Length of time to keep chic on starter mash.


In the Brooder
9 Years
Nov 24, 2010
Woodbury, Middle Tn
I'm wondering how long a chic must remain on starter mash. The chic ( now 4 days old) is in the brooder pen with the hen and all is well but I have only the mash recommended by Tractor/Supply for the chic which is 18% protein in the pen. Is it suitable for the hen? I don't have the crumbles she is normally fed not available for the hen for fear she may feed it to the little one. Im worried that the starter mash may not be enough nutrition for the hen. Sure would appreciate the some advice.

Also at what age should the chic be able to range with the Hen. Right now if allowed the hen would take the little one out to the yard. Would the chic be eating things she shouldn't be eating if she did have time in the grass?

The chic is really full of pee and vinegar and motor scooters all over her pen and momma seems to be teaching the chic all the ways of the world. I think it could keep up with her mom if let them out but I understand about 3 weeks old usually is the right age to let them out?

any advice is greatly appreciated. Tom


Last edited:
Ok- Deep Breath.


Chickens were once (and still are) wild animals. Momma hens will take babies out as soon as momma hen needs to poop. They will eat stuff off the ground, and be fine.

Chick starter until 14-16 weeks. Momma can eat it, with out issue, since she is not laying and does not need the calcuim. You can give her some layer feed and she'll eat it if she needs it. The higher protien will be good for momma (for a while) to build up muscle she may have lost while sitting on eggs.
Usually til 16-18 weeks they are on the starter, then you can switch to a layer feed or Flock Raiser. If the starter crumbles are medicated I believe it will transfer to the hen's eggs but unmedicated can be fed to both as long as you have plenty of free choice oyster shell for calcium for the hen.
They won't need grit as long as it's just starter..but as soon as you add any whole grains they will also need access to grit to help them digest.

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