feed problems

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Roooisin, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Roooisin

    Roooisin Out Of The Brooder

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    i have 3 hens and 4 chicks.. 3 of the chicks are 4 weeks old and 1 of the chicks is just 2 weeks old.. i've been feeding them all chick crumb for the last 4 weeks, even to the hens and i read that there isn't enough protein in chick crumb fir hens. i can't separate the hens and chicks so would it be ok to give them all chick crumb mixed with layers pellets as a way of introducing the 4 week old chicks to layers pellets but also as a way of making sure the hens are getting protein?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Who told you there is not enough protein in chick feed for hens? I suggest you look at the bags to see the analysis. I can't remember where you are located, but in the US they put labels on the feed that tells you percent protein among other things like calcium, salt, and fiber. There is usually a different section on the label that tells you ingredients, like corn, soy, or wheat. I'm talking about feed meant for chickens. There are some game bird feeds, meant for species other than chickens, that are different.

    Layer normally has 16% protein. Chick Starter feed normally has over 20% protein. Chick Grower normally has 16% protein. There is one chick feed, a Grower/Developer that is sometimes available to feed them from 13 weeks until they start to lay, and it has 15% protein. That is what I use if I can get it for the entire flock once the chicks are old enough. But it is hard to find a chick feed that has less protein than Layer.

    You do not want to feed Layer to growing chicks, especially on a regular basis. The only significant difference in Layer and Grower is that Layer usually has somewhere around 4% calcium and Grower probably has around 1%. That extra calcium can, over time, cause bone deformation or kidney problems in growing chicks. One or two bites is not going to harm them, but a steady diet can.

    I feed chick Starter or Grower to the entire flock and offer oyster shell on the side. The hens that need the extra calciunm for their eggs will get that from the oyster shell and the growing chicks pretty much leave it alone.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  3. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:This is sooooo helpful! I was worried that my chicks were going to have problems because a few of them try to sneak some layer feed as I am putting them up.

    I was also concerned about the calcium percentage. When at the store I was going to buy a box of parakeet grit for the chicks, but the label said it was composed of grit, clay, and calcium. Since I was not sure about the layer vs chick ration, I just passed on the grit.
     
  4. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    When you've exhausted the feed that you currently have switch over to flock raiser. It will work for all ages. Just have some oyster shell available for your hens to free feed.
     
  5. Roooisin

    Roooisin Out Of The Brooder

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    thank you for all of your advice. [​IMG] where can you buy the oyster shell? is it expensive?
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I feed much the way the other posters do. Here layer is 14% or 15% and grower 16%, can't get the others without a long drive, so I feed grower to everyone and offer oyster shell on the side. The chicks leave the oyster shell alone.

    I have to drive a ways, to a TSC, to get the oyster shell. Both it and grit are around $8 a bag or so, I forget the weight, but there's probably a quart or more in there. It takes months for my flock of 20 to go through one bag of either; I probably buy 2 or 3 bags of each in a year.
     
  7. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Great information! I've been arguing with Hubby about their feed. He wants to switch to layer and bought a bag of layer 2 months ago. I made him put the layer feed in the basement and sent him back to the store for medicated starter. My youngest were 2 weeks while the oldest 3 were about 9 weeks. I'm not sure what his rush is? We are not getting eggs any sooner.
     

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