How long to keep on chick starter?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by daniel-delarosa, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. daniel-delarosa

    daniel-delarosa Songster

    Dec 14, 2010
    Seminole, Oklahoma
    What's the timeline on keeping chicks on medicated starter, then crumbles before they are ready for pellets? I also heard that you only keep them on medicated starter for a week or so then change to non medicated. Does it matter?

  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    You can keep them on medicated starter/grower until it gets close to laying time (I switched mine at about 18 wks) and then switch to Layer feed. The layer feed usually comes in crumble or pellets - your choice.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    The shape of the feed is irrelevant. Crumbles - pellets - mash it is all feed. It is the contents to pay attention to closely. The shape is merely your preference and which best suits your feeding style.

    You can keep them on starter all the way until first egg. Not a problem. Many switch to a grower formula for the teenage weeks, from 12-20 weeks, but it isn't absolutely necessary. On the back of most feed bags, this information is printed, showing a couple of options the feed company recommends.

    For sure, the high calcium in layer, which is like grinding the shells right into the product, is harmful to younger, growing birds. Their renal systems and kidneys can be harmed, even if there is no outward sign of anything. No eggs? No need for layer.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  4. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Songster

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    I switched mine to unmedicated at 12 weeks and have kept them on starter/grower with oyster shell free choice since they started to lay. I have to admit that I did try the "Layer" feed for a few months and felt that the girls did better on the higher protein starter/grower feed. Their feathers weren't looking as nice and some of them lost weight. I also began getting smaller eggs. Since I switched them back to the starter/grower, they look amazing.
  5. txchickenhead

    txchickenhead Hatching

    Jul 31, 2014
    My mother eyeballs them. When they are "bout half grown" they switch to free range and scratch. They get 2 dozen eggs a day from 22 hens.

  6. Josh and hen

    Josh and hen In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2014
    Marana, AZ
    I kept mine on for 3 1/2 weeks then i switched to chicken scratch and egg maker (i mix both to make a new scratch) and they love it and if you still have chicken starter you can mix that in there too!

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