Switching from chick starter to all-flock pellets?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by L2fly, May 1, 2017.

  1. L2fly

    L2fly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All, I have three 6 week old Black Australorps in my first chicken flock. I'm down to about a week's supply of starter food (the very fine sand-like stuff), but the local feed store didn't have a 'grower' that wasn't for meat birds, and I couldn't find any grower on-line that I was certain was for laying birds, so I purchased 50 lbs of all flock pellets instead.

    I'm wondering now if this is the right thing for 7-8 week old pullets? The protein is 18%, which sounds right for what I'm reading, but can pullets handle those hard pellets? Should I get another bag of the chick starter, and let them get a little bigger before making the switch? I have 50lbs of the stuff, I'm hoping they can eat it someday!

    TIA!
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  2. Penguino1

    Penguino1 Out Of The Brooder

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    You can use either or. I sometimes like feeding laying birds unmedicated starter, simply for the protein boost. Once the birds start laying, you can continue feeding either all-flock or starter with the addition of calcium on the side.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    You can put some in a plastic bag and hit it with a hammer to break up the pellets. Your chicks might have troubles swallowing them at their age. A blender can work too for breaking the pellets up a bit.

    Otherwise save the bag, get another bag of starter and towards the end of the next bag start mixing the pellets in with the crumble to get them to start eating them.
     
  4. L2fly

    L2fly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks @Penguino1 & @oldhenlikesdogs ! I'm a little embarrassed, I just realized my chicks aren't even eating crumbles, they've been eating MASH for the last 6 weeks! (I wasn't aware of the difference and just bought the 8 lb bag of what the store recommended when I bought my chicks, and it lasted a long time with only 3 birds!) [​IMG] No wonderful my girls seem confused when faced with solid food!

    I bought a 5 lb bag of chick crumble, to mix with the last of the mash, then once they get used to that I'll started mixing with some smashed pellets.

    Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  5. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in the exact same situation as your are. I did find some ALL FLOCK that was crumbles though.I'm not sure the pullets will like the pellets. You could maybe put them into a food processor though and turn them into crumbles. All my hens are eating starter right now. I'm gonna wait till eight weeks then switch to the All Flock.
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Switching to a pellet takes a bit of time as chickens don't like change. It took me about a month of mixing. They will often waste less pellet and eat less so it will seem like they aren't eating much. Once your birds are closer to full size it's a good thing to get them to eat pellets to minimize waste.
     
  7. KarennFallon

    KarennFallon Out Of The Brooder

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    I have four hens in their second season and yesterday I put 10 6 week olds out into the run, fenced off with their own cage and section of the run. When the hens are more familiar with the newbies, I will open the gates and allow them to mix. hopefully, all goes well. I give the adults pellets and throw out scratch on occasion. They will have access to the adult food as well. Are they too young for that and will it hurt them to eat it?
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Our birds move to pellets 10 to 12 weeks of age without issue. I don't mix it with last of crumble or anything just make the switch. If large fowl chickens they can handle the pellets near 12 weeks of age.


    Are you feeding the older birds layer? That added calcium is not wanted for non laying birds and harmful for young birds if that's all they are eating. If your going to keep multi aged birds together you should feed everyone non medicated starter or starter grower or grower feed and have a calcium source in side dish for layers to eat. They will self regulate calcium needs so if not in food the birds not needing it wont eat much or any. Oyster shell is the cheapest/easiest thing I've found as a calcium supplement. Sold bulk at feed stores, sometimes it's out back and you ask at counter, about 30 cents a pound and we use maybe 15 lbs for 10 birds in a year.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Young chicks can't eat pellets, and definitely shouldn't eat a layer ration. Put out a non medicated starter grower crumble with a separate dish of oyster shells. You can feed an All Flock if it's a crumbles, or feed both types. Chicks can start swallowing pellets at about 3-4 months.
     
  10. L2fly

    L2fly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Question from a newbie... when you say 'medicated' are you referring to feed with probiotics & electrolytes, or something more?

    Thanks!
     

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