Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by erlibrd, May 20, 2011.

  1. erlibrd

    erlibrd Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Oct 8, 2010
    At what age (chicks) can I give black oil sunflower seeds? they are almost 5 weeks old and spending a few hours outside in a pen each day and they have sand for grit and I've been digging worms for them.

    Also... I was told by the feed store guy they can be taken off chick starter at 2 weeks of age and given grower feed, is this true? I thought they should have starter until 20 weeks and then go to layer feed??

    Thanks [​IMG]
  2. cbrown86

    cbrown86 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2011
    Everything I have read or heard says to keep them on chick feeder until they are about to start laying. I'm no expert, though.
  3. Wildflower_VA

    Wildflower_VA Chillin' With My Peeps

    If the dirt has small gravel, they can have BOSS now. Sand is too fine to act as grit for hard to grind up stuff like seeds with a shell.

    You didn't say what kind of chicks you have, but unless they are meat chickens, they have to stay on starter for longer than two weeks. Meat chickens grow and develop very fast, so they only need to be on starter for about three weeks. If you have dual purpose chicks, you can leave them on starter or you can move them up to broiler/ grower feed (as long as they have adequate grit) until they start to lay, then switch to layer feed. Starter feed is easy to digest and doesn't require their crop and gizzard to mature. I personally wouldn't feed starter for that long.
  4. Wildflower_VA

    Wildflower_VA Chillin' With My Peeps

    I buy all my feed from Countryside Organics. This is what they have to say about when to switch from starter to grower.

    This the same 19% blend as our Broiler Feed, but ground finer for baby chicks. We suggest soy-free Starter Feed for the first 2-3 weeks of the feeding cycle. Then switch to our soy-free Broiler Feed. The larger pieces of grain in our feed should stimulate development of the gizzard and help produce healthier adult birds. The peeps never stop when your birds get Countryside Organic Poultry Starter Feed.​
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I don't feed BOSS until 6 weeks of age, myself.

    The confusion you have probably comes from the fact that some feed companies have combined starter/grower, and others have starter in one bag with grower in another bag.

    Some feed unmedicated starter forever (with oyster shell on the side for layers), or buy flock raiser (20% protein).

    I have just learned this:
    see post #2

    The starter/grower by purina is 18% protein.

    For your brand of feed, you should look at the bag to see what they recommend, or go visit the website, since they have a separate grower feed.

    Grower feed can be 17% protein, and chick starter 20%, but these vary a little bit.
    here is just one thread on the subject

    Protein in feed is very controversial.

    Personally, I feed chick starter until 6 weeks of age then switch to my homemade feed which is lower in protein- closer to the 16% range (mine is impossible to actually measure since I change it day by day with my seed, grain, and green treats thrown around). I basically feed nearly free choice.
  6. erlibrd

    erlibrd Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Oct 8, 2010
    I bought the grower feed that he recommended, it's organic 16 % protein. The chicks are buff orphingtons so I guess they are dual purpose but I have them for egg layers. So the sand isn't grit? I have some grit for the big girls so I'll crush it for the chicks.
    Thanks for the info.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by