How long to keep chicks on chick feed before switching to laying feed?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fiddleblue, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. fiddleblue

    fiddleblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2009
    My chicks are now 8 weeks old. They have been eating the chick feed since I got them. At what point do I switch to giving them "laying feed" , or is there a "pullet feed" that is for pullets in between chick and layer feed?
  2. thebanthams

    thebanthams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2010
    Safford, Arizona
    I already started on laying feed when they were around 8 weeks old, they are all fine.
  3. happybooker1

    happybooker1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2012
    North of Houston Texas
    I had read to keep them on chick feed until 16-18 weeks. This is also what my feed store told me is usually done. I also have scratch that I throw out for them every day.
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Your chicks can move on to flock raiser and then you can start layer feed when they are around 16+ weeks old. Feeding layer too young can cause organ damage that may not be apparent early on. It's the high calcium content.
  5. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

    Oct 3, 2011
    My Coop
    I agree with sumi. Also, starting them on layers too soon could make them start laying when their body isn't ready. This could lead to big problems.
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Feed companies publish a feed schedule chart, either on the back of the bag or on their website. Layer feed is laced with high calcium. Until a chick is actually laying, this high calcium level serves no purpose. Young chicks fed a high calcium level, for prolonged periods of time, are subject to renal damage, which cannot be seen from the outside.
    1 person likes this.
  7. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    x3 with Sumi and Willow.

    I would wait until they are laying to switch to a layer feed. Too much calcium has serious long term health effects on non laying birds. You can switch to a grower or flock raiser at this point and add some calcium on the side as they get older so they can eat it only if needed.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013

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