chicken feed confusion!!!!! need answers!!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by scooby, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. scooby

    scooby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2008
    sevier valley,utah
    OK i am pretty confused about this whole feeding thing now, my chicks are about 12 weeks old. so what feed should they be on, can they be put on layer mash or do they need grower? also i was at the feed store and they have 16% layer and 20% layer what is the diffrence and which is better? and we are coming into winter so should i give them cracked corm or scrach? can someone explain the diffrence between all the diffrent feeds (including game feed)?
  2. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 31, 2008
    i can help with a few of your questions...

    I give my girls 16% layer feed but they free range too and eat all kinds of bugs = more protien

    I kept my girls on the medicated grower feed until they were 16 weeks old and switched them over to layer feed when i got my first "soft" egg

    in the cold i give my girls cracked corn in th evening...I asked my feed store about scratch vs. cracked corn....he said if i was feeding layer feed as well then just go with the corn for cost reasons but if the scratch was going to be a main staple then put it in a feeder

    and i know nothing about game feed...

    are your chickens meat birds or egg birds?
  3. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    You can either keep them on starter or gradually switch them over to grower.

    Once they begin to lay (or at 18 weeks of age) switch them to layer feed and give them free-choice oyster shell.

    You can give them cracked corn as a treat.

    Some people keep their layers on gamebird feed or a high protein layer feed. It's what I do, I think they do better with a bit more protein. But the choice is yours in that department.
  4. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    I give all my birds (quail, guinea, chicks and layers) Purina Flock Raiser. 20% protein. I give them free access to egg & oyster shell, plus they free-range for a good part of the day, everyday. I give mine about 2 handfuls of scratch everyday but come winter I toss in another 2 handfuls of corn.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2008
  5. balticbabe

    balticbabe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    King County, WA
  6. chickenchickenbulkbulk

    chickenchickenbulkbulk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2008
    I fed my chicks starter feed until they were 4months old. Then I introduced them to cracked corn, and a wild game bird feed that has a variety of stuff in it...and I mix laying mash/pellets in it. They also free range and eat Mabel's dog food. Mabel is our great dane, she lays their and watches them eat it!! It is kinda funny! We now wait until the chickens are put u[p to feed Mabel. The chickens will eat every bit of it. DJ
  7. BJ

    BJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2007
    Sometimes I think ithis feeding thing is a little bit too "scientific". I am actually feeding flock raiser to my 14 week olders and my 2-year old layer. My layer just started laying again after molting and is laying nice hard-shelled eggs without being on layer ration. She is getting the high protein from the flock raiser along with the younger birds. They only free range for about a 1/2 hour (outside of the run), so they grab what they can that is green and wiggly. I throw in black oil seed and scratch mixed together in the mornings and they get some corn at night as a treat. I say just make sure they are eating feed with a good amount of protein and you are fine. Make sure fresh water at all times too, of course.
  8. When i get a clutch to hatch I get them on medicated starter. I continue this until they get to about 5 weeks old. At this point, they can regulate their body temperature pretty well. I then introduce scratch which I believe is puoltry grain in my neck of the woods. I give 10, 20, 30, 40 and finally 50 percent. The increments are done in a one week time period. So there is another 5 weeks.

    At this poing I evaluate each bird. According to what breed they are i either gradualte them to 100 percent poultry grain or give them 75 percent and 25 percent GROWER . Sometimes I just put in the 100 percent poultry and 100 percent grower togeter and let them figure it out. The grower is different than the starter, it has different protein concentrations.

    If you raise guinea fowl you need to use Game bird starter and grower. These have high protein concentrations and are a good deal more expensive. So when you see a clutch of nice looking guinea fowl for sale, do not bulk at the price the guy wants. It is warranted.
  9. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    i mix my feed, they get 3 grain scratch, game conditioner, game maintenance, and once a week a handful of starter.
    my chicks eat medicated chick start , but they also eat what they want of the "big bird" food, and by 6 weeks old,, their on basically the regular bird the winter i also throw in "super spur" pellets,, its FULL of protein, vitamins, and EVERYTHING they will need.
  10. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Chicks should be on Starter until they are about 9-12 weeks old. Then switch them to Grower until they are about 20 weeks old OR have started to lay eggs - at that point switch them to Layer.

    Now, if your feed store doesn't have just Starter or Grower then you can use Starter/Grower until they are about 20 weeks old.

    Flock Raiser is great for mixed age flocks. You can give it to younger birds and laying hens and everybody is happy.

    When your chickens start to lay eggs you need to offer free choice oyster shell or bake and crush up their own egg shells and give back to them.

    If your chickens have access to the ground (dirt) then they don't have to have grit. If they don't then they need access to grit 24/7 also.

    Scratch and cracked corn are not a "feed", they are more like treats/candy. They should be given only as a treat and not offered 24/7. Most people do throw out some at night in the winter to help the chickens warm up before roosting. I often throw a handful or two onto the wood shavings inside the coop so that the chickens help stir up the shavings as I'm using the DLM (Deep Litter Method).

    Scratch and cracked corn are not usually offered in the summer as the thought is that it is too 'hot' for them. That is a controversial subject and you need to research and make up your own mind.

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