Do chicks *need* grower ration?

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In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 24, 2010
Hollywood, FL
My options for purchasing feed are very limited, and organic feed is important to me. My older girls free range, but always have access to feed and scraps. I can get organic layer ration, but not grower. I've just ordered 25 chicks (my first time ordering chicks) instead of buying pullets or letting a chicken do the work... Can the chicks eat the layer ration from the start?
No, chicks need to be on a chick starter-no layer pellets until they start to lay. At 8 weeks, you switch to grower and then layer once they begin laying.
Congrats on your new chicks!
Layer has too much calcium and not enough protien for the chicks. You can use flockraiser or gamebird feed though instead of starter. I feed gamebird 22% to all my chooks and have oyster shell out free choice so that the laying hens get enough calcium.
As East mentioned you can't feed chicks layer pellets because of the added calcuim. It's really bad for growing birds to have that overload of calcium.

You can also feed them starter and grower feed (the southern states version is called Start n' Grow) from day 1 until point of lay. Just follow the feeding direction on the bag.

I hope I didn't confuse you too much
No layer for chicks! Layer has the calcium needed to make an egg every day, and without producing an egg non-laying birds have no way of constantly disposing of that much excess calcium. Chicks also eat a lot more constantly than the adults, which means they would get an even bigger OD on calcium.

They can eat starter or grower whatever you can find, but nothing made specifically for layers.
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