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What do I feed my new baby chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Miss Dottie, May 23, 2008.

  1. Miss Dottie

    Miss Dottie Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Riverside, Ca

    I am new to the forum, and it looks like a great place to learn and get new ideas.

    I have not had chickens since I was young, and I just got 4 cochin chicks from my mom's best friend. They are now about 2 1/2 weeks old. I have been doing a lot of research, but everywhere I look seems to tell me something different. They were eating laying mash, but I understand that that is not an appropriate feed for young chicks.

    So, should I use a starter or a grower? I do know that I don't want to use a medicated feed. I am diligent about cleaning and just don't want to medicate them. So I read that you use a starter till they are 4 weeks old, and then switch to a grower. But I read lots of other things as well, so I'm a little confused. Also, when is it a good time to introduce scratch?

    Thanks so much! I'm looking forward to being a member on the forum!

    + 4 new baby chicks: Mama, who is probably a rooster, Hawk, Silver Belles, and one who is unnamed. + 2 horses, 2 dogs and 2 cats!
  2. You want chick starter, no scratch yet. I think it's like 24% protein. When your chicks are about 10-12 weeks you can start a grower but I usually leave them on chick starter til right before laying time around 20 weeks.
  3. simba49450

    simba49450 Songster

    May 23, 2008
    hi there

    i am new too. from what i have learned, that many people go with the 24% feed. i have had my little ones on it for about 2-3 weeks. and for what i am seeing they are developed thier feathers too soon and they are almost totally feathered out. i forgot where i seen it, but the 20% is the best that i have found. are your babies pets or food. myself mine are pets and the slower grow seems to make them stronger and hardier. I do not know if you know this or not but alot of feed places are pushing the oyster shell grit type stuff. from the research that i have found it makes the shell even thicker and harder. but.. some people like that. thanks for listening
  4. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Chick starter. You don't need oyster shells or layer food until they start laying. Scratch would be a treat when they are older and then they will need grit also. Do a search on scratch. There are a lot of posts that talk about it.

    Consider using medicated until they are a little older. Despite your best efforts they can catch coccidiosis (sp?).
  5. Miss Dottie

    Miss Dottie Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Riverside, Ca
    Thank you so much! I can't believe I posted, and came back within and hour and had a few responses!

    I went to the feed store and got some starter. Like I said, it has been awhile since I've had chickens and I couldn't remember what they needed and all the literature out there is kind of confusing.

    Does anyone else know when you can expect Cochins to start laying?

    Tanks again and have a great day!

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