is mash ok to feed as starter for chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by swoop, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. swoop

    swoop In the Brooder

    Jan 2, 2009
    i am in nyc and finally found an agway - told them i was getting day old chicks and they sold me a humoungous bag of mash - is this the same as chick starter - the only place i found that carries "crumbles" isnt open till monday - i got the chicks on friday - i was reading the label of ingredients and it said for layers 16 weeks and up - i hope i didnt do damage and now i am stuck cause i cant find anyone who carries chicken supplies open until monday - do i need to add grit - they sold it at the store and he told me they were too young for grit ? also if they do need grit can i use the same grit that standard pet bird stores carry? [​IMG]

  2. Carolina Chicken Man

    Carolina Chicken Man Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    You're not going to hurt them feeding them the layer mash over the weekend.

    However, you do need to get chick starter when you can on Monday. The layer mash has more calcium in it that layers need to make there eggs hard, but that chicks that aren't laying do not need. It will damage their kidneys if you feed this to them before they are egg laying age. But, like I said, it won't hurt them this weekend.

    You don't need to give them grit, if all they are eating is chick starter, or any type of chicken feed for that matter.

    They don't need grit unless you are feeding them cracked corn, or other treats.
  3. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Crowing

    Oct 16, 2008
    can you describe "mash" to me??

    Is it like crumbles? I am in a different area of the country than you so terminology might be different..

    If it is like ground up grains, it is ok for the chicks. if it is like crumbles, it probably has grit in it.
    still ok for the chicks.. the only thng that laying mash/crumbles has is extra calcium. not recommended for chicks, but a little won't hurt until you can pick up some starter mash/crumbles in a few days.. I start them out with medicated crumbles.. your choice.
  4. birdlover

    birdlover Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    I agree with Carolina Chicken Man. If you have pellets, just be sure to smash them finely so they can eat it and be SURE to get food specially for baby chicks on Monday. Feeding them what you have for a prolonged period of time can damage their health. I wouldn't attempt to give them any treats until they are at least 3 weeks old and no cracked corn until even later. The parakeet grit in the pet shop is fine. Sprinkle it on their food like salt (once you start giving them treats).

  5. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    I feed my chicks a starter mash. If it's made for chicks it'll be fine, if it's layer mash it may be ground too coarsely for chicks -- but, they should be able to pick out what they can eat and throw the rest on the floor with glee. [​IMG]

    Quote:Mash is usually the term used for feed that isn't pelleted or processed into crumbles. The various grains are ground to a size that's suitable for the intended birds: starter mash is ground extremely fine, broiler/grower mash would be a little bit more coarse -- getting closer to the size an adult bird could eat, layer mash is coarsest of all making it much easier to recognize the original ingredients.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  6. swoop

    swoop In the Brooder

    Jan 2, 2009
    this site is absolutely the best - i was in a panic and got all these responses within minutes - you guys are great

    many thanks from the new nervous chicken mom [​IMG]
  7. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    I agree that you need to get starter mash when the store opens. You do not have or need crumbles.

    If you will accept some criticism in the spirit of enouraging you to gain as much information as possible, knowing exactly what to feed your chicks is something that needed to be learned before the chicks arrive. Don't rely on the clerk at a feed store. He or she may be very knowledgable or may be dumb as a post and if they sold you laying mash knowing that you have new chicks, I suspect that was the case. Still, the responsibility to know what to feed your chicks rests squarely on you.

    These living creatures depend on you to know all the basics and be prepared to care for them from the moment you get them. I always encourage people to learn all they can and have housing prepared before they even think of ordering their birds (or any animals.)

    I'm glad you are here asking questions, but this forum is not a substitute for having basic knowledge of caring for the animals you are responsible for. Sometimes a chick will suffer a problem that will not wait for you to post here and wait for a response. If you haven't already, get a good book that describes some of the common problems that chicks ( and grown chickens) are susceptable to. Or spend time reading through the learning center on this forum. It will give you confidence, reduce the panic and result in healthier birds.


    [edited for spelling]
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009

  8. swoop

    swoop In the Brooder

    Jan 2, 2009
    i honestly appreciate that constructive criticism and its taken as that so no offense taken - i usually am totally prepared and should know better than to take the advice of the store clerk - i have spent most of my life teaching other people how to deal with sick and injured wildlife and how to train their dogs. i'm an rn so i am used to dealing with the technical aspect of nutrition and medicine.... this was originally a well thought out plan - and i was seriously going through some personal turmoil and ready to cancel everything at the last minute due to a really questionable health issue (wish me luck) but decided that i would plan on hopefully sticking around regardless of outcomes and this would bring me joy soooo... after not ordering the food that i had intended to originally - and asking agway if they had "chick starter" which they told me they were giving me as they loaded it into my van - i read the label after my son hauled it into the house - shame on me. i am too trusting and should have been more decisive about what i needed to do earlier. it would not have been such a problem if i didnt live in an area that is absolutely not familiar with chicken husbandry - nyc - as far as emergencies, i have dealt with many animal and people medical emergencies (tube feeding a very ticked-off adult cockatoo was not a picnic as well as the mineral oil enema i was elected to give her - she is fine now, that was several years ago) so .... as i type this a friend has found a place in the bronx that has chick starter which he is bringing. sorry if i came across as impulsive, careless or ignorant - it was just a quickly typed question and i didnt go into details about how i got into the situation.[​IMG]
  9. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    It seems you will be fine. Sometimes we all get caught a little off guard, or get home and find out that what we purchased isn't what they loaded in the car. I'm surprised you could find chicken feed in NYC at all. Good luck. [​IMG]

  10. Poultra

    Poultra In the Brooder

    May 26, 2008
    Wow, first of all:

    and, second, always a good thing to ask questions if you're unsure about something. I believe we're all here to help each other. Sorry to hear that you are going through a rough spot at the moment - I think the chicks will help, nature is the best therapist!

    Good luck and enjoy the new chickies!

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