Poultry Care Corner
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Who is Star Milling Company?
Star Milling Company is a local family-owned company in Southern California. We are proud to be a Certified Safe Feed/Safe Food Facility. All ingredients are sourced from the U.S.A. and Canada, not from China. The owner of Star Milling and his family have been raising commercial poultry and in egg production for nearly 80 years and feed Ace Hi and Kelley’s feeds to their own birds.
Terms you need to know
A flock is a “bunch” of chickens. A pullet is a female under one year old and a cockerel is a male under one year old. A hen is a female over one year and a rooster is a male over 1 year.
Feed program for maximum health and egg production
Feed Ace Hi or Kelley’s Chick Starter until 8 weeks of age. Then feed a Grow Mash until they are 18 weeks old or if they have started laying eggs. Then it’s time to switch to Ace Hi Big Feeder or Kelley’s All Purpose Lay feeds. Adult hens eat approximately ¼ pound of feed per day.
- You do not have to use a different feed for the roosters housed with your hens.
- Feed chicken scratch only as an occasional treat. It is low in protein without the vitamins or minerals your hens need to reach their laying potential.
- Do not feed moldy or wet feed.
Importance Of Water: Chickens must have water to digest their feed properly. Chickens drink water in small increments, frequently throughout the day.
A chicken is more than 70% water and a large chicken will drink 1 to 2 cups a day, depending on the weather. Hens that do not get enough water will not lay properly because eggs are 65% water.
Tips For Healthy Chickens:
- Do not house new chickens in facilities previously used by another flock until the facilities have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
- Never mix chicks or growing birds with adults.
- If you must mix birds of another flock with your existing flock, quarantine the new birds for a few weeks to ensure they are disease free.
- Avoid exposing your flock to wild birds and vermin.
- Provide spacious coops with adequate ventilation.
- Isolate sick birds from the rest of your flock.
- Vaccinate against disease common to your area.
- Do not indiscriminately administer antibiotics as a preventative health care practice.
- Bring any health concerns to the attention of your veterinarian.
Heat: The temperature should be around 90-95 degrees the first week your chicks are home, reduced about 5 degrees every week until they’re feathered. A good source of heat is a 250-watt bulb. Red bulbs are better than white because they cause less picking. Place the bulb 18 inches from the floor. The temperature directly under the bulb will be higher than 90 degrees but the birds will adjust themselves to the area they like. Make sure that the enclosure is big enough to allow the birds to get away from the heat if they need to.
If The Birds Had A Hard Trip: Add six tablespoons of sugar per gallon of water and mix the sweet water with some of your feed to make a soupy mix. Give your birds this special feed and water mix for 3 to 4 days to revive them of the effects of shipping.
Rear End “pasting Up”: Sometimes manure can stick to the back of the bird. It is important to remove this daily. Pull it off gently or, better yet, wash it off with a cloth and warm water. It will disappear in a few days as the bird starts to grow.
Picking: Baby birds that pick at each other are probably too hot, too crowded, or need fresh air.
Visit our Poultry FAQ page for more information.