Chicks (day old to 4-6 weeks)
Nutrena "Game Bird Starter" with 27% protein is the food of choice for raising junglefowl chicks. In my opinion, it is crucial to feed junglefowls the higher protein because they are more closely related to pheasants than the domestic chicken. The added protein ensures the chicks will get the nutrition to stay healthy and grow to their full potential as opposed to the 16%-21% protein commonly found in traditional chick starter.
Started Birds (7-weeks to 6-months)
Nutrena "Gamebird Grower" with 21% protein is used for birds at this age. Once the birds are successfully started, the protein ratio can be decreased. I like using this feed because it still provides ample protein with all the other vitamins and nutrients needed to help the birds grow steadily.
- Note: Adding water to this feed and giving them to chicks and and started birds as a treat really stimulates eating and development. I find that by doing this, my birds are a lot healthier and meatier than if I just feed them their normal ration of dried foods with fresh greens. It is important to only feed enough that can be consumed in a couple of minutes. Left over food with moisture can grow bacteria and when it is consumed, can cause stomach problems in the birds.
Young Adults & Adult birds (7-months to adulthood)
Once the birds are mature, I begin feeding them a mixture of 25% Patty rice, 25% Hen Scratch, and 50% Nutrena "Gamebird Maintenance" or "Gamebird Breeder (for breeding season)."
-Note: During breeding season, I always mix in generous amounts of oyster shell into the feed mix. This is especially important if the feed pellet is not fortified for egg laying.
If the birds are not free ranged, it may be necessary to supplement live foods and fresh greens. On a monthly basis, I give my birds meal worms as an important source of animal protein and fat. I use Bassetts Cricket Ranch and order the Snookum's Best Meal Worms (Feeders) 5000 count.
Fresh greens are given on a daily basis. I feed them any type of leafy green available (i.e. - lettuce, spinach, cabbage), cucumber, any type of melon, fruits, and their favorite, celery. I've found that all my birds love celery and most take celery out of my hands if I am feeding them through the wire.
For any respiratory disease (i.e. - Chronic Respiratory Disease, Respiratory Colibacillosis, Mycoplasmosis, Infectious Coryza, Fowl Cholera, etc.) I use Baytril 10% injectable. This stuff is a miracle in a bottle. You will not find a better treatment for respiratory diseases.
Directions: Inject 0.15ml to 0.3ml directly into the breast of the sick bird. The rule is 0.1ml per kg body weight. Be careful not to insert the needle too deep as it can puncture body organs. I usually have a second person hold the sick bird on a flat platform, move the feathers covering the breast bone, and insert the needle near the center breast bone into the bird's muscle. I then inject the medication, wait a 3-5 seconds for it to be absorbed, and pull out the needle.
If your bird is not showing signs of a full-blown illness, putting droplets (approximately 2 per nostril and per eye) can cure the birds.
Although this medication can do wonders, the best way to ensure your bird will successfully recover from the sickness is to catch it in its early stage of infection. Potential signs of being ill consist of: struggling to breathe, crow, swallow, and/or having nasal discharge, bubbles in eyes, or thick mucus in the birds' mouths.
For canker sores, I use the high popular treatment, Fish Zole Metronidazole 250 mg. Canker (trichomoniasis) is described as a smelly cheesy like growth or lesion that manifests itself in the mouth or throat in chickens. Its a fungal infection that can sometimes get a hold by infecting a small cut or spreading through the air and/or drinking water. It effects birds' throats and breathing passages, often times causing death.
Directions: For heavily infected birds, put two tablets in a bowl and crush the tablets into a fine powder. Using a small spoon, scoop up the 1/2 to 1/3 of the powder. Hold the bird's legs between your knees or have a second person hold the bird. Gently pry the bird's mouth open with your hands and pour the powder down the throat. Repeat until all the powder is used. It is important that the powder makes direct contact with the "cheese-like" growth to kill it.
If your bird is in the beginning stages of developing this illness, put 4 tablets per gallon of water in the drinking water. This should kill the fungus in the birds throat.
More Tips and Tricks To Come. Let me know if you have any specific questions and/or requests.