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8 week old flock of 6, when do I switch from chick/grower feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by LadwoodFarm, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. LadwoodFarm

    LadwoodFarm In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2011
    Hello, hoping some of you experienced chicken parents can tell me when to switch my flock from chick/grower feed to an "adult chicken" food? I just put the 8week olds out into the coop this week, and they are adapting well!

  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I keep mine on starter/grower until they are about 18 weeks old, just about the time they are getting ready to lay. If you switch to layer feed before that they are getting to much calcium which can cause problems.
  3. MKingsolver

    MKingsolver In the Brooder

    Jun 10, 2011
    Rainy Western WA
    I was told the same thing about the calcium. What I'm doing with my kids is this: hatch to 6 weeks - Chick Starter, 6 weeks until first egg is laid - Flock Raiser, and then after the first egg is laid, finish out the bag of Flock Raiser then switch to Layer Pellets. This is what I was told by a friend of mine who has over 100 chickens. I guess it works for her, we will see if it works for us!

    Only thing I'm confused about is whether or not to feed oyster shell along with the Layer Pellets and if so how much? I was also told that you can crush up left over egg shells then feed it back to them. Anyone have any ideas on this?
  4. jadeybaby70

    jadeybaby70 In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2009
    Hmm, so is starter/grower the same thing? I usually keep my chicks on organic starter until 18 weeks then switch to layer pellets. I have 9 ten week old chicks right now on the starter. Do I need to switch them to a "grower" or are they alright on the starter and if I need to change them, what is the nutritional difference b/w the starter and grower?

    As far as feeding the big girls egg shells, I am super cautious about feeding my girls egg shells. Growing up we had chickens who broke their eggs and it was an almost impossible habit to break. We had a hen that was so bad that she would wait outside the nesting boxes for eggs to be laid, then gobble them up. She ended up being dinner because of this..... I only feed my girls eggs if they are scrambled too and am quick to collect eggs so no one gets curious [​IMG]
  5. AKsmama

    AKsmama Songster

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    We offer crushed oyster shells on the side along with the layer food. (ETA: We just offer it in a small tube feeder and keep it full. Don't mix it with feed.) They know when they need it and you don't want them pulling calcium out of their bones if the layer food doesn't provide enough. Better to be safe than sorry. Oyster shell is relatively cheap for a huge bag and generally lasts a long time.

    Honestly, I am too lazy to clean, crush, and bake eggshells (you want to clean and bake them to remove any bacteria). I don't care how little time it takes- I have other things to do. Like I said, oyster shell is cheap and readily available.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
  6. MKingsolver

    MKingsolver In the Brooder

    Jun 10, 2011
    Rainy Western WA
    Thanks for the great information, I guess the eggshells will just have to go in the garbage where they belong! Had a friends wife say that's what they used to do on their "farm" but I thought it was questionable so I figured I would ask. Guess it will be oyster shell for my kids, thanks!
  7. SassieandGang3

    SassieandGang3 In the Brooder

    May 1, 2015
    Thanks for the info...I gave oyster shells to my big girls in a metal feeder, is it ok to switch to adult oyster shells or just keep using chick. Also, can they eat grass and mealworms or is it too soon at 8 weeks old. They will be going outside soon, when I get a coop built for them.

  8. Their is no such thing as Chick oyster shell...Grit?..Oyster shell is for Hens laying..Grit is for all birds with a gizzard...
  9. Chicken Wisperer

    Chicken Wisperer In the Brooder

    May 24, 2017
    Mt. Hood Oregon
    I still have some young chickens that are about 4 months old. I kept them on the medicated chick starter still, and mix it with the layer food. I put them on adult food completely, when they begin laying. Until then I mix the food, so they get extra vitamins and nutrients to begin the laying cycle. Be sure to get a good all around vitamin, I also put gatorade in their water in the summer and winter months, it helps to keep them hydrated. I choose medicated food and vitamins that contain vitamin E and Selenium, to prevent wry neck. I had a chick die from that and it was horrible, I will not go through that again. So all my chickens get chick Vitamins and Gatorade diluted with water. about 1 cup gatorade per gallon of water.
  10. scrampsey21

    scrampsey21 In the Brooder

    Jul 4, 2016
    yeah, i heard about someone who accidentily gave pullets who were too young the wrong feed, it was laying feed. He found them later dead with blood coming out of thier rear ends.

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