How much chick feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by littlelune810, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2015
    Washington State
    I'm wondering if you experienced peeps can help with this... If I am planning to get 4 or 5 chicks (1 day old, standard sized like Plymouth rocks or buckeyes) and I plan to buy a 20lb bag of medicated chick feed, how long do you suppose this bag would last before I need to buy more, or would it be better to get a 50lb bag... Or would I even use it all before moving on to the next feed stage? Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  2. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can feed medicated feed up until and even technically after they start laying, so it won't go to waste if you get the 50lb bag...

    You will use about 10lbs of feed per bird for the first 10 weeks, so about 50lbs for the first 10 weeks in your case, then they will start consuming about 1+ lbs of feed a week per bird for about the next 2-3 months then closer to 1.5lbs or a little more per week per bird after that once they reach full size...

    You should wait until all birds are actually laying eggs before you switch to a layer feed...
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  3. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2015
    Washington State
    Thank you. Isnt there another feed you can use in between chick feed and layer feed? Id rather not feed the medicated stuff all the way up until they're laying. I want to switch to organic feed a little bit prior to laying as well.
     
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Howdy littlelune810

    Yep, there is a grower feed that you can give them between the chick start and layer feed.

    I find my chicks get a little ‘bored’ with the chick start [​IMG]
     
  5. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2015
    Washington State

    So do you think like the previous commenter said get a 50 lb bag of chick feed for 10 weeks worth, then switch to organic grower?
     
  6. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    You can switch to a non-medicated chick feed (most are labeled starter/grower) or use an all flock or any other higher protein feed... While they are growing you want the feed to be at least 18% protein excess protein feeds like game bird or turkey feed won't hurt but it cost more and creates more stinky waste...

    The 'medicated' feed in the US is primarily Amprolium based and is not really a medicine per say it's a thiamine blocker and the dosage in the feed is low...

    There is very little actual difference between the feeds in the end, basically the amount of protein varies and laying feeds have extra calcium added... You should avoid any feed with extra calcium as it's detrimental to birds not laying...
     
  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    You want them to still be on the medicated feed when they are introduced to the outside environment, the bare ground and/or other chickens as that is when the medicated feed will be most beneficial as that is when they are most likely going to be exposed to the cocci... Many people switch off the medicated feed too soon and that really defeats the purpose of it..
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  8. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    MeepBeep is correct and I should have specified that my chicks have all been raised by a broody and have access to the bare ground from Day 2 or so.
     
  9. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2015
    Washington State

    Thank you. From what I understand they can be moved outside to their coop/run once they have their feathers... Sometime between 6 and 9 weeks? How long after they have been moved outside should I continue the medicated before switching to the grower? And also - do you not switch to layer feed until you have found that first egg or is there a specific time frame? Thanks for helping a nebwie out with stupid questions [​IMG]
     
  10. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    In general this is true, but you should consider the weather, if they are coming from a heated 70° house you don't want to plunge them into subzero weather, as that can shock them... I personally keep my winter hatchings indoors until spring...

    I would do it for several weeks if not an entire month...

    You switch to layer (if you want) after they are all laying eggs, if you only have a few laying eggs it's best to stay on the non-fortified food and offer a side of oyster shells for those that are laying to use... The ones laying will seek out and eat the oyster shells the ones not laying will mostly ignore the oyster shells, they do a good job of self regulation of calcium if given the opportunity... You also have the option of never switching to layer, just keep them on the other feed and offer a side of oyster shells, many people do this including myself since I have a mixed flock and the calcium can be harmful to roosters and other birds not actively laying...
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015

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