onto whatever we could forage (grasses, weeds, clover, willow, brambles, etc) along with some roots and cuttings from cover crops from the garden and a small amount of whole grain. This spring we will be buying chicks--only have 4 Buff Orpington hens left. This time we're getting smaller breeds because our primary reason for keeping chickens is to have the eggs. In the future we hope to breed our own chickens, ones adapted to where we live and how we feed.
So I have questions about how to feed the chicks from the start. Have read on here about putting a piece of sod in the brooder with them for them to get some practice on what they'll eventually forage. I hope to hear from someone else who has successfully raised chicks without resorting to commercial chicken feed or having them raised by a hen. We have goats for milk--always have whey to feed. Have a worm box for indoor composting. We buy whole oats and wheat, the latter we grow into fodder through the winter for rabbits and goats. At what age can chicks eat the seeds sprouted? Or could we grind some up and soak them in whey for chicks?
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know that I have ever come across a sprouted seed or cracked grain that a chicken won't eat regardless of age. And rarely a form of wriggling protien neither. My favorite for chicks and function stacking is to use cover crop rye which has been pasteurized and colonized with Oyster Mushroom spawn. I just make lots and lots more than I need when I do it. Then feed the extra to the chicks. It's high protein and they love it. Hope that helps.

 
Lorraine Long
Posts: 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Landon Sunrich wrote:I don't know that I have ever come across a sprouted seed or cracked grain that a chicken won't eat regardless of age. And rarely a form of wriggling protien neither. My favorite for chicks and function stacking is to use cover crop rye which has been pasteurized and colonized with Oyster Mushroom spawn. I just make lots and lots more than I need when I do it. Then feed the extra to the chicks. It's high protein and they love it. Hope that helps.


Thanks for letting me know that chickens can eat the sprouted or cracked grains at any age. I don't have any pasteurized cover crop rye and never heard of feeding chickens mushroom spawn. We do grow shiitake on oak logs and find oyster mushrooms in our woods on stumps and brush piles. The next post had a link which was perhaps supposed to take me to more info on the mushroom connection, but I didn't see anything relevant there. Know it can be frustrating explaining the same thing over and over to beginners.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lorraine Long wrote:
Thanks for letting me know that chickens can eat the sprouted or cracked grains at any age. I don't have any pasteurized cover crop rye and never heard of feeding chickens mushroom spawn. We do grow shiitake on oak logs and find oyster mushrooms in our woods on stumps and brush piles. The next post had a link which was perhaps supposed to take me to more info on the mushroom connection, but I didn't see anything relevant there. Know it can be frustrating explaining the same thing over and over to beginners.


My general rule of thumb with chickens: Chicken knows best. It will eat what looks good. Even if its directly under a spinning death blade tiller which is about to go down. Stupid damn birds.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
http://www.permies.com/t/30779/fungi/Outdoor-mushroom-cultivation
 
Tracy Kuykendall
Posts: 165
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Feeding chickens is the same regardless off age, what does matter is size, the manufactured chick crumbles are basically lay pellet crumbs. The babies can't eat the same size food as adults and most of the time don't have the strength to tear off a bite size piece. So you have to make their food bite size, no longer than it takes for them to grow for me it's just easier to buy the crumbles.
 
I will suppress my every urge. But not this shameless plug:
The stocking stuffer game for all your Permaculture companions
http://www.FoodForestCardGame.com
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic