Question about chick food

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by stone_family3, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2011
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    Do I have to feed a chick food or can I feed something like flock raiser? Purina's website said it was from hatch to laying, but thought I'd ask here first. It's a few bucks cheaper then just chick food.

    Also what's the best way to make sure they don't waste it, I know they're just babies, but money doesn't grow on trees :p

    I have a plastic feeder bottom for a jar feeder, but are there any other things I can do to ensure they're not wasting?
     
  2. put them in the "little giant" containers at the store, those usually don't let anything through. and i think you should use chick starter. maybe it would be better because the minerals they need or something like that they advertise. you should only use a bag of feed depending on how many chicks you get so it wouldn't be that big a difference
     
  3. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used chick feed, also put my feed dish and waterer on bricks. This way they could reach the water but the shavings and poo stayed out. Then I purchased a nipple bucket and saved a ton of work cleaning water dishes all day! As they grew I raised the food higher and higher. Saved on feed and poop and mess!
     
  4. AAJ

    AAJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Flock raiser should be fine. I think that the jar feeder is good enough. If you still have waste of food, scrape it up and feed it to your big chickens, if you have some.
     
  5. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks I was thinking of using some old baking dishes turned upside down. So it gave them a platform to stand on and kept the bedding out.

     
  6. poultrypalacewhidbey

    poultrypalacewhidbey Out Of The Brooder

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    This depends on the breed that you are raising and what your goal with these birds is. chickens are omnivores and grow much better on a food with some animal protein than a feed free of animal protein. If you are raising large fowl for meat you will want to have your birds on a ration that includes animal protein from day one. ditto for birds to be used for laying. the health and diet of the bird early in its life have a direct effect on production later in its life. also if you use flock raiser you will want to supplement their vitamin and mineral intake by adding an electrolyte mix to their water. Many health problems of chicks are related to their feed. disease resistance is much better when birds get proper nutrition. I believe the vitamin mix for the flock raiser is not aimed at day old birds and doesn't have enough of some vitamins. several people I know who use flock raiser have had trouble with poor vigor and growth of their birds. If your alternative is a non- purina chick starter I would use that. In general purina feeds are high in fillers. And regardless of the feed that you choose make sure it is fresh. Ask your feed supplier how long the feed has been in their warehouse or if they know when it was milled. Many vitamins that are essential for proper development of young chicks are lost from the food if it is stored too long.

    To help avoid feed waste make sure that the food dish is at the level of the birds back and put it on the other side of the brooder from the water.
    Good luck.
     
  7. HetaChick

    HetaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am currently using the flock raiser and haven't had trouble, but I did start them on normal chick starter. My birds are also just pets so I don't know about quality, egg, or meat production effects. As for the food dish mine ALWAYS find a way to waste no matter what I use x.x my birds range the yard in the day now so they have plenty of food options. Bugs, grass, chick feed, etc plus the treats I give them. I have chicken vitamins too, but I don't always use them, since I'm pretty sure they meet their requirements anyways.
     
  8. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My supplier is going to be a tractor supply :( The bag they have is a large 50lb bag for $17 or a small 5lb bag for $6. The electrolyte stuff was super cheap so I don't mind buying some of that and the littles would get fresh fruits and veggies just l ike my big girls only in moderation.

     
  9. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Oregon
    Flock Raiser has 20% protein which is OK for chicks for about 8 weeks or so, but if raising layers I like to slow down the growth spurt to let the reproduction system mature at a slower, more natural rate than 20% protein allows. If layers mature too quickly they are more prone to reproductive problems such as prolapsed vents--an issue I would really prefer to avoid. [​IMG] For that reason I switch from chick starter to grower by adding in the grower to the starter feed at 8 weeks of age, increasing the grower and finishing up what starter feed I had left -- so they should be eating just grower by 10 weeks of age. Grower is about 16-17% protein--the same as layer without the increased calcium in order to protect their kidneys.

    When the pullets start to lay, I begin mixing in layer until they are only on the layer feed ( also 16-17% protein). I do put out calcium supplements such as oyster shell at in a bowl around 20 weeks of age if they haven't started to lay yet in case as they should start to lay soon. It sounds like a lot, but its really not. [​IMG]
     
  10. poultrypalacewhidbey

    poultrypalacewhidbey Out Of The Brooder

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    I second chickerdoodle's advice if you have production types birds (basically any of the largefowl sold by the big hatcheries and the feedstores). My large fowl dorkings do fine on 20% ration as they are slow growers that dont reach full size until about 18 months and are slow to become sexually mature. This was not true for some production type orpingtons I had a few years ago. they had to have the protein level in their food lower as chickerdoodle suggests as they were maturing at a rate that was not healthy for them or good for their longevity as layers.

    $ 17 a bag actually isn't that bad for starter or flock raiser. In my area unless you go straight to the feed mill the cheapest you can get any type of ration suitable for day olds is $20 per 50lbs.
     

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