My food has run out

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by pnutty1, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. pnutty1

    pnutty1 New Egg

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    Help. I have no more chick starter and the 7 week old chicks are out of food in their feeder. Can I feed them Big Bird food or do I need to run out for more chick starter? I use layer crumbles for the older girls, but I don't want to injure the younglings. Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks Phil
     
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can use the layer for a day or so until you can get to the feed store, but you should get them back on starter as soon as possible. It has a much higher protien content and they need that to grow.
     
  3. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    I'd feed them layer crumbles now and not worry at all about the nutrition. Unless they are meat birds the protein levels won't matter much. Some say the calcium is hard on their kidneys but I wouldn't worry about that either.

    My turkeys have been eating layer since 6 weeks since they live with my laying hens.
     
  4. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    I have had one or two chicks grow up on a general poultry feed only (when mama hen has her babies its hard to feed ONLY the babies, so they all just get the same thing)

    I don't use layer feed as a general rule, because of having a rooster, guinea's ducks and baby chicks now and then, so its a general feed for all with added goodies (shell etc.) as needed.
     
  5. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Can I feed them Big Bird food or do I need to run out for more chick starter?

    I suggest you go get the chick starter. There is way too much calcium in the layer feed, for the babies. I did read one thread about someone who lost all her chicks, due to feeding layer feed. Personally, I wouldn't take the risk.​
     
  6. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Quote:I suggest you go get the chick starter. There is way too much calcium in the layer feed, for the babies. I did read one thread about someone who lost all her chicks, due to feeding layer feed. Personally, I wouldn't take the risk.

    I'm not trying to debate or argue that outcome but I don't believe it. I've personally raised at least 100 birds from 5 to 8 weeks on layer feed. As for someone losing all their chicks to it well how is it possible for too much calcium to kill several birds at the same time? It wouldn't happen that way. I suspect a disease got those birds.

    I've never started chicks on layer but what about the chicks hatched by broody hens that eat layer from day 1? What about the roos that eat layer for a lifetime with no issues?

    I'm assuming the OP can't get feed until monday but even then, at 7 weeks, should the birds be on starter? Nope. At that point they should be on reduced protein grower but most of the people I know by 7/8 weeks integrate their pullets and cockerels into their main flocks.


    Many of my friends laugh at me for feeding my birds the way I do. Many people feed chickens whatever scraps are left from the kitchens. Traditionally on many farms chickens survive the winters of the wasted grains fed to the horses and cows. They are scavengers after all.
     
  7. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    I agree with PC, my baby chicks, the ones I hatched were out in the coop with the adult chickens at 7 weeks, eating what they eat. No problems!
     
  8. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, looks like there are some differing opinions here. I would still go with the higher protien feed. The calcium may or may not cause problems, but lower protien equals slower growth.

    I've recently changed the feed I use because part of my flock is in heavy molt and I think the higher protien will help them out. I think I'll stick with this when I hatch chicks out in the spring as well. If you're main concern is that it is a pain to keep two different kinds of feed I'd suggest the following. Switch to a 22% gamebird mix and offer free choice oyster shells for your laying hens. This will get your pullets to point of lay sooner then the 16% layer feed, you don't have to worry about too much calcium, roos will also grow faster for the freezer (if you do that) and everybody should stay in good feather. I only switched over recently so I'm not positive about this, but they seem to be eating less of the gamebird mix as well--which is a good thing because it is more expensive.

    Do keep a close eye on the chicks though because they're more likely to get cocci when they go off the medicated feed. It's easy to treat, but can kill them quickly if it's not caught right away. Good luck with your chicks.
     
  9. rarebreedeggs4u

    rarebreedeggs4u Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Mine (chicks though breeder stock) also are eating less with the game bird feed, my thinner bodied birds feel better in my hand now too, not fat, but definitely more filled out. The babies are active, seem to sleep a bit less and I haven't had any pasting issues yet, although I'll keep a VERY close eye out for it.
     
  10. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feed them what you have, chickens have survived on bare bones feed for centuries. Purple Chicken and Wildsky have tons of experience, I've had chickens off and on since 1971 and never had issues with feeding layer earlier than the 'schedule' feed companies give out. I have mixed in some flock raiser to boost protein at times, but I wouldn't worry about rushing out for either that or starter. I don't buy the 'too much calcium' thing either and have often decided the whole thing myself by whenever the starter runs out, don't worry!
     

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