How much should my chicks be eating?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ShoeEars, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. ShoeEars

    ShoeEars In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2012
    Fresno/Clovis, CA
    I have three chicks that range from 2-4 weeks old and as of recently, they have been going through food really quickly, we bought a 5lb bag of chick starter last Saturday and it's about half gone as of today. In the first week I had them, they went through almost 1lb of feed in a week, so them going through about 2.5lbs in about 5 days seems odd.

    I;m also wondering about the size of the feed pieces. My first bag of chick starter came in a chick starter kit and the feed pieces weren't as big as this new bag. They like to scratch at the food in the feeder so I know I'm losing some feed there, but I'm wondering if some of the feed is too big for them to eat. When I watch them eat some of the bigger pieces of feed, I do notice that when they peck at it to try to eat it/try to make it smaller (or something), after pecking twice they move on to a smaller or different piece.

    Here's a picture of some of the feed, wasn't sure if a reference to size would be of any help, so I threw in a penny to give an idea of how big the bits are just in case. The chick starter brand is MannaPro and it is a medicated feed.

  2. TaylorHobbyFarms

    TaylorHobbyFarms Songster

    Dec 2, 2010
    Your post brings up some questions. First, are they really going through the feed or are they spilling a lot of feed? If they are eating more feed, that is normal because mine really pick up after 2 weeks. It seems my older chicks eat more than my grown chickens, I guess because they are still growing.

    However, if they are not eating the feed due to the size (it looks okay at first glance) and they are just sorting through and spilling a lot, you may look into a different feed. I use Medicated Purina chick starter and mine absolutely love it. You may also want to invest in a hanging chick feeder as I have noticed a big difference between one of these and the long feeders. With the hanging feeder, you hang it high enough so that they can't scratch it out. I hope this helps.
  3. ShoeEars

    ShoeEars In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2012
    Fresno/Clovis, CA
    I know they knock out food, today I realized how much food they have knocked out, it's quite a bit. :/ I'm going to try raising the feeder on some wood to make it harder for them to scratch at the feed.

    The chicks are eating, the feed has small pieces as well as big ones, I'm just concerned about the big pieces. I'm going to try to break up the feed a bit by putting it in a bag and crushing it with a cup or something in an attempt to make the big pieces smaller.

    My local Tractor Supply only has one bag of chick starter (the kind I have) that is smaller than like 20lbs and isn't too costly. I only have three chicks so I'm not sure if investing in a 20lb bag of chick feed is logical for my situation.
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Understand that they can digest food particles that size. If you are worried about it give them some grit and let them do the grinding. It what their gizzards are for.
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    20 lb bags is more economically priced. Yes, even just 3 chicks will soon rip through a 20 lb bag when they are 12 weeks old and older. It only sounds like a large size right now.

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