Amber Waves Silkies

 

What do I feed my new silkie?

Feed  

·         Feed Chick Starter around 20% – 24% until they are 8 weeks.
Also have granite gravel and grit for them at all times.  They need it to 
digest their food.  Fresh water daily
. 

·         Feed them Grower at 20 to 24% until they are about 6 to 7 months.  

 

·         When they start laying eggs you should switch them to Layena at about  
18 %.  If you plan to hatch chicks mix with Game Bird starter or layena to 
raise the protein for stronger chicks.  Or you can feed them other 
protein to boost the percentage, such as cooked egg.  Always offer 
oyster shell free choice to laying hens.  

 

·         Mix diatomaceous earth into the chicken feed before feeding it to the silkie bantams. Add two cups of earth for every 50 pounds of feed. Adding the diatomaceous earth, an organic pesticide, keeps insects out of the feed and parasites out of the chickens. NOTE -  IT MUST BE FOOD GRADE DIAMOTACEOUS – NON FOOD GRADE WILL KILL YOUR CHICKENS.

 

·       Feed the silkie bantams once per day. Fill the feeders with the chicken feed mixed with diatomaceous earth.

 

·       Silkie Feed Blend
http://www.silkiechickens.com/silkie_feed_mix.htm  

We blend our own feed for our adult silkies and feed it year-round.  Our chicks are fed a commercial medicated chick starter for the first 2 months,   supplemented with grated carrots, hard cooked chopped eggs, greens, and an occasional yogurt-grain mixture when they get a little older.   

Our feed blend starts with a 20% protein commercial poultry feed.  Since Purina is available in our area, we use Purina Gamebird Layena, which does not contain the marigold oil supplement that can affect white feathers.   

In a 5 gallon bucket, fill approximately 3/4 full with base feed and add:  

1 cup crimped oats
1 cup crimped barley
1 cup wheat
1/2 cup safflower seeds
3/4 cup sunflower chips
1/2 cup flax seeds
1 scoop Manna Pro Sho-Glo
1 heaping tablespoon Brewer's Yeast & Garlic Powder
 

Mix together well, and add:  

1/2 cup wheat germ oil blend or vegetable oil
1/4 cup Red Cell
Mix together very well to distribute oil and red cell evenly.
 

The birds also get chopped eggs and grated carrots once a week, greens like kale, collard greens, romaine lettuce as they are available, leftover tomatoes, or any fruit that is starting to go bad.   In the summer, they absolutely love watermelon!  I cut most of the red part off the rinds and put it in containers for the family, and feed the rinds to the silkies.   

Twice a month, we feed a yogurt grain mixture that the birds love and that contains the good gut bacteria necessary for good digestion and health.  

Since we have a lot of birds to feed, this is my recipe, but you can adjust it for your number of birds.  

1 gallon bucket containing equal amounts of crimped oats, crimped barley and wheat
1/2 quart plain yogurt (with active cultures)
1 quart buttermilk
 

Mix together, add a little water if necessary, and refrigerate overnight.  Feed the next morning, after grain has absorbed buttermilk and yogurt.    


   

 

 

What you can feed your chickens 

This is a list of everything you can feed a chicken. However, everybody's chickens have their own tiny  brains full of likes and dislikes, so while one person's chickens may come running for grapes or watermelon, another person's chickens may turn up their pointy little beaks at it. Anything on this list is worth a try. 

At the bottom of the page are things you should avoid feeding your chickens. 

Treat  

Type  

General Opinions  

Apples  

Raw and applesauce  

Apple seeds contain cyanide, but not in sufficient quantities to kill.  

Asparagus  

Raw or cooked  

Okay to feed, but not a favorite.  

Bananas  

Without the peel  

High in potassium, a good treat.  

Beans  

Well-cooked only, never dry  

Also, greenbeans.  

Beets  

Greens also.  

.  

Berries  

All kinds  

A treat, especially strawberries.  

Breads  

All kinds - good use for stale bread or rolls  

Feed starches in moderation.  

Broccoli & Cauliflower  

.  

Tuck into a suet cage and they will pick at it all day.  

Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts  

Whole head -  

Hang a whole cabbage from their coop ceiling in winter so they have something to play with and greens to eat.  

Carrots  

Raw and cooked  

They like carrot foliage too.  

Catfood * (see bottom of page)  

Wet and dry  

Feed in strict moderation, perhaps only during moulting * (see bottom of page)  

Cereal  

Cheerios, etc.  

Avoid highly sugared cereal such as Cocopuffs, etc.  

Cheese  

Including cottage cheese  

Feed in moderation, fatty but a good source of protein and calcium  

Cooked Chicken  

.  

They may like it and it won’t kill them, but it just seems so….. ummm………… wrong.  

Corn  

On cob and canned, raw and cooked  

.  

Crickets (alive)  

Can be bought at bait or pet-supply stores.  

Great treat – provides protein and it’s fun to watch the chickens catch them.  

Cucumbers  


   

Let mature for yummy seeds and flesh.  

Eggs  

Hardcooked and scrambled are a good source of protein, and a favorite treat.  

Feed cooked eggs only because you don’t want your chickens to start eating their own raw eggs.  

Eggplant  

.  

.  

Fish / Seafood  

Cooked only.  

Flowers  

Make sure they haven't been treated with pesticides, such as florist flowers might be.  

Marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies, etc.  

Fruit  

Pears, peaches, cherries, apples  

Grains  

Bulgar, flax, niger, wheatberries,etc.  

.  

Grapes  

Seedless only.  

For chicks, cutting them in half makes it easier for them to swallow.  

Great fun - the cause of many entertaining "chicken keepaway" games.  

 Grits  

Cooked  

  

"Leftovers"  

Only feed your chickens that which is still considered edible by humans, don't feed anything spoiled, moldy, oily, salty or unidentifiable.  

Lettuce / Kale  

Any leafy greens, spinach collards, chickweed included.  

A big treat, depending on how much other greenery they have access to.  

Mealworms  

(see photo after the chart)  

Available at pet supply stores or on the internet, although shipping is expensive!  

A huge(!) favorite treat, probably the most foolproof treat on the books.  

Meat scraps of any kind.  

Not too fatty.  

In moderation, a good source of protein  

Melon  

Cantelope, etc.  

Both seeds and flesh are good chicken treats.  

Oatmeal  

Raw or cooked  

Cooked is nutritionally better.  

Pasta / Macaroni  

Cooked spaghetti, etc.  

A favorite treat, fun to watch them eat it, but not much nutrition.  

Peas  

Peas and pea tendrils and flowers (thanks to YayChick for the advice)  

.  

Peppers (bell)  

.  

.  

Pomegranates  

Raw  

Seeds are a big treat.  

Popcorn  

Popped, no butter, no salt.  

  

Potatos / Sweet Potatos/Yams  

Cooked only - avoid green parts of peels!  

Starchy, not much nutrition  

Pumpkins / Winter Squash  

Raw or cooked  

Both seeds and flesh are a nutritious treat.  

Raisins  

  

Rice  

Cooked only  

Pilaf mixes are okay too, plain white rice has little nutrition.  

Scratch  

Scratch is cracked corn with grains (such as wheat, oats and rye) mixed in.  

Scratch is a treat for cold weather, not a complete feed. Toss it on the ground and let them scratch for it for something to do. Never feed scratch during hot weather because it raises the chickens’ body temperature.  

 Sprouts  

Wheat and oat sprouts are great!  

 Good for greens in mid-winter.  

Summer Squash  

Yellow squash and zucchini  

Yellow squash not a huge favorite, but okay to feed.  

Sunflower Seeds  

Sunflower seeds with the shell still on is fine to feed, as well as with the shell off.  

A good treat, helps hens lay eggs and grow healthy feathers.  

Tomatos  

Raw and cooked.  

Turnips  

Cooked.  

Not a huge favorite  

Watermelon  

Served cold, it can keep chickens cool and hydrated during hot summers.  

Seeds and flesh are both okay to feed.  

Yogurt  

Plain or flavored  

A big favorite and good for their digestive systems. Plain is better.  

The most favorite chicken treat of all - mealworms! Note the lightning speed of the chicken lunging for them. 

Don’t feed the following things to your chickens: 

(I'm sure people have experienced exceptions to this list, but if we want to raise our birds the best way possible, "better safe than sorry".) 

 

Here’s why:  

Raw green potato peels  

Toxic substance called Solanine.  

Anything real salty  

Can cause salt poisoning in small bodies such as chickens.  

Citrus  

.  

Dried or undercooked Beans  

Raw, or dry beans, contain a poison called hemaglutin which is toxic to birds.  

Avocado Skin and Pit  

Skin and pit have low levels of toxicity.  

Raw eggs  

You don’t want to introduce your chickens to the tastiness of eggs which may be waiting to be collected in the nestboxes.  

Candy, Chocolate, Sugar  

Their teeth will rot… No, it’s just bad for their systems, and chocolate can be poisonous to most pets.

 

A quote from Nifty-Chicken, the Administrator of BYC:  

"I gave up on my birds knowing what was best for them when I caught them all eating a block of Styrofoam pellets."  

Regarding toxicity, the following is copied from a post by DLhunicorn on May 14, 2007 in a thread titled "Potato Peels". (Thank you DLhunicorn for your tremendously helpful and knowledgeable contributions to BYC!) 

 "Do not count on your chickens "knowing" what is bad for them...also do not count on these "toxic" plants immediately being identifiable by finding a dead bird the next morning...usually it is a slow process damaging organs , inhibiting the ability of your bird to utilize the nutrients in their feed, etc. 

  http://www.poultryhelp.com/toxicplants.html
Toxic Plants

and here are some more sources for toxicity:
http://dlhunicorn.conforums.com/index.c … 1165263379

http://msucares.com/pubs/infosheets/is1214.htm
(Feed Chickens Properly)

here are some of my collected articles on nutrition :
http://dlhunicorn.conforums.com/index.c … 1157992073

http://dlhunicorn.conforums.com/index.c … snutrition
(factors contributing to nutritional disorders)"
 

 

 

 

 

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Testimonial


Lovely, friendly chickens, goats, geese, donkey and people!  

We bought 4 very sweet silkies this past weekend. My 6 year old daughter was with us and she got to meet the pygmy goats, turkeys, geese and the resident donkey. She was thrilled! The premises were clean and the animals were calm, friendly and healthy. Would not hesitate to purchase from them again!

 

Happy Silkie
Loved it!  

I love Amber Waves! Jim and Debbie were very friendly, knowledgeable, helpful, and accommodating. Jim gave us a tour of the farm and we got to see the different birds, chickens, and goats that they have. The farm itself was clean and well-kept. I bought a white 1 month old silkie for $35. I think the price is really good for the quality of silkie that I got. Jim even gave me a plastic bag full of silkie feeds for free! I'm coming back really soon to get another silkie!

 

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