Specializing in good producing dark & olive egg layers
 with excellent meat bird qualities and good temperaments.

 

FLOCK CARE

This page contains information on how we raise our flock.

The Sizer Family Farm
State Route 42
New Castle, Virginia 24127
540-904-4444
chickens@sizerfarm.com


FEED:  We do not believe in feeding medicated feeds so all of our feed we use is unmedicated. We do occasionally use medicine with our young chicks for coccidiosis, but we usually use herbal preparations for this problem - and try to keep the chicks on clean ground which helps a lot.  Our flock is started on Purina turkey starter. This gives the chicks more protein, which is necessary for meat-type birds.  Commercial chick starters are formulated with the white egg laying breeds in mind and not for the fast growth of the heavy meat type brown egg layers.  We like to keep them on this mix until they are at least one month old.  When they are older, we switch them over to a good chick starter like Southern States brand or the feed carried by the local feed mill, Big Spring Mill in Elliston, VA.  Later on they begin eating whole grains.

My flock is free ranged and fed all whole grains with no corn or soy. They also enjoy any meat scraps we might have from safe wildlife sources or home-raised animals. Contrary to popular belief, chickens thrive on meat scraps and I believe it is a very healthy and perhaps necessary part of their diet. They also get kelp on occasion sprinkled on their grain and garden scraps in the summer.

We do not supply grit because our chicks and hens range and are able to find their own grit.  We do put out oyster shells on occasion, but our high calcium water also helps supplement our hens for good strong shells.

VACCINATIONS:  Since we have a pretty healthy flock, we do not vaccinate our chickens. 

DISEASE PREVENTION:  My flock was tested pullorum typhoid free and avian influenza free for a few years but I have not kept this up in 2013, so my chickens are no longer in the NPIP. But they show no signs of either disease, and after several clean tests, I decided I'd stop testing for now. I'm just too busy to keep up the testing right now.

I used to not put lights on my chickens but now I do so very sparingly in the winter. I add a few hours in the morning because it is so dark where we live on the north side of the mountain. This gets them up and out of bed a little earlier. Otherwise I've noticed they'll stay on the roost well past sunrise in the winter.