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How long to feed chick starter?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I've got a variety of ages of chicks, how old do they need to be before you switch to a layer feed? And would it be ok to keep feeding the older chicks the chick starter until they are all ready to have layer pellets? My oldest is about eight weeks with my youngest around two weeks. My thought was to feed chick starter until they were all able to be on the same food. Would this work, and at what age should they make the switch to layer?

"Mom" To 4 dogs, a house cat, one horse, a turtle, 11 Barred Rocks, 8 Rhode Island Reds, 3 buff cochin bantams, 3 blue cochin bantams, 5 black cochin bantams, 1 red cochin bantam, 6 Std. Partridge Cochins, 2 buff orpingtons, 4 black sex links, 8 Americaunas, and 4 'unknown' chicks. Soon to add 5 Black crested polish's, 10 more Std. Cochins, 5 California Whites and 5 more buff orpingtons.
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"Mom" To 4 dogs, a house cat, one horse, a turtle, 11 Barred Rocks, 8 Rhode Island Reds, 3 buff cochin bantams, 3 blue cochin bantams, 5 black cochin bantams, 1 red cochin bantam, 6 Std. Partridge Cochins, 2 buff orpingtons, 4 black sex links, 8 Americaunas, and 4 'unknown' chicks. Soon to add 5 Black crested polish's, 10 more Std. Cochins, 5 California Whites and 5 more buff orpingtons.
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post #2 of 16

I keep them on starter until they start to lay, then I switch to layer and oyster shell

The irony of life! One day you are the windshield and then the next - the bug!!

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The irony of life! One day you are the windshield and then the next - the bug!!

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post #3 of 16

Last year, with my first babies, my chicken lady maven recommended that at about 12 weeks, mix the chick feed with adult layer feed, 50-50, then by about 16-17 weeks or so, totally on the adult feed. She also suggested holding off on the extra calcium until about 20 weeks or so, until right before they started to lay.

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygirl1 

I keep them on starter until they start to lay, then I switch to layer and oyster shell


Thats what I do to.smile

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Romans 1:16 

 

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"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

 

Romans 1:16 

 

Are you ashamed?

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post #5 of 16

hi, i'm new to chickens.  my girls (rocks) are 13 weeks old.  i've got 2 questions.
1) i'm running out of grower food (it'll maybe last another 2-3 weeks).  would it be too soon to switch to layer food?
2) once on layer food that has calcium, is it still necessary to feed oyster shells?

thanks

post #6 of 16

I feed my girls Layena without any oyster shell, and they lay lots of great quality eggs! big_smile

2 dogs, 3 cats, 17 ducks, 2 geese, 1 turkey, a lot of  chickens, several tropical fish, and 3 goldfish! This is one crazy little farm!
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2 dogs, 3 cats, 17 ducks, 2 geese, 1 turkey, a lot of  chickens, several tropical fish, and 3 goldfish! This is one crazy little farm!
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post #7 of 16

from what  ive been reading the oyster shells are for IF they dont have/get enough calcium to lay so if you just keep it out there to where they could get it IF needed so not really a requirement but good idea from my understanding.

post #8 of 16

I too am new to chickens of my own - I have:
2 RI Reds
2 Buff Orpingtons
2 Americanas
I will switch to laying pellets when they are ready to start laying... fl when are these girls ready to start laying?

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Dawn McCarroll - Visit me at Aunt Goose's Home Nest
Pray for rain in Texas!
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post #9 of 16

I keep mine on starter for 8-12 weeks, then grower (16.5%) until they are 5-6 months. The reason most folks don't keep young on grower until they start laying is because sometimes they develop too fast due to the high protein content, and lay prematurely which can be damaging. And the reason most people don't switch on to layer until they are about laying age is the high calcium content can harm the young's kidneys. Young birds who are not laying do not need so much calcium.

Don't put off today what you could put off tomorrow.
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Don't put off today what you could put off tomorrow.
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post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntGoose 

I too am new to chickens of my own - I have:
2 RI Reds
2 Buff Orpingtons
2 Americanas
I will switch to laying pellets when they are ready to start laying... fl when are these girls ready to start laying?


Most heritage breeds lay at 6-7 monthes

Don't put off today what you could put off tomorrow.
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Don't put off today what you could put off tomorrow.
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