Chick Starter

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Horsea, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. Horsea

    Horsea In the Brooder

    Jul 5, 2008
    Hi. I have heard that some people feed their chicks medicated chick starter right until they start laying. I'm horrified by this. The medicine as far as I can see is necessary only while the babies are young and vulnerable to disease (and even then, they would not be likely to get the chick disease if their living space is nice, warm, clean, dry and spacious. That disease is stress-induced from poor living conditions - same as people.)

    I always stopped feeding my chicks the chickstarter when the bag was finally empty (2-3 months of age) and then started them on grain & greens & some vitamins, etc. In 9 years I have never had a sick chicken. Some just keeled over land died at the age of 3, 4 or 5 years but were not sick beforehand. I guess they were just constitutionally weak from birth - same as humans.

    Does anyone have any comments. Thank you.
  2. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    I switch from starter to scratch grains when they are feathered which is abound 8 - 10 weeks. The only way an adult or teenager will get starter is if I spill some on the ground and they scarf it up or if I have some chicks in with teenagers which is rare.
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio

    I have never given any of my chicks medicated chick food. My farm store never carried it. So I just get the non medicated chick starter/grower. The brand is called Dumor. Once they hit around 18 weeks, then I switch them to layer feed. Simple.

    I would never give scratch grains or cracked corn as a primary food. That stuff is just like candy to them. It's not nutritious. But I do give it as a snack occasionally. Just a handful here and there, especially during the cooler months, because it warms their body temps during digestion.
  4. sloallie10

    sloallie10 Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    For the chicks that i am getting, i only got what the feed store offered in small bags. It is medicated chick start & grow from Purina.
  5. Horsea

    Horsea In the Brooder

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thanks to the 3 of you for your information. It wasn't too long ago that on some kind of chicken site the person in charge said you are supposed to feed chick starter preferably medicated till they start laying. So I am glad none of you do that because it just didn't seem right to me. I asked at the feed company about non-med chickstarter and they didn't have it.

    When mine are old enough to lay, they get plain grain, a vitamin & mineral supplement, oyster shell or something similar, and in the winter, lots of extras from the house, eg, fresh parsley, other vegetables, and good quality table scraps. In the summer they run loose all over our farmyard and want only a bit of grain. And they produce an egg a day, so it must be okay. They lay till they are about 4 years of age, then retire to a life of leisure (unlike me). I don't know how many years hens are supposed to lay, so maybe you could tell me about your experience.

    I don't want to feed them the premixed layer mash because it contains soybeans, which (a) I've heard is hard on their digestive system and (2) I tried feeding them a bit of crushed soybean mixed with their grain and they avoided it, eating only the grain. [​IMG]
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I feed chick starter, with the amprolium, for 8 weeks, give or take, depending on how much feed I have left at that time. If I run out around 7 weeks, then I will start with grower/finisher feed. (The Purina equivalent is FlockRaiser.) I fed that until they started laying, then changed to layer feed.

    However, when I added more to the flock, I kept the youngsters in an integration/separation coop and run, surrounded by the entire chicken run. The Big Chickens (original 9) were in their own coop, but had the run of the whole run, and both groups could see each other, and interact without anyone getting harmed. It was easy to feed them different feed formulations. But when I let the younger chickens out of that pen, the older - and laying - chickens started eating the grower/finisher feed instead of their layer feed in THEIR coop. I got two soft-shelled eggs, which was the clue.

    So I started feeding EVERYBODY the grower/finisher/all purpose feed and provided crushed oyster shell free choice. Solved the problem. I don't think I'll ever go back to feeding layer feed....
  7. Horsea

    Horsea In the Brooder

    Jul 5, 2008
    Interesting story, Linda, and good solution to your situation.
  8. Laurieks

    Laurieks Where did the time go??? 9 Years

    Aug 14, 2009
    Sonoma County, CA
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  9. gvntofly05

    gvntofly05 Songster

    Sep 21, 2009
    Since I have the ducks and chickens of all ages at any given time, I feed Flockraiser to all.

    I am not going to buy 3 or 4 different feeds. All of my birds do great on the Flockraiser.

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