Changing feed for chicks.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by NixNoodleNumbat, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Hi, my chicks are four weeks old and I feed them layer grower feed. When they are 18 weeks I plan on giving them half layer grower feed half layer feed until they reach POL. Then, i will give them layer feed. Is this right? or should I give them layer grower feed until they reach point of lay then give them layer feed? Also, how often and how much should you give out scratch once they reach POL?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2011
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You need to read the learning center on here. There is no such thing as "layer grower" feed as far as I know. The usual is to feed starter for 6 or 8 weeks, then grower, then layer when they start laying. Or, in my area, you feed a starter/grower combination feed from day one until they start laying. NEVER feed a baby chick layer; the extra calcium in it will damage or even destroy their kidneys.

    Scratch is chicken candy. You don't ever have to give it. If you give a little as a treat, it should never be more than 10% of what they eat in a day, and they will need grit, offered separately (for this or any treat) to digest it.
  3. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    DDawn is absolutely right...NO layer feed for any chick before POL!! I personally have fed starter feed for 8 months due to the higher protein. This allows for premium growth in all tissues. My starter is 20-22% protein and my birds are doing very well. Higher calcium in layer feed is dangerous to immature girls. Different breeds mature at different rates, but none are earlier than 16-18 weeks. Hope this helps!

    Oh, and read, read, read about chickens here. There is no better resource on the net!!
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:Good reply.

    Starter until layer @ 16-18 weeks This is two step program.
    Starter until grower @ 8 weeks until layer @ 16-18 weeks. This is three step program.

    Layer for chicks is no no. Too much calcium
    Scratch is McDonalds Golden Arches food. OK, for a treat, now and then, but not a substantive portion of the diet.
  5. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Generally speaking it is best to hold off on layer feed until the pullets are actually laying. What most do is feed grower or flock raiser with oyster shell in a separate container at about 3/4 months. This will allow any early layers to have calcium as a free choice without overloading nonlayers with it. Once you're sure everyone is laying just mix in the layer with any grower you have left until it is gone and go to layer as a complete diet.
  6. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    sorry everyone, I accidently wrote they were four weeks old instead of eight. Thanks for the tips about scratch. The layer grower feed is just plain grower feed. I would NEVER feed grower feed to four week olds. [​IMG]

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