Ok, i'm lost...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by blb, May 11, 2010.

  1. blb

    blb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 13, 2008
    Maryland
    My chicks are 7 weeks old. At 5 weeks I took them off chick crumbles and put them on layer crumbles. I thought that was next.

    I was reading something here that was talking about grower pellets, is that what they should be on?

    Plus, I got scratch and it was only 2 grains: corn and oatmeal. Is that right? I thought there would be more grains. I got them small grit then the guy at the feed store said they don't need, only when they start laying.

    Please let me know if I am doing right.
     
  2. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    best coast
    At five weeks, they should be on Starter or Grower. Layer feed can actually harm them at that age. Grit is always a good idea. [​IMG]
     
  3. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    I agree 5 weeks and on layer is way too early.
     
  4. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Quote:You're doing just fine and are on the right track (especially in coming to BYC for advice versus listening to the feed store dude!).

    Chicks should switch over from starter (I use medicated starter) at 8 weeks old to a grower pellet, not a layer pellet b/c the layer has more calcium in it than they need. They shouldn't start the layer feed until such time as they start laying eggs. After they begin laying, I also provide oyster shells free-choice in a parakeet cup inside my coop. They love it and it makes their egg shells nice and hard.

    If the chicks are still in the brooder, they should have access to grit to help them grind up the feed in their crops. If they're in the coop and have access to dirt, etc, they don't need extra grit provided, they'll find their own.

    Think of scratch as "chicken candy", it's really just junk food for chickens and is a handy bribe to get them to come back into the coop when they're being uncooperative.
     
  5. dieselgrl48

    dieselgrl48 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Virginia
    Layer feed shouldn't be fed to birds that aren't laying.It can actualy be toxic and cause internal bleeding in young bird's "especialy young chick's".I had to learn the hard way.We try to raise ALL Chemical free Organic.At 7 week's you should change off to a finisher and I start adding in some scratch grain and they are able to eat treat's like bread crumb's and left over veggie's and green's.They will peck and eat what they think they like or can swallow.I don't feed any of mine medicated food.I dont offer grit unless they are graduated bird's to pen's and on more whole grain feed like scratch etc and are not able to free range and get natural sources from dirt and soil.If you want to add grit you can,you can even add a little cage bird grit in food it's much finer and easier for the bird's at a young age to process.I have used it occasionaly for very small bantam's.Oyster shell is good but I have never added any until one to 2 months before laying age.It wont hurt younger bird's however.
     
  6. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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  7. blb

    blb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 13, 2008
    Maryland
    Thank you all so much! I looked on the learning page, never thought to look on FAQ, lol.

    I will get grower today and switch them over. Can I use grit instead of oyster shell?

    The chickens are outside with a run so I will take the grit away for now.

    Thanks again!

    BTW ~ it was on chat here that someone told me that chicks don't need starter after 2 weeks. I'm still new so believed them.
     
  8. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    If your unsure about something get a few more opinions from us. [​IMG]

    And no, you can't use grit as oyster shell. Grit is made up of small indigestible rocks and pebbles, they pass through the crop and once in the gizzard help grind up the food. Oyster shell is mainly calcium which disolves easily in a chicken's gizzard.
     
  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Quote:Grit and oyster shell are two different things. Oyster shell provides calcium supplementation for laying hens. Do not give your chicks oyster shell! They don't need the extra calcium because they're not laying eggs yet.

    Grit is different. Usually it's crushed granite chips. Chickens of all ages use these chips in their gizzards to crush up their food so they can digest it. Birds that are fed only chicken feed don't need grit, but if they're eating other things they should have access to grit. I use a mortar and pestle to grind up regular grit into smaller pieces for my chicks.
     

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