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Can I use layer feed if I'm out of chick starter?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Corazon Ranch, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. Corazon Ranch

    Corazon Ranch Chirping

    Jul 28, 2012

    I just got home from vacation and found out we're out of chick starter feed. I have a full can of layer crumbles for my older batch of chickens and I was wondering if there is a way I can doctor that feed to make it more appropriate for these young birds. My rudimentary understanding is that the chick starter has higher protein, but I am probably severely over simplifying things. I just have to make it last until Monday when the feed store reopens.

    Thanks in advance for any tips.


  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Zara, how old are your chicks? You may need to buzz the layer in your blender to make it small enough for them if it's in pellet form. Yes, layer is lower in protein. But, your chief concern is the higher calcium level. It won't hurt them to have it for a few days, but best practice is to not give chicks layer long term. You can give them a scrambled egg to make up the protein difference.
    1 person likes this.
  3. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Crowing

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Yes if it's crumble a couple of days shouldn't harm them.
    If they're sex-link or white leghorns you can switch to layers feed at 16 weeks, most other breeds I would switch at 18, IMO. GC

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