Chick feed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jamie Hazel, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. Jamie Hazel

    Jamie Hazel Hatching

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    I get my first chicks soon and wondered if the was okay to feed them. They'll be day old chicks. It says on the label to feed them this until they are 10-12 weeks old. I was wondering what you would then feed them after that??
    Thank you
     

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  2. Laodicia

    Laodicia Crowing

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    after chick starter they move on to chicken grower until about 20 weeks or point of lay if you are growing layers. if they are meat birds they stay on grower. at 20 weeks or point of lay they can be switched to layer feed which has calcium mixed in, or you can continue with the grower and give them oyster shells as a calcium supplement. :)
     
  3. 8 Chicks 1967

    8 Chicks 1967 Songster

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    Great post.
     
  4. 8 Chicks 1967

    8 Chicks 1967 Songster

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    Morganton North Carolina
    Remember the 95,90, 85, 80 rule. heat is important. Make a heat side and a cool side. Watch them and they will tell you all they need. If huddled too cold if they are all on the cool side too hot. Decrease 5 % per week. If you knew that sorry!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They shouldn't get layer feed until they are actually laying.

    I like to feed a flock raiser/starter/grower/finisher type feed with 20% protein crumble full time to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.
    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (a freshly trapped mouse, mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided once in while and during molting and/or if I see any feather eating.



    Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:
    They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker acclimation to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later I still use it but more out of curiosity than need.


    The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
    If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
    If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
    If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

    The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.

    Or you could go with a heat plate, commercially made or DIY: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate
     

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