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How much starter feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Fleetwood77, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Fleetwood77

    Fleetwood77 Out Of The Brooder

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    2 more weeks until my chicks arrived, so I am going to buy and prep everything for them this weekend. I will be getting 4 chicks. It seems the starter feed they have at the stores is 18% protein which they'll be on until 16 to 18 weeks of age. Approximately how many pounds of food do you think I will need for 4 chicks for that time? It seems my options are 25 or 50lbs bags.
     
  2. ShellyBear

    ShellyBear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Get the 25 just to see how it goes and let me tell you 4 chicks don't need a 50lbs bag. I say get the big one when they are around a few months. Good luck!
     
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree, for 4 chicks, get the smaller 25lb bag. You'll probably have to replace it, but I think it should last most of that time.

    If you purchase too much at a time, it tends to draw critters, ants, or mold as it sits for long periods.

    Of course store it in a canister with strong lid...metal being best.

    LofMc
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
  4. Fleetwood77

    Fleetwood77 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. I was leaning towards the smaller one. The Lady at the store was trying to tell me I'd need the 50lbs and that seemed like too much for 4 little guys. But I've never had chickens before.

    LofMc, it'll be stored in the house. I've never had issues with the cat and dog food, so hopefully it'll be the same with the chicken food.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I'd get the 50lb, it's cheaper and you can feed it longer than 18 weeks...just offer oyster shell when they start to lay.
     
  6. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you need the chick feed until 8 wks then switch to starter grower at that time and then layer when they start laying
     
  7. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    You only need chick starter (and sometimes labeled starter grower) for the first 16 to 18 weeks for layer type chicks. Then switch to layer feed at point of lay, which is 18 to 20 weeks.

    Most importantly it should be 18% protein throughout chickhood shifting to 16% to 18% protein layer feed with about 3.5% or more calcium at point of lay or offer all flock 18% with oyster shell or calcite grit.

    Do not switch from chick start to what is called meat grower, or a high protein grower, as that will be 22% protein which is far too much protein for layer types and can mess with joints during growth. (It can force them to grow too fast or put on too much weight too quickly)

    The regular chick start is fine until they are ready to lay, or ETA: as aart stated, you could finish out the 50lb bag at point of lay by adding oyster shell or calcite grit as long as it is non-medicated. You actually can eat eggs from hens on Amprolium the med in medicated feed to stunt cocci overgrowth) but generally you want to get them off of medicated by point of lay so their own immune systems take over.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Hard to say just how much 4 chick are going to eat. Breed, age, weather, environment, brand of feed all will play a role on how much your chicks will eat.
    If your feed is a un-medicated starter or a un-medicated starter/grower then you can feed that feed from the time the chicks arrive until they start laying or you can continue to feed that feed and just offer oyster shells when they start laying.
     
  9. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    here we have a food for that intermediate time between chick feed and adult feed, and it isn't a meat bird starter grower, it has a lower protein than the chick feed by like 1-2% I think it is about 18 because the chick feed we have is 20.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I like to feed a 'flock raiser' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
     

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