1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Q: What should I feed new chicks?

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by JenniO11, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. JenniO11

    JenniO11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    81
    103
    81
    Jan 11, 2012
    A: A healthy full-grown bird begins on day one. Provide a balanced starter diet to new chicks, based on their breed traits.
    For chicks who will later lay eggs, select a feed that has 18 percent protein, like Purina[​IMG] Start & Grow[​IMG] Crumbles. For meat birds and mixed flocks, choose a complete feed with 20 percent protein, like Purina[​IMG] Flock Raiser[​IMG] Crumbles. Transition layer chicks onto a higher-calcium complete feed, like Purina[​IMG] Layena[​IMG] Crumbles or Pellets, when they begin laying eggs at age 18 to 20 weeks.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,941
    3,097
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Many commercial hybrid layers may dependably start to lay around 18 to 20 weeks, but many of our pullets don't start to lay until quite a bit later. Those could be dual purpose or especially decorative breeds. What are your thoughts on feeding Layer with the higher calcium at 18 to 20 weeks when many pullets don’t start laying until 6 or 8 months of age?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  3. DrMikelleRoeder

    DrMikelleRoeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    132
    7
    50
    Nov 3, 2014
    You always have the option to wait until you see the first egg appear and then transition to the layer product. You may get a few soft shells, but they will quickly firm up as the birds imbibe more calcium. Some birds start late due to breed, or they mature just as winter starts and don't get to laying until spring returns. If you are uncertain as to when the birds will start laying, just keep them on their starter/grower feed until you see those first few eggs. Eighteen to twenty weeks is the average age of maturity and the age at which most hens have the potential to start laying, but as we all know, situations differ among different environments and due to different variables.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by