How old do chicks need to be before they can eat scratch?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Donnigan, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. Donnigan

    Donnigan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2016
    My 3 chicks are about 6 weeks and go crazy when we put scratch out for the big chickens! When can they have it?
  2. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2016
    I was told 8 weeks when i got my chicks.
  3. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Mine have been eating scratch since they were three weeks old. Of course, they need grit.
  4. Donna R Raybon

    Donna R Raybon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2016
    Real granite grit has to be available to chicks. Scratch will dilute the protein content of your ration. Any seed mix can be substituted. If you can get it and afford it a real good pigeon mix is great. I use best wild bird mix I can get and add more to it. TRactor Supply has 50# wild bird mix for a couple bucks more than scratch.

    When i used to be 4 H leader and kids brought their project birds in for fair, I could always tell birds who had been raised on scratch. Pick up a bird that has been raised on high protein ration is like picking up a chunk of lead! That bird is DENSE. And, one raised on too much scratch is frail and really light weight.

    I use turkey and gamebird feed as it is higher in protein and birds grow well. Mine are out on grass as soon as they feather out and weather is mild. Sometimes that is three weeks. They go in a pen I can move to fresh grass and keeps them safe.
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