Confused about food ...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by CheekyChooks, May 16, 2011.

  1. CheekyChooks

    CheekyChooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Doncaster
    So I've been reading on this forum that everyone who has laying hens seems to feed chicken starter food and then at laying age switch to a layers feed.

    I translated this in UK terms to mean, feed your chicks 'chick crumb' as we dont seem to have 'starter' food and then switch to 'layers pellets'. So I've ordered two big 20kg bags of chick crumb assuming this is what I need for some time!

    Now, after looking else where on the internet it appears I should do the following

    Feed 'chick crumb' untill 6/8 weeks
    Feed 'growers pellets' untill around 18 weeks
    Feed 'layers pellets' from there on ...

    Now my chicks are between 4 and 6 weeks. Can you advise if I should be moving onto growers pellets? Is this the same as what is described here at 'chicken starter'? Sooo confused! I may have a sight more chick crumb than I need ... maybe I should mix with growers pellets ...?
     
  2. alicefelldown

    alicefelldown Looking for a broody

    Aug 18, 2008
    Hi!

    The difference between the varieties isn't so much crumb/mash/pellets, as it is calcium %, protein % and nutritional makeup.

    Chicks and young birds need protein in the 20% range. Once they start laying, switch them to a 12-15% protein blend that has more calcium.

    Try this website for more info: http://www.poultryhelp.com/ourfeed.html
     
  3. CheekyChooks

    CheekyChooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Doncaster
    I see. Well the chick crumb says it contains 19% protein. Will it therefore be OK to keep them on untill laying age and skip what is considered 'growers pellets'?

    Thanks for the info, I feel a little better now :)
     
  4. alicefelldown

    alicefelldown Looking for a broody

    Aug 18, 2008
    That sounds like a good plan to me. Best of luck with your little ones!
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:Yes, in fact some folks feed starter (usually 20% protein) forever and give oyster shell on the side for their layers. It isn't too much protein, IMO.

    If you want less protein seasonally then you can always add a handful of scratch when they are older. Just be careful as making eggs takes a lot of protein "in" to give protein out in the form of eggs.

    Some brands of feed are starter/grower combined, and others want you to buy a grower feed that is around 17% protein after awhile (I don't know how many weeks.) Layer feed is usually 16% protein.

    I feed chick starter until 6 weeks and then switch to my homemixed feed, myself.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
  6. CheekyChooks

    CheekyChooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Doncaster
    Thanks for the info. I was getting myself in a tizzy over whether I've ordered food I cant use but reading your replies it seems just fine and I'll switch once its all gone at laying age. My chicks still love their chick crumb, I've tried them with a bit of bread, sunflower seeds and bananna and all they want is the crumbs ... which is fine because its alot easier anyway and probably alot better for them that treats anyway.
     
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    One thing I forgot to mention is that with chick crumbles you don't want to feed MEDICATED chick crumbles to laying hens. I feed organic nonmedicated chick starter and so forgot about this.
     
  8. CheekyChooks

    CheekyChooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Doncaster
    oh, right I'll need to check the bags. I'm pretty sure they are non-medicated. Unless they actually say medicated will they be un-medicated by default?
     
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:Well they sell both, so it depends on what the feed store automatically sells. Mine automatically sells you medicated unless you ask for unmedicated.

    You will see an ingredient like amprolium.
     

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