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Chicks eating layer feed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CartierChicken, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. CartierChicken

    CartierChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I supply my chicks with starter feed, however, when they go out it the run, they have access to the layer feed that is for my laying hens. I just read that layer feed is bad for chicks. I got the chicks when they were 2 weeks old, and they are now 3 1/2 weeks old. Have I damaged them now? And can you give any suggestions on how I can keep them from the laying hens feed?

    All free range. I have a huge automatic feeder for the hens and rooster. I have separate feeding troughs for the chicks that I keep inside the coop. I am moving one of them outside. I was thinking of raising the hens feeder up higher, so the chicks will have difficulty getting to the feed. Does anyone have any other suggestions?
  2. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Sounds like your on the right track by raising the layer feeder higher to where the chicks can't get at it. Don't think you damaged them by them getting a little layer feed but if the problems would start if they were regularly eating it.Layer feed has to much calcium for chicks. Have your big chickens been eating the starter feed? That can be a problem too,then the layes wont have enough calcium.
  3. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    Your chicks are probably fine but if you could get grow out food for the flock (non-medicated of course) and put out oyster shell free choice then that should solve your problem. Since I have a mixed age flock this is how I feed. The laying hens will eat the oyster shell for the additional calcium when they need it, the chicks and rooster won't eat the shell. It is the additional calcium in the layer food that can hurt young chicks kidneys from what I have read.
  4. CartierChicken

    CartierChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I have oyster shell in another feeder, however, the layer food still has shell in it also. If calcium is the problem, why do many feed their chicks yoghurt? I just offered them this for the first time today. Those poor things are totally going to die in my care:confused:
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Relax and take a breath. Feed doesn't effect the birds that quickly.[​IMG]

    Simply feed a flock generic grower type feed and keep offering the shells on the side for the hens. The chicks may investigate it, but won't be all that interested.
    That way, all the birds, of whatever age, can eat the same feed.
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Yogurt is good for them for the probiotics -- but in small quantities and not every day. For a few chicks I'll mix maybe a tsp with a little feed or scrambled egg. You're right, it could get to be too much calcium if you overdo it. There is calcium in chick feed and many foods, it's not that they shouldn't get any, they just shouldn't get too much.
  7. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2009
    Don't worry, your doing great. Chickens are fun and half the fun is giving treats. Treats train them to recognize you and come when called. Just don't give them too many, just like you wouldn't give your kids candy all the time, just a small amount every few days. In the winter I mix yougurt and oatmeal with raisins for my girls. They go crazy for it!! What fun! They recognize their treat containers and come running!! I start training them to come with mealworms when they are peeps...Now that is very exciting times!! Chickens have been around for ever. They can be hard to kill and survive in extreme conditions. So, if you are doing your best, loving them and enjoying them, they will reward you with eggs and much joy! You're doing great!
  8. elevatedruby

    elevatedruby Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 4, 2016
    Gatesville, texas
    But what are the effects of feeding the wrong feed. I found out I been buying layer even though I ask for starter and grower every time I go and they give me layer. I asked and they say I must be reading ********. I am kind of worried because I said it might be harmful and they just shrugged it off. Bad thing is I know most of these people personally
  9. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Please try not to worry about it. Many of us ignorantly fed layer feed to chicks before we knew better, and I can tell you that the chicks suffered no ill effects. In fact, one of mine is still alive and well at eight years old.

    If I were you, I would stop patronizing that feed store. There must be another place you can buy feed. If you can't find chick starter, just buy an all flock grower feed. In fact, you can feed that to layers as well, as long as you provide oyster shell for them.
  10. elevatedruby

    elevatedruby Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 4, 2016
    Gatesville, texas
    Well it's good friends of mine, I'm not patronizing them, I just want to make sure I'm not trying to cause birds to have problems. They make the organic feed non GMO or soy. They test me a lot like feed the chicks rice. I feed bread and lettuce to all my birds as Treats and haven't seen anything bad thankfully. They even make chick starter in h and h feed all done by this company. If it was harmful I would have just special requested the starter when I need it and he would pull as many as I need and maybe next year, I'll have them do that, it's a good business, and I personally know these people. As long as my birds don't get sick or I'll from it I'll continue their diet. Do you think 2% crude protein can make a difference in birds growth. I'm feeding them 2 % less protien

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