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When to stop feeding chick starter?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

My feed store carries very small amounts of everything. I'm in the city and there aren't tons of chicken owners. They usually have about three bags of each item.

Anyway, they're out of "chick starter" feed and so I got a bag of "chicken scratch." (I think that they buy in bulk because chicken feed is sold in brown paper bags with the contents written in sharpie--no ingredient lists or explanation other than that. My three week old and five week old chicks are totally uninterested in the scratch and only want the starter. Should I keep offering both and for how long?

I am giving them access to gravel mixed in with other feed as well. I'm going to go get more starter feed as soon as they get it in and still have some to tide them over. They act very hungry when I get home and go to bring them starter even though they'll have full feeders of the scratch. Are they just too young for it yet?

Suburban homesteading with a couple of hens, three big dogs, three cats, and some surprises in the brooder.
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Suburban homesteading with a couple of hens, three big dogs, three cats, and some surprises in the brooder.
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post #2 of 18

They are still hungry.  The scratch is not a balanced feed....Think potato chips.  Taste yummy, and I could eat a bunch of em, but I'm still hungry once the bag is empty!  I'm not sure what else you could try until you get more chick feed.
I keep my hens on the chick feed or a grower feed until they start to lay, and then it's on to layer feed.

Good Luck!

Mom of 3 boys, 5 horses, 4 dogs, pond fish,  9 Gold Sex Link and 3 RIR, 1 BB Bronze Turkey hen, 2 Royal Palm poults.  Wife of a great guy, 9 years strong!  Add a garden and lawn to take care of, who needs a gym membership?? LOL
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Mom of 3 boys, 5 horses, 4 dogs, pond fish,  9 Gold Sex Link and 3 RIR, 1 BB Bronze Turkey hen, 2 Royal Palm poults.  Wife of a great guy, 9 years strong!  Add a garden and lawn to take care of, who needs a gym membership?? LOL
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post #3 of 18

Chicks that young should not have scratch and no grit. They should be on chick starter only, nothing else.  Such as "Start and Grow," until they are near laying  or 16 - 20 weeks old, then switch to Layer feed.

Good luck with your chicks.

ETA: Scratch is like candy is to humans. It is only for treats.


Edited by kathyinmo - 4/9/10 at 11:33pm

RIP my son, Michael Bonham, Jr. 1972-2013

A son, brother, friend, wrestler, father, Army Airborne Ranger, wrestling coach, and so much more....

A memorial video with some of his (too short) life HERE.

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RIP my son, Michael Bonham, Jr. 1972-2013

A son, brother, friend, wrestler, father, Army Airborne Ranger, wrestling coach, and so much more....

A memorial video with some of his (too short) life HERE.

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post #4 of 18

Scratch should only be used as a treat, it isn't a balanced diet.  You need to get more chick starter or flock raiser for them.  I think scratch has something like 9% protein whereas starter has 18-22% for example.  It just isn't nutritious enough and is also hard to digest.

If you get out of the city, a more rural feed store will have starter.  You can also order it on line.

I have my 2 dogs (pit bull type dogs), 2 cats, and the chicken crew: Mabel (partridge rock), Eleanor (EE), Mildred (BLRW), Victoria (welsummer), Helen (EE), Norma (SLW), and Maxine (Columbian Wyandotte), Mathilda (Blue Rock) and Ester (BCM), all on my suburban "farm". 
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I have my 2 dogs (pit bull type dogs), 2 cats, and the chicken crew: Mabel (partridge rock), Eleanor (EE), Mildred (BLRW), Victoria (welsummer), Helen (EE), Norma (SLW), and Maxine (Columbian Wyandotte), Mathilda (Blue Rock) and Ester (BCM), all on my suburban "farm". 
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post #5 of 18

We got some girls that were 10 weeks old last week and the guy had them on layer pellets then. From what I just read, that will cause a problem because of the calcium. What will it do to them? Should I be worried and run to the store now to get a bag of the other stuff?

post #6 of 18

AAAH!!!  barnie  wrong stuff!  I would get them some protein asap!  You want 20% protein feed...any form possible!  I would feed them scrambled eggs or canned beans(mashed up)...just until they get their feed in stock.  Blessings, Keri

Only By His Grace,
The Wilford Family...My Sweet Hubby Jim, and my four boys:
Jefferson, Benjamin, Lincoln-James, and Washington
HATCHING EGGS FOR SALE!!!  Sizzled Leghorns, Frizzled Seramas & Coming Spring of 2012 White Sizzled Polish!
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Only By His Grace,
The Wilford Family...My Sweet Hubby Jim, and my four boys:
Jefferson, Benjamin, Lincoln-James, and Washington
HATCHING EGGS FOR SALE!!!  Sizzled Leghorns, Frizzled Seramas & Coming Spring of 2012 White Sizzled Polish!
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post #7 of 18

Feed them some hard boiled egg mashed up. They'll love it and it's full of protein.
Obviously - only until you can get some starter crumble delivered. Order some online if you can.

3 boys and 6 beautiful chickens make a happy home! :) 

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3 boys and 6 beautiful chickens make a happy home! :) 

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post #8 of 18

A good rule of thumb per "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens" is to keep them on starter rations until around 20 weeks, then switch them to layer rations.  The nutritional needs change dramatically once your hens go on the lay, so I recommend you get a copy of Storey's Guide and read up on what the chooks need, and when.

wink

post #9 of 18

I give my chicks babyfood with some type of meat ingredient for higher protein.  When I mix the babyfood with starter crumbles and heat it a tiny bit they fight each other for it.

May all your eggs be fertile,
   May your predators be few,
      May your hens be fat and happy,
         And your ribbons all be blue.
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May all your eggs be fertile,
   May your predators be few,
      May your hens be fat and happy,
         And your ribbons all be blue.
Reply
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info, everyone.

My chicks are totally uninterested in mashed up hardboiled egg. I've tried offering it several times but they have not shown an interest. What's up with that? idunno

Meanwhile I'm offering chick starter all the time.

Suburban homesteading with a couple of hens, three big dogs, three cats, and some surprises in the brooder.
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Suburban homesteading with a couple of hens, three big dogs, three cats, and some surprises in the brooder.
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