At what age should I begin transitioning my chicks from medicated chick feed to a regular protein-rich feed (for great eggs)? And, what feed choice is recommended? Also, what is a recommended “recipe” for a dirt bath mix?
I would use up the chick feed, and however old they are then, move on to growers, if commercial feed is what you want to give them. There is masses of choice; have a look through various articles and threads on BYC for advice from proponents of different systems and practices.
A common dirt bath mix is dry soil, bonfire ash, and sand. The birds will make their own in regular dirt or compost if they can.
If you use Purina Start/Grow like I do, (Medicated or Unmedicated) You can switch after they are 18 weeks, or when they lay their first egg, Same with any grower feed. Also, don't stress if you still have some at the 18 week mark, you can feed it until it runs out.
I took my almost two week old babies outside in a pen for 30 minutes today, they found one spot where the grass wasn't as thick and they went crazy. They were pushing each other to get in the dirt, flinging it all around and rolling in it. It was really cute, wasn't expecting it at this age as they are my first chicks.