Feeding chicks? Can someone please tell me which answer is right?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ZombieChicken, May 22, 2010.

  1. ZombieChicken

    ZombieChicken Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 10, 2010
    Olympus Cove
    Chicks are 6-8 weeks old now and need a new bag of feed. They have been eating the chick crumbles. I went to the feed store and they sent me home with a bag if 16% lay mash. The guide to raising chickens say no lay mash until 18-20 weeks. Which one is right? They only sell chick starter and lay mash with several different % protein and that's it. No grower or developer.

    Are they ok on the 16% lay? I have a little starter left to mix in for transition.
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    The layer is not good for chicks, it has too much calcium and can cause them to have problems later in life. If you just have the chicks you'll probably be better off sticking with the starter/grower until they are around 18 weeks old or start laying, whichever comes first.

    I have a very mixed (age) flock so I feed them all gamebird of flockraiser 18-22% depending on what I can get and then put oyster shell out free choice so the layers can meet their calcium needs.
  3. silkydragon

    silkydragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 1, 2009
    ohio valley
    they should be ok i have a broody hen right now with a baby chick and some1 told me not to feed adult hens chick starter the chick will be fine on layermash and so far so good
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    I used to give my chicks laying mash and folks on here told me not to do so...I didn't listen. Later on, about the 1 year mark, I had several birds just drop off the roost with heart attacks or other organ failures. I'm assuming it was caused by the increased calcium of the layer ration at such an early age.

    I wouldn't give it to new chicks anymore but at 8 wks my chicks have been in with the layer flock for about 4 wks and its hard for me to keep them eating separate food. I've raised one chick on layer since she was around 4 wks and she is now 1 year and she is very healthy and productive.

    I would say, if you can avoid feeding laying mash just yet, I wouldn't do it. Keep them on chick starter or general flock feed until they are around 5 months old and then I would start layer mash.
  5. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    I have my babies and girls on game feeder 22% protein mixed with flock raiser 16% protein and put egg shells out. they seem to do fine I have heard that the extra calcium hurts the babies kidneys or organ problems seems to work this way the girls are laying nice big strong eggs and girls are doing fine I also free range all the flock so they get greens treats scratch and bugs all day also.

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