Chick Feed HELP needed!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by rachelpotter, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. rachelpotter

    rachelpotter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First Time Chick Mom here:


    I have 18- 2 week old chicks. They initially were on Manna Pro Organic Chick Starter (non-medicated- 19% Protein) and after the first bag I switched over to Nutrena Country Feeds Starter Grower Medicated because that is what my PREFERRED store carries.

    From the get go, I had this hunch that they were not wild about the new feed. I had SO much wasted around the feeder and it seemed that they were picking through it (I mixed the old feed and new feed together for a few batches). Last night I filled the feeders up and this am I had almost the WHOLE qt jar strung out of the feeder ( I know because I used it to fill it right back up). They seem to be growing ok...

    I can go to Tractor Supply and have Purina Chick Starter- medicated (18%) or Dumor non medicated(20%) available to me. I would prefer NOT to use the Manna Pro long term as they only have 5# bags available.

    Suggestions? Is this just normal? I have the feeders elevated ( see pics below) I know food wastage is alot.. but I just get the sense the chicks are not eating much of it. I had planned on just toughing it out and when they got hungry they would eat it, but wanted to check with ya'll first. TIA!






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  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    It is normal and very frustrating! If you have a feeder on the ground, they will throw it all out and it gets wasted. So I found the solution! Get those feeders with the handle and hang them, just at beak level. The chicks won't be able to get their feet up there and scratch it out! Amazing how it works! You just have to rig up something so that you can hang it over your brooder. I just used a broom stick across the brooder. It worked perfectly. :)
     
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  3. rachelpotter

    rachelpotter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you!I was on the verge of trying another feed. Will try to figure out how to hang the feeder! I swapped to the chicken nipples last week and LOVE them!
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Chicks are busy creatures with basically nothing to do in a brooder all day so digging food out of the feeder is entertainment. I set mine on a large square piece of wood a couple inches high to catch the feed that is spilled. They still scratch it out but they end up eating much more of it since it's not lost in the bedding.

    As a side note, your going to need a larger brooder asap lol!
     
  5. rachelpotter

    rachelpotter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know! I have them split into groups of 9 in a extra large dog kennel each... and they still seem crowded! How many chicks do you think could make the LONG 6 week haul in a extra large dog crate?
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    All the way to 6 weeks in a dog crate? Two or three at the most, at least in my personal opinion. Even that would be a stretch to go 6 weeks, they are getting big by then. They older they get the more bored they get in a small, confined space and that's when potential problems arise. I raise mine in a 2' x 4' wooden box, 6 or 8 at a time and they start going outside a good part of the day at three weeks old because they need more space and activity then the brooder allows. By 4 or 5 weeks I move them into their coop.
     
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  7. rachelpotter

    rachelpotter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The crate is BIG (2.5x3.5 feet) and we are going out in a outdoor playpen as much as possible ( but not for very long at a time right now) We are starting construction on the big coop now. We have some empty horsestalls that we retrofitted for the 4 hens we have now that we could move them too if things get hairy.

    I added the branches yesterday and they love them. New coop has an incorporated 3x8 ft brooder/isolation pen designed into it.. can you tell I NEVER want to be in this situation again? I wanted to get 10-12 chicks, but I let a chicken friend talk me into 18 to account for "losses." Well so far everyone (including a splayleg that I braced and treated) is doing good and I'm short on space!

    I thought I had to wait until 6 weeks (or fully feathered) until I moved them into a coop? Especially since we are headed into cooler weather?

    New chick mom... lesson learned!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    The idea behind elevating the feeder is so they can't get their feet into the holes. Your set up, with the platform they can stand on and eat, basically defeats the purpose of elevating the feeder. Use a smaller base to elevate the feeder, so they have to stretch up to eat.


    I have been putting 3-4 week old chicks out, sometimes with heat at night, sometimes not. They're doing fine. I'd be putting that many birds outside asap. Just run a heat lamp at night if it gets cool. Since they're only 2 weeks, I'd keep the heat lamp available all day, but give them lots and lots of space to get out from under. If it gets above 75ish during the day, I'd turn the lamp off. I harden my chicks off lots faster than the "rules" and have hardy, healthy chicks. Those guidelines about lowering temps by so much a week are for the warm spot in the brooder, not the chicks' entire world.
     
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  9. rachelpotter

    rachelpotter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I re-designed their brooders yesterday! I coulndn't find any small hanging feeders so I made my own. IMMEDIATELY I can tell a difference! They seem to be actually EATING more and what best... NO MESS! THANK YOU THANK THANK YOU! Getting the feeders off the platform ( which was using up floor space) and raising the branches up some (they are SO cute roosting) has really increased the available floorspace as well... so now 9 chicks in that big dog crate will hopefully last me until we get the coop completed!


    Thank you ALL so much for your advice! Love BYC! <3
     

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