How much do they EAT? and grit?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by allig8r, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. My 9 3-week old chicks went through 7 cups of chick crumbles between 10am and 7 pm yesterday. I refilled with 8 cups of feed at 7pm and so help me it's almost gone again...?! (current feeder only holds about 8 cups).

    WHAT is going on? Is this normal? I knew I'd have to buy a new feeder for them as they grew, but I seriously didn't think I'd need it this quickly. Heck, this IS a new feeder (1 week old!).

    Once they're big enough to stand cold weather, I can convert my coop from a brooder into a real coop (by opening the ladder to the "downstairs") and they'll have access to the coop's feeder which holds a 50-lb bag of food... but that's not for a while yet.

    What to do?

    Also, I bought chick grit from MM but it looks BIG...?! And they just send it in a clear ziploc bag--no labelling. So I'm not sure if it was mistakenly packed as "big bird" grit or what. It looks like tiny stones. The stones ARE about 1/2 to 3/4 the size of their chick crumbles... I'm not sure I was mixing it in the right ratio for them. The crumbles were advertised as needing additional grit (Rogue organic chick crumbles). I went with some sand for the first week because they were so tiny. Any insight on this?
  2. Country Gal

    Country Gal Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    When I first got my batch of chicks, I had to refil their food and water 2-3 times per day. I had 27 chicks, a 1 gallon waterer, and a feeder that was about 18 or 24" long.

    I think my favorite moment was when I switched them to a larger brooder area (they were just growing to darn fast!) which gave me more room to switch to a 5 gallon waterer and feeder. I now only have to fill their water 2-3 times per week, and fill the feeder 1-2 times per week.

    It seems like your chicks are going through a lot of food (of course, I'm no expert - this is my first experience with chickens and mine are about 8 weeks old). Are you sure nothing else is getting to the feed? What kind of chickens are they?

    I bought chick grit from TSC and it looked little tiny stones - mine didn't have a problem eating it...
  3. mamaboyd

    mamaboyd Songster

    Jun 6, 2007
    We have 59 almost 3 week old chicks that are eating so much too, I think it's normal?? We have 3 ~ 24" feeders that are filled 3 times a day, sometimes 4 if they are completely empty, and 2~1 gallon waterers. We just bought a 50 lb bag of start'n'grow feed this past Thursday, and it's over half gone!!![​IMG]
  4. Well you all have a LOT more chicks than me!

    Nothing else can get at the food. That I know... at least now while the coop is in "brooder" setup. If it were being used like the regular coop, that would be another matter entirely.

  5. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida

    You guys are scaring me!

    Mine just passed 2 weeks, and I have 26. I normally dump out on the brooder floor whatever is left in the 12" feeder (it's usually about 1/4 feed covered with bedding) and refill twice a day, easing into 3 times now. I also give them about 2 egg yolks or some other treat most days. (And however many ants they can catch or I can throw in from the floor of their room.)

    I think I'm gonna have to get another job to pay for chick food within the next week ...

    I did discover that the single quart waterer is not enough anymore, even though I refill it twice a day.

    And my "chick grit" is parakeet grit from Wal-Mart ... looks more like sand with a few tiny stones in it ... I hope I'm doing ok for them.

  6. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    Just like kids, I think they occasionally have a growth spurt (LOL, they grow so fast anyway!!). I seem to remember about that point my kids suddenly ate a TON, too. I added a second feeder to try to keep up, and that really seemed to help.

    I'm about to switch to a 'big chicken' feeder for my 5 weekers, because they seem to only be able to reach 1/2 the food through the holes in the chick feeder. Really, if I glanced quick it looks like they still have plenty of food in there, but when I really watch they are straining to reach the bottom bit. They do seem to eat a lot, although I can't say I've actually measured it.. my 10 are eating out of a 22 hole feeder, and I refill it twice a day.

    I also use the parakeet "grit and gravel" stuff. So far so good.

  7. Well my 9 chicks (3wks old) polished off 16 cups of chick crumbles between 7am and 7pm today.

    Hubby drove the half hour out to get unmedicated crumbles. He bought 100 lbs. Thankfully, those two bags cost less than the 1 bag I bought online--before shipping (although that was organic, this is just unmedicated).

    That's fine. So long as I actually HAVE food to give them!
  8. dreamgirl

    dreamgirl Songster

    May 28, 2007
    Hudson Valley, NY
    That sounds like an awful lot. You may want to check and see how much they are wasting. My 12 10-12 week old birds eat about 2 quarts of grower crumbles a day. They get a few treats and an hour or so of free range some days. At 4-6 weeks they were going through about a quart and I'd fill their 2 1-quart water bottles twice a day (mostly b/c they'd spill at least one of them...).
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Look under the feeder and around under the shavings. They are probably getting alot out of the feeder and not actually eating it.

    My last batch of 48 was eating 1 gallon (four 1 quart feeders) every day.

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