So my dh informed me he squeezed us in on the last chick day for 30 white rocks for meat birds. (and chickens were originally my venture!) In the spring we got 20 days olds dual purpose chicks (RRIs and barred rocks)- 10 went in the freezer and 8 are left for laying (plus 2 roos cause they were too pretty and I'd like to see if we can breed our own stock). Anyhow, our first time around we did medicated chick feed, which I wasn't keen on but the feed store was quite insistent we aught to do. All 20 survived and thrived so far, the remaining 10 are 4.5 months but I'm still waiting on eggs.
So, for these 30 white rocks I'd really like to go unmedicated and organic or natural as possible. These will all be meat birds, btw.
Also, our chickens have not layed an egg yet, which I think is normal, as they're only 4.5 months. But they do not nest at all, they will not go in their nesting boxes. In the day they are somewhat free range in a very large fenced in yard of their own, they can go in and out of the hen house at will which is where the nesting boxes are. At night they get locked into a more secure pen where they roost. They won't use the nesting boxes at all, when we try to put them in there and pet them to get them to relax they get all flustered and run away as soon as we let go.
Will they start nesting on their own when they are ready to lay eggs, or do I have to train them to use the nesting boxes. BTW, I cannot fit the nesting boxes into their night pen and I have to lock them in there at night because the main part of the hen house is not secure enough as it is an old barn. I guess I could cut apart one set of nesting boxes and place them in the pens at night, if y'all think this is necessary.