How Much Feed for Chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Buster098, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. Buster098

    Buster098 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, does anyone know how much I should be feeding my chicks? I have 9 chicks, the oldest 6 being 2-3 weeks old and the youngest 3 just over 1 week. Is there an exact weight or a rough amount I should be feeding them because I think I may be overfeeding them a bit. They've eaten ALOT of feed so far because I keep topping up their food bowl as I dont want to under feed them [​IMG] Thanks!
     
  2. montanasandy

    montanasandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They need it, they are growing! [​IMG]
     
  3. Knittycat

    Knittycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been free choice feeding my 8 chickes. They are 10 days old. In that 10 days they've gone through over 3 pounds of feed. They are growing like weeds!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
  4. wsdareme

    wsdareme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The answer is: As much as they can eat!

    Chickens need to have free-choice food available at all times. Same with water. They'll only eat until they're full, and you don't feed them a rationed portion like you would your dog. If you did, the top of the pecking order would get lots to eat, while the bottom would go hungry.

    Just keep topping off the food and water and you'll be fine.
     
  5. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2010
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    Keep their feed full 24/7, but you can raise up the food and water dishes a touch after the first week or so, that way they don't scratch out the food onto the floor as much or poop in the water.

    I use small bricks (used for paving normally, I think) to raise everything up an inch. Amazing how much an inch can help!

    You can also try adding in a Baby Cake, they're a forageing cake/suplement formulated for chicks. It's solid so they can't waste it as easily. I found them on Randall Burkley's web site and I think MPC carries them too. And they have their own web site.
     
  6. FMAFarms

    FMAFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your chicks will eat a lot, because they're growing fast, so don't worry about overfeeding them! If you want to supplement their diet, add little saucers of plain acidopholus yogurt, small greens (mine love the tops of strawberries and pick the seeds off the berries), dry-roasted mealworms, chopped up hard-boiled egg yolk. Baby Cakes are nice, but they are expensive, and they're basically a suet block on a stick. If you have a good wild bird store near you, or even a Tractor Supply, buy a regular suet block formulated for song birds (smaller seeds, not big ones like sunflowers or big pieces of peanut). Buy a suet cage to put it in (don't use one that you've used with wild birds), and then put it in for a couple of hours every couple of days. The chicks'll be wary at first but then will flock to it. You might want to elevate it on a brick, too, and keep the opening towards the back.
     
  7. FMAFarms

    FMAFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Forgot one thing that's kind of important. DON'T top off the feed that is in the feeder. Let them eat it down, then rinse and dry the feeder before refilling it. By putting fresh feed on top of old feed, which may have been scratched at, pooped on (even the enclosed trough types!), or otherwise soiled (think about what exactly the chicks are stepping on, and remember they sometimes step in their feeders), a heavy layer of new feed over old can create a microbe-brewing facility that can sicken your chicks. Same for the water: DON'T top it off. Even raised by bricks, chicks that like to dig and scratch in their shavings can send those shavings flying across your brooder to land in the dish part of your waterer. And, of course, some chicks will poop in the water no matter how well you position it. Periodically, check the waterer. Pine shavings absorb water so they will take up a lot of room in the water dish. Dump everything out, rinse it well (especially if they pooped in it), then refill. But never top anything off. Keep your chicks and their equipment clean and they'll live healthy, happy lives.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
  8. packmomma

    packmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep feeding as much as they want. When I buy chicks I always buy a big bag. I know they will eat it all! They grow like weeds and need all the feed they can get.
     
  9. Buster098

    Buster098 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 9, 2011
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    OK thanks everyone! I'll keep feeding them as I have been then [​IMG] My 9 chicks have gone through about 4 kg of food so far so thats just under 9lbs isn't it? Seems alot [​IMG] but oh well, Cheers!
     
  10. justtricia

    justtricia Just Hatched

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    This was great information. I was wondering the same thing as my 7 chicks are on their second large bag of chick starter/grower and I have only had them for about 3 weeks. They are 5 weeks old and they seem to eat A LOT! They are huge now too. We started them in a large Rubbermaid box as their brooder and they are barely able to get around each other. Our coop comes soon, but I am afraid they will out grow their box before we are able to move them outside!

    I moved my water up on to an upside down bowl to avoid the bedding and poop getting in it, but I see the suggestion for doing the same for the food and will try that.

    Love this group :)
     

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