Difference between chick starter and layer feed???


In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 6, 2013
Wilton, Ca
Does anyone know what ingredients are different in chick starter feed and layer feed and why chicks shouldn't eat layer feed? I currently have 5 hens and am about to get 30 chicks. I want to start making layer feed for my hens, but didn't know if I should wait until the chicks are done with their starter feed. What exactly are the different ingredients? Are there some things in layer feed that are bad for chicks? I will be receiving my chicks vaccinated, so I don't need the feed with the antibiotics.

Any feedback that you all may have would be greatly appreciated!

Chick starter contains 20% protein while grower and layer feed contains around 16-18% of protein. Layer feed also contains calcium which is why it should not be fed to baby chicks younger than 18 weeks. Too much calcium will harm the chick's kidneys permanently which can lead to death.
When I put my chicks outside, how do I go about feeding my chicks and adults? The chicks still need "grower" food for another 5-6 weeks. I have a 3 gallon hanging feeder for the older ladies right now. If the older ladies eat the chick food, will it hurt them? What to do??
Some folks feed the starter & grower to the whole flock and put Cal on the side. That's not practical for me because I'd be feeding expensive starter to 40 feed hogging full grown chickens just for the sake of 10 chicks, so I keep moma hens & their chicks separate from the layers.
Adult chickens can eat chick feed, but chicks can't eat layer feed.
I have a question if I add 10% ground egg shells to the starter is that pretty much like layer?
You must eat a lot of eggs to get that many egg shells. Seriously, that is way to much calcium. I know egg shell isn't 100% calcium , but near enough. At 10% that would be 6% more then layer feed. Layer has 4% calcium.
thank you for your assistance.
and yes i eat a lot of eggs

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