December 25, 2011 at 3:08 pm #256289
Hello happy xmas I am Bry and have chooks and 1 turkey named Christmas lol :clap: I would like to do the best I can to care for them but dont know very much at all about them. I dont want them to get sick at all and would like to keep them as healthy as possible.
I believe that they are maybe 4months old I have just started them on Laying pellets yesterday “”they didnt eat them?”I did have alot of salads etc after our xmas lunch so they ate all of that :tup: will they eat the pellets or are they too young?How old until they start to lay egg “At what age around about?” :shrug: Iv been told to put a bit of fresh garlic in their water is this true at all…..CROWS were going in the Coop so I hung CDs as I have heard that it scares away they CROWS “They are evil :evil:” plus eat the eggs so iv read
I live in NSW am am hoping to meet some lovely people on here to teach me much more about my chooks and “Christmas”
Hope to recieve some replies on this all :wave:
Thankyou and Happy New Year to you all :kiss:
BryDecember 26, 2011 at 11:34 am #516833
welcome to the wonderful world of chickens.
I’ll try to answer some of your questions, sorry if I miss something.
Firstly they sound the right age to start on layer pellets, unless they’re a slow maturing breed (in which case they can stay on grower). Slow maturing birds are breeds like dorking, sussex, croad langshan, etc. Layer pellets are high in calcium to suit laying birds, and are fine to feed from about 4 weeks prior to onset of lay onward.
But I’ve yet to meet a hen that will prefer laying pellets to free range, fresh greens, and other fresh foods. If you want to get eggs then you may need to hold back some of the treats like scraps (unless they’re super high nutrition, e.g. fresh mincemeat, bones with meat on them for birds to pick at, garden spinach, cooked eggs, etc etc) and limit free range to half a day so the birds are confined near the pellet supply. Or you could mix up your own feed as I do, but it’s *hard* to get right. Commercial pellets at least have everything the birds need (though you could argue the ingredients are pretty poor and that synthetic vitamins don’t make something ‘good’ food).
Age of lay varies a lot. If these are commercial hybrids then they lay at time from 17 weeks. If they’re leghorns, about 19 weeks (later if show bred). If they’re a heavier breed like sussex, it can happen much later, say 26 or 27 weeks. It all depends on what their breeding has been. Crossbreds often lay earlier than purebreds. Breeders who don’t cull for laying ability usually end up breeding poorer layers with each season, which is why most show bred birds don’t lay as well as utility strains even if they’re the same breed on paper.
Then of course birds need to be at the right age to lay before winter starts, or they’ll hold off laying until late winter or early spring. If you bring a layer type pullet to lay just before Easter she should lay through winter.
Garlic in the water is a great idea. Garlic is high in sulphur, which repels intestinal parasites. It doesn’t kill them so you wouldn’t try to treat a wormy bird with garlic (on its own) but it does help keep their intestines in better shape and more resistant to worms.
Crows are definitely egg thieves. They can also take chicks. CDs might work, might not. I’d try to darken the nest areas so it’s harder for crows to start taking eggs in the first place. Hanging door strips can help. You can also put hanging fringes across nestboxes, just make sure the hens know how to use them.
Sorry about such a long reply! It sounds like you’re doing all the right things and should start seeing eggs not too far in the future.
Good luck with your birds.December 26, 2011 at 11:44 am #516834
Whether your birds will eat laying pellets may depend on what they are used to eating. My lot will not eat pellets for love nor money. Spoilt mongrels. 🙂 Mine will only eat mash and mixed grain, and of course greens and left overs.December 26, 2011 at 11:45 am #516835
Good luck with your new chooks and turkey! I am in the same boat as you, know nothing but will give it a go!December 26, 2011 at 1:34 pm #516836
although lots of people say pellets/mash etc are better, i reckon scraps (as long as you include lots of natural protein, meat, eggs, fish) has got to be healthier as wild fowl never ate pellets.December 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm #516837
thank You for your advice 🙂 do feed them alot of scraps of a night plus they are scratching around the property of A day :tup:
Do chooks eat potato peels or cant they digest them?
Have a GREAT New Year
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