Feed question!

ZaneyMama

Songster
9 Years
Feb 2, 2010
236
0
109
Boulder, Colorado
I am so confused by all the different ages that are recommended to switch feed for laying chicks.

Something I read said switch when they're feathered out. Something else I read said switch when they start laying. So confusing!

Can someone lay it out for me? No pun intended!
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Also, what exactly is "mash"? Is it okay to feed to adult birds? I found a non-soy organic source of layer feed, but it's only available in mash.

Thanks,
Sarah
 

mstricer

Crowing
12 Years
Feb 12, 2009
7,508
224
396
Ohio
Sarah, Purina recomends 18 wks, this is what I do. My babies are on non-medicated start and grow for 18 wks. I don't know what mash is but I'm pretty sure it is close to powder. Start and grow is crumbles and then I go to a layer. The non-soy organic layer is probally expensive. You can get more info on Purinas web site. http://poultry.purinamills.com/
 

Kittymomma

Songster
10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
3,873
31
204
Olympia, WA
I just keep everyone on 22% gamebird and put oyster shell out free choice for the laying hens so they get enough calcium. It's just easiest for me, the little ones get enough protien that way and I don't have to try to keep them all out of each other's feed.
 

briteday

Crowing
12 Years
Dec 16, 2008
1,223
132
266
Northern Nevada USA
Any feed with higher protein is usually a couple $$ more, but not much more.

As for the original question, I keep my chicks on medicated starter feed until I move them from the house to the coop brooder, about 6-8 weeks old, depending on weather. Then I put everyone in the coop (hens, pullets, chicks) on Flockraiser since the only feed tube supplies both the brooder and the laying coop. The laying coop has extra oyster shell for the girls in there. But the chicks in the brooder can't get to it. Usually by the end of August and through the winter I put everyone on 50% layer pellets and 50% turkey starter for the higher protein. It keeps them around 21% protein during the coldest months here. Then by Spring we're back to the Flockraiser. Luckily one store carries all three products here so it's not a problem for switching around. And I use all Purina products since I get the best results. I have tried other brands but either egg quality/quantity is not as good or chicks just don't seem to grow as well.
 

Kittymomma

Songster
10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
3,873
31
204
Olympia, WA
The gamebird is about 50% more, but they do eat less of it. It's still a little more expensive, but worth it to me since I'm not really set up to keep all the feed seperate for the different groups. I freerange and it would be a huge hassle. The other nice thing is it keeps everyone (except the roos favorites) in great feather and bulks up the extra roos that are destined for freezer camp. It's not for everybody, but I'm really happy with it.
 

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