1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Feeding at 8 weeks

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Bcook0315, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. Bcook0315

    Bcook0315 In the Brooder

    Mar 17, 2012
    Las Vegas
    My chicks are now coming on 6 weeks and I am looking at what feed to move them to after the chick starter. They are all layers -- I want to go organic but wonder if there is an I between feed before moving to a layer feed? This is my first group of chicks. I have eight - 2 Delawares, 2 Welsummers, 2 Red Stars, and 2 Easter Eggers. Any suggestions on what to move to next feed wise? They are now getting Manna Pro medicated chick starter. Thanks for your help!

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    You have some choices. You can just leave them on Chick Starter all the way until Point of Lay. Many people do this. Others prefer to switch them to a Grower type product at 8 weeks and feed that until Point of Lay.

    Each and every major feed company has a Feed Chart, giving the options as to what to feed to who at what age. It is printed right on the back of the bag, or it is published on the feed company's website. If you are going to choose a feed company, what not follow the feed program chart they have prepared? They've done a lot of research and have formulated their feed offerings accordingly. Here is Blue Seal's feed selector, just by way of example. http://blueseal.com/product-search/?species=Poultry

    Here is Hubbard's Feed Chart. http://www.hubbardlife.com/tips-and-tools/poultry/homestead-poultry-feeding-chart.aspx

    Every feed company has a feed chart.
  3. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Songster

    Jul 1, 2012
    New Jersey
    Just as Fred's Hens said you can keep them on the chick feed until lay. If you do that, I would switch them over to the non medicated feed. At 8 weeks there really is no use for the medication anymore. If you want to keep them with the chick feed, you will need to mix in oats starting at around 8 weeks. This lowers the protein level as the chicks' body gradually needs less protein. When the chicks are around laying age, gradually take out the oats and gradually switch them over to the layer feed.

    You can also switch them over to the developer feed. This has a lower protein level so you dont need the oats. This you can feed until the point of lay.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Yes, cutting down on the protein from week 8-16 is not discussed here a whole lot, nor is the reason for doing so. These are purely my own thoughts and my own practices, so please take it with a grain of salt, do your own research (professional scholarly, Ag University type studies) and come to your own conclusions.

    Years ago, when I got my first ISA Brown commercial birds, they entered POL at an astounding age of 16 weeks and laid huge eggs once they started, virtually skipping the whole pullet egg thing. They tended to burn out in year three. We decided to change how we were growing them out but not give up on the strain. We slowed down their maturity rate. We pushed back their POL until week 19 or 20. How? By reducing their high protein diet after week 8. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. Cut the 18% type Grower/Raiser feed with scratch, oats and other grains, or just feed a 14% complete feed. We have found that 14% feed, on average, mixed with lots of ranging, grass and garden roughage has done the job. We now find that this delayed POL has led to a longer lived layer. As always, YMMV.
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by