July 2015 Newsletter
A Simple Guide to Raising Healthy Chickens
The secret is out... Americans have fallen head over heels for chickens. But if we want them to live healthy, productive lives (and perhaps love us back), we must care for them properly.
Recommended Feeding Program
Your neighborhood feed store has Kelley’s and Ace Hi feeds for every stage of your chickens’ lives.
If your chicks are under 8 weeks old, pick up a bag of either one of these brand’s Chick Starters. Then switch to Grow Mash until they start to lay. At that point, convert to Kelley’s Lay Feeds or Ace-Hi Big Feeders for maximum egg production.
Plan to feed about ¼ pound per hen, and make sure the feed is never wet or moldy. And remember, while your feathery friends may LOVE chicken scratch, it’s not food—it’s like candy, and lacks essential nutrients.
Don't expect good egg production from thirsty hens. An adult chicken is 70% water and needs at least two cups of water per day just to properly digest food. Make sure water is always available because they like to consume it in small amounts throughout the day.
Heat & Light
Using a 250-watt bulb, preferably red, is the best way to ensure chicks get the necessary heat and light. Place the bulb about 18 inches from the floor the first week to create an environment that's 90 to 95 degrees. Raise the bulb to reduce the temperature 5 degrees per week until you reach 70 degrees. After that, the chickens won't need heat.
Make sure they can distance themselves from the heat. If you notice that they're picking each other, it's usually a sign they're too hot, too crowded, or need air.
Pullets start laying eggs when they're about 6 months old and production usually continues for at least five years. For year-round eggs, install a light timer and shower your chickens with light from 4 am to 7 am and from 5 pm to 9 pm. Sometimes hens will stop laying anyway. Don't worry. Like us, they go through phases.
Follow these tips to keep your chickens happy and your egg basket full!
How are we Different than the Big Guys?
Founded in 1970, Star Milling is a small, family business that takes pride in making the best feed available. We believe in doing business the right way: by treating our customers and employees fairly, while providing superb feed and customer service.
You can get to know the people behind the feed a little better by visiting our Photo Gallery and clicking on ‘Friends,’ or by checking out the video below.