First Egg today!!! Now what to feed???

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by sonnyboy, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. sonnyboy

    sonnyboy New Member

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    I got my first baby chicks for my backyard flock approx April 1st. There are two Buff Orpingtons, two Silver Laced Wyandottes, a Black Australorp, and a California White. I have been feeding them non-medicated Chick starter from Fleet Farm, some table scraps, and whatever weeds or bugs end up in their enclosure (which I move about every week to 10 days).

    Today when I checked on them, I found a small white egg on the floor of the coop (I havn't added the nesting boxes yet - I wasn't expecting eggs for a little while!). I am assuming the egg came from the California White, as it is the only breed that I have that will lay white eggs. I was expecting, based on what I have read from various sources, that the California White should be the first to lay, but it may be a few months more before the last one will lay.

    So my question - Should I change my feed to "layer feed" for the flock, add a supplement of some sort to the starter feed, or something else? I just bought a 50lb bag of starter feed a week or so ago, so it would be nice if I could use it up (about a month or so from now) before I switch to "layer feed".

    Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
     
  2. rob

    rob New Member

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    im sure someone with more expierience will answer for definate but if it was me i would continue with the usual feed for a while, and then go for layers pellets, or maybe use both ?
     

  3. Sundancers

    Sundancers New Member

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    I would start to blend the feeds ... Use the feed they have been getting and start adding a little of the new feed to it, each day add a little more of the new feed till the older feed is gone.

    On a side note: always try and blend any new feed, no matter the critter. ;)

    Edit to add: Congrats on the first egg!!!!!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  4. Apyl

    Apyl New Member

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    Congrats on your first egg :) And yes just blend the feed until the starter feed is gone and since your chickens are caged add a calcium supplement like oyster shells.
     
  5. sonnyboy

    sonnyboy New Member

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    Ok-it has been a couple of days since the first egg, but I haven't had any more. How long after the first egg does the second usually show up?

    I'm beginning to wonder if somebody was messing with me on the first egg, and simply placing it in the coop.
     
  6. rob

    rob New Member

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    my neighbor did that to me, she thought she had me till i told her that chickens didnt lay eggs with expiry dates on them lol
     
  7. Greenfamilyfarms

    Greenfamilyfarms New Member

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    You should give a good quality layer feed or a flock raiser feed now. It has more calcium that laying hens need in order to produce eggs. You can give scratch as a TREAT, but not as the sole source of food. Thinks of scratch grains as potato chips for chickens.

    Since they are young chickens, they may start laying in an irregular fashion now, but once their system matures, they will lay on a more regular basis. Also, some young layers get confused about where to lay eggs. One day you may find an egg on the ground, in the feed bucket, or in the corner of the coop. If they start doing that, put some golf balls or plastic eggs in the nest boxes so they will know where to lay.
     
  8. sonnyboy

    sonnyboy New Member

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    Second egg today (eight days after the first) - unless it's just my neighbor messing with me.......
     
  9. BikerChick

    BikerChick New Member

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    I am a bit late in finding your posts. I am going to join in anyway. Layer feed has calcium. Non medicated Chick feed is not going to hurt anything. Oyster shells or crushed (some ppl also bake @ 350 for ten minutes to dry up) egg shells will give calcium to your new layer for her health and proper shells.
    I too, got a surprise a few days ago. I thought Penny laid twice more, but I had another tiny brown egg today, so the 2 odd eggs must have come from my big girls.
    I know nothing about California Whites, but her egg production will pick up soon.
     
  10. crossbonesdennis

    crossbonesdennis New Member

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    LOL Sonnyboy, Your post could've been my own.

    I got my chicks on Apr 1. Mine are 2-RIR, 2-ISA Brown, 1-Buff Orp and 1 Leghorn. I had the exact same results. All of a sudden we had 1 white egg. So I figured it was the Legorn (Foghorn). It was a day or two between eggs then we started getting brown eggs also. We get about 3 eggs a day now. I'm still feeding them Purina chick starter since it takes a while for them to eat a bag. From the tips here I'm going to start mixing in the Layena now.
     
  11. sonnyboy

    sonnyboy New Member

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    Just got back this evening from a weekend camping, and when we got home I asked the kids to check for eggs. While I was unhooking the camper, I heard a bunch of commotion from the kids, then my youngest (4 years old) started screaming. I was worried that raccoons got in while we were gone, and parts of her favorite (Pauline - the Black Australorp) were scattered about. Thankfully, I was wrong, and Katie (the California White) apparently laid two more since Friday noon! The screaming was the kids fighting over which two kids (of the three) got to show me the eggs......:D
     
  12. TajMaCluckCoop

    TajMaCluckCoop Not so Junior-Junior Member

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    How eggciting!!!! Love it when the kids get involved.
     
  13. madman

    madman New Member

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    I would feed them mixed corn and layers pellets
     
  14. sonnyboy

    sonnyboy New Member

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    Finally got to the store to get the layer feed, and I also picked up "Poultry-Cal", which was advertised as nutritionally equivelant to oyster shells. http://glcalcium.com/data-sheets/agriculture/poultrycal-120.pdf?2012-07-18

    Now for the dumb beginner question.......How do I give it to them??? Do I mix it with the feed, offer it in a seperate feeder, or spread it on the ground?
     
  15. Roslyn

    Roslyn A Round American Woman

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    I keep my calcium chips in a bucket and when I fill the feeder I put a scoop on the bottom, then the feed, then a scoop on the top and it works its way through. If I only use 1/2 bag to fill the feeders I will put two scoops into the bag and then when I pour the rest out the chips are already in there.

    My scoop is a really, really ugly coffee cup I made in pottery. It was one of my cast-offs, so it became a scoop. It measures about 1 cup worth (8 ounces).
     
  16. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    You can offer calcium in all those ways. Animals will actually seek out calcium when they need it. That is a very unique aspect of our bodies. Without calcium our hearts won't beat. So we are programmed to find it, crave it , when we have deficiency. When I say we I mean all Animals. Chickens and people too. :)
     
  17. Mamachickof14

    Mamachickof14 New Member

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    Hi! I'm new here too! I also got my chicks on April 1st. All 14 of them!! I thought I'd get a few extra just in case a couple might die...well they all made it! Very happy...must be doing something right!! They are the Rhode Island Reds...beautiful, but boy are they big! I didn't know they grew so big??! They have been laying for about 3 weeks now. One hen lays such a large egg it was a triple yoker this morning...has that ever happened to any of you? I think so far I'm doing everything right but I've read about them getting mites and I haven't done anything there yet. Any suggestions? I have lots of questions so I'll just start with that one. :D My name is Jen and I'm from Southern New York.
     
  18. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    Hey southern NY. I'm a Jersey Girl! Nice to know you. I drive my son up to Ithaca for college. Maybe I drive right past you. Welcome! It's great to have someone in my neck of the woods!