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How old do chicks have to be...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 4H kids and mom, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    to switch to a layer feed? I ask because our 3 weekers are roughly halfway through their bag of starter, and I need to know wether to order another bag of starter, or if they can switch to layer within the next several weeks (they'd be around 6 weeks old or a little more- I'd guess -when I run out of starter feed). They are already almost completely feathered, and each weigh about a pound. Also, they'll be moving out to the coop in the next week or so, as if that makes any difference...lol Thanks!

    PS...I found some that is Layer/Grower feed 18%...would that work for them, or should I keep them on starter until they finish another bag? [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2007
  2. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    This is a good question. Mine are now 8 wks old and I still have them on the starter food, but they are also eating scratch, lettuce, grapes, carrots, cockateil food, and parakeet+chick grit.
    When is the best time to introduce laying mash and oyster shell grit ?
     
  3. joanna

    joanna Out Of The Brooder

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    this is just my opinion but I wouldn't buy another bag of "baby food". if the hens were raising the chicks, then the chicks would already be eating "grown-up feed" and scratch and whatever else momma would let them. I've always just bought 1 bag of starter feed and then switched them to layer feed.

    It will be interesting to see what others have to say.
     
  4. chickiemom

    chickiemom Out Of The Brooder

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    mmm Good question, I was tring to think back when my chicks were switched. I think (if memory serves correctly) That I switched them when I put them in the coop. where did you find the layer/grower feed? and is it a brand name or is it made from a grain store. I am interested in it. Thanks and Good luck on the chicks.

    P.S. what breed?
     
  5. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Chicks need to stay on starter or grower until they reach laying age, which is around 20 weeks.

    The chick food is formulated to provide what baby chicks need until they start to lay. Layer food is designed for for what hens need and has added calcium for the eggs. The extra calcium is not good for chicks.

    Not sure what brands you have in the area, but Purina and a few others have a combination starter/grower. If you only have starter food where you are, it is OK until they are old enough to need layer feed. Purina also has a feed called Flock Raiser which can be used for chicks.
     
  6. chickiemom

    chickiemom Out Of The Brooder

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    This is why Allen Rules! Thank you Allen I think you helped alot of us
     
  7. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    Thank you allen wranch! Let me add a wrinkle...This means I cannot feed my hen her laying mash for another 12 weeks? She is with the 8 week old chicks and she is ignoring their starter feed and eating only the extras (lettuce, scratch, cockateil food).
    Will this become a problem for her? She's busy playing mom but how long before she is going to need her calcium (oyster shell and laying mash) so that it doesn't become a medical issue for her?
     
  8. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    The layer/grower feed is a name brand I found at Farm & Fleet, but I dont remember the brand off hand.

    Question...if the chicks have to be on the starter for 20 weeks, how will I ever let mums brood their own? I hear the starter is bad for the mums, and the layer is bad for the chicks....so how does that work exactly? I plan on letting my hens hatch a batch every year so that we have new chicks to raise up for the fair (4h birds have to be a 'product' of that year to show). Now I'm really confused!
     
  9. cgjsmith

    cgjsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    from what 've read on the food packages (dumore or somethinglike that) starter is up to 10 weeks grower is 10 -20weeks then scratch and layer food. Thats just what I read. we have our 8 week olds on a mix of roughly 3parts chick starter to 2 part scratch. but they eat the corn and leave the other stuff. C
     
  10. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Ok, so what if this is combination layer/grower feed? I've read several sites and they all talk about hens raising chicks eating layer/grower. One site even talked about a hen raising a surrogate batch of meat birds on it! Is it really bad, or just not as good? I dont want to harm my babies! I just want to know how I'm going to do the breeding thing in the future.
     

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