CHECKLIST ON WHAT IS NEEDED FOR YOUR NEW PETS:
Lots of our customers are newbies and just starting out with chickens and we normally love to welcome our customers in to our store and run through all our products and love to show you the differences between the products we stock. At the beginning of March 2020, and COVID-19, we needed to start conducting door sales and stop browsing into our store, and with this came the difficulty in helping customers set up for their new pets. We came up with the idea of constructing this comprehensive list of supplies that any new chicken owner may consider to allow our customers to browse over our suggestions in the leisure of their own home, in their own time.
This list has been constructed for our customers that are purchasing Hylines from our store. However, this list is easily adapted for other customers wishing to purchase supplies for other types of poultry and need some help and guidance. Other breeds may require different feed requirements than what is recommended in this list - please ask our staff for guidance
Each product in our supplies list that is underlined is clickable and you can view each product on our online shop by clicking on the links
Here is our checklist on what is needed for your new pets:
• Shelter, bedding and nesting - they need a suitable coop that protects them from the elements. This includes winter and summer, some clean fresh bedding (we stock and recommend pine shavings) and nesting boxes to lay in.
• Food: the pullets we will have over the coming weeks will be approx 16 weeks of age. Hylines start laying anywhere between 16 weeks - 20 weeks of age - some customers are choosing to feed a pullet grower to start with, others are putting their new pets straight onto a good high protein layer food.
LAYER FEED: Choices on our recommendations of layer feeds:
Important notes on nutrition required for hylines:
Hylines particularly need a high protein diet to keep them laying well and healthy.
Hylines that do not get a high protein meat based layer pellet adlib will develop health problems due to nutritional deficiencies. Typically this comes in the form of egg perotinitis, egg bound, birds stop laying or have trouble laying regularly, egg deformaties and other health problems can also occur. Hylines are the “athlete” of the chicken world and require a diet that supports their performance.
Many people do not consider that theses health issues and laying problems they may be experiencing with their birds are due to nutritional gaps that have occured gradually over time from incorrect feed and generally this happens with hylines around 6-12 months of having the birds which creep up slowly over time. Often these issues are difficult to reverse and that is why we emphasise this infomration at point of purchase.
I cannot stress the importance of a high protein diet for their birds enough.
We recommend a 17-18% meat protein pellet (NOT vegetarian pellet)
and we do not recommend Peckish Performance Layer Pellets.
We also DO NOT recommend a grain based diet* or game bird feed for hylines
*as this too leads to nutritional deficiencies when birds "pick and choose" what they eat from the mix (normally the fat content: sunflower seed, corn) - Table scraps also need to be limited as too many table scraps can lead to the same health issues.
Feeding hylines grain based diet leads to nutritional deficiencies over time which in turn leads to health problems. However they will enjoy a small treat of whole grain feed such as Peckish Free Range Layer mix, or Seedhouse Natural Layer as well if you would like to offer it. This should only ever be given as a treat and not allow your birds to fill up on it or rely on it (see previous note on nutrition)
PULLET GROWER: If you choose to use a pullet grower to start off with, here are the three types of pullet grower we keep in stock - Barastoc Pullet crumble 20kg, Laucke pullet MP 20kg , and Seedhouse Grower crumble avialable in 10kg and 20kg. Please note the Barastoc and Laucke feeds are medicated to prevent coccidiosis and therefore any eggs produced whilst feeding should not be used for human consumption.
Some table scraps are toxic to chickens so its important you understand this information. Click here to read more and more specifically the hylines need a high protein diet and too many food scraps can lead to laying issues. Too much bread, pasta, rice etc can give the birds a false sense of fullness and they will stop eating correct nutrition, which leads to laying issues, and in time other health problems.
• Feeder and Drinker - we have a wide range to suit all budgets. We have cheaper plastic feeders, plastic drinkers, Metal feeders and drinkers ,,,, and our most popular and best selling products are the Dine a Chook Products and Chooktred feeders as they stop wildlife and rodents the best. We also offer the super horizontal nipples that can be installed into any food grade container for water.
What is the purpose of a feeder? why cant i feed on the ground, you might ask? well you can but feeding on the ground can lead to your chickens getting intestinal parasites easier as they are eating where their poo is. Chickens actually have better health and do best when they have access to food at all times so they can "graze" over their food throughout the day. This also helps with good laying cycles. Some feeders, like the dine a chook products and the treadle feeders (we love the chooktred feeders as they stop all rodents and minimise food wastage and basically pay for themselves in time. They also allow some freedom in your family life as they hold 14kg of feed, stop wild birds, rodents and other wildlife from eating from the feeders. Wild birds and other wildlife will also bring disease, mites and lice to your birds, so it is best to try and minimise these visitors and not allow them to eat and drinking from your poultry feeders and drinkers.
The Dine a Chook drinkers are our most popular drinkers. They keep the water clean with little effort from you. A quick clean out of the lubing cup occasionally is all that is required. No more scrubbing horrible drinkers! They come in a few different types such as the wall mounted 2lt, 4lt versions. They also make the outlets that screw directly in the 20lt water drums available from hardware shops, or the super waterers that can be automatic when hooked up to a water source.
Worming: Worming needs to be carried out every three - six months. Your chickens will get worms from eating earthworms, grubs and bugs and also from wildlife and wildbirds. Worms can be fatal to your poultry if a wormer is not done regularly. We offer a number of worming products: Piperazine only treats for round worm, Kilverm, Big L and Levamisole treat for three common worms and all of these products have nil witholding on your eggs. Then we offer a broader spectrum wormer called Avitrol Plus which we have in syrup and tablet form. Avitrol has a 10 day with holding on your eggs.
Take a look here for more information on intestinal parasite control.
Lice and Mite Prevention:
Lice and mites are carried by wild birds, rodents and wildlife and can also be in hay and straw that has been housed in shed that wild birds have access to. You will need to use a prevention method on both the birds and your coop to prevent mites and lice. Lice will lay their hatchings on your birds, and only live on the birds and mites will live in timber of your coops and on your birds. Both are fatal left untreated. Prevention is certainly the best way to think in regards to these nasty parasites as they can lay up to 80,000 hatchings a day - once you have an outbreak it is very difficult to treat easily with success.
lice and mite prevention needs to be carried out frequently (lice and mites will be fatal to birds left untreated) we have brochures on these things you can take home to read about or ask our staff. We recommend Avian Insect Liquidator for mite and lice control - see our brochure for more information on use this product comes in a 500ml ready to use, and two sizes in concentrate. This products can be used on a dip (500ml concentrate) or a spray on your birds and also a spray on your coop. This product keeps actively working for 6 weeks.
Take a look here for more information on mites and lice
Our hylines make great pets! They are friendly and inquisitive. Being commercial laying birds, Hyline will lay pretty much a egg a day for approx 2-3 years (if given the correct nutrition) and their lifespan is 4-6 years (much shorter than heritage breeds kept in good health) -
here is some information on hylines, and whether they suit you and your family: https://www.riverbendfarmtasmania.com/are-isa-browns-for-you
For further reading on chicken care and husbandry information, please check out our information hub here: https://www.riverbendfarmtasmania.com/helpful-information
After reading through all this information, if you are still unsure of what is needed to care for your new pets, we have lots of helpful information brochures available, in store. please ask our staff when you are collecting your birds if you would like some take home information.
If you are needing supplies for your new pets we would appreciate you placing your order as early as possible, but at least 48 hours prior to collecting your birds. We have many appointment times to cover on collection day, and often do not have the time to go through all the supplies you need at the time of collection with each customer. You are welcome to also pop in and take a look at supplies prior to your appointment date to discuss your needs in advance if you prefer. We are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00am to 4.00pm
Should you have any questions after reading the supplies list, or need any further information, please do not hesitate to reach out either via email or by contacting us directly on (03) 62671554 we are here to help and offer as much advice and help to ensure a great transition into new chicken ownership!