Feeding baby chicks

Angiebubs

Songster
8 Years
Aug 19, 2011
2,335
77
226
Amery, WI WI/MN border
Newbie here...I am raising 8 chicks (4- 3week old and 4-2 week old) combination of 5 barred rocks, 1 top hat mis, and 2 cochins. I currently have them on meidcated started. However, I've been reading "Storeys guide to raising Chickens" and Im geting a littlw worried/confused....It appears that since I am starting them so late, and I dont want them to mature too early, I need to worry about protein levels?
What advice do you have as to what I should/should not be givfing them at this age, and over the next couple months to prepare them for the coming winter months in the midwest?
 

AZBootsie

Songster
9 Years
Nov 10, 2010
2,249
31
211
Congress, AZ
My Coop
Hmmm....never considered trying to alter their maturation rate....
Starter has what they need and it is what I would give them. You can always add corn or another hot feed this winter to help them stay warmer. Chickens actually do really well in the cold, better than I ever guessed they would. It seems the hot summers are much worse on them.
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Your chicks will be HUGE by Thanksgiving and by New Year's Day, will be full blown adults. I'd even look for eggs in early January.
I really enjoy fall brooding. I don't consider yours to be "late" at all. Hatched about mid August, I take it.
Last fall, I brooded out this batch, in the barn. They were hatched on or about Sept 7, IIRC. Had lots of eggs by end of January.

 
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saladin

Songster
10 Years
Mar 30, 2009
2,831
129
221
the South
I'd keep them on Starter until they are 12 weeks old. At 12 weeks mix it 1/2 and 1/2 with a feed that is around 14%; feed that until 20 weeks. At 20 weeks you can put them on the feed you are going to continue with from then on. Different folks feed different levels of protein. I feed 16% other feed up to 20%. It's your choice.
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
You'll want to move them to the coop as soon as they are feathered out. 5-6 weeks. You'll need to provide some gentle warmth, at night, if your lows fall below 55F.
Then, you'll want to wean them off the heat quickly. This encourages great feather growth. The chicken takes on the feathers it needs, based on the temperature.
So, it is a good thing to get them used to September and October weather. They will be super.

As for feed, I understand not wanting to "rush" them with high impact feed, but chick starter/grower is what they need. I would not be concerned about them being pushed, as this only happens when you feed a high protein feed in the range of 20-24% protein. I do not feed that to young pullets. That level of protein is designed to grow out meat birds quickly. As for "treats", take it easy. You want them to get the vast majority of their calories from the balanced chick feed. Limit the non-feed portion of their diet to a small percentage (10-20%) of their intake.
 
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Angiebubs

Songster
8 Years
Aug 19, 2011
2,335
77
226
Amery, WI WI/MN border
Thank you all so much for the info.! I am SUCH the ne wmom chicken...and getting very nervous of putting them outside in a few weeks. We live in a rural area with every predator you can imagine. I am hoping Ive made my coop as safe as possible but "mama isnt going to get much sleep the first few weeks"
 

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