What feed to have ready for when my chicks arrive?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by zerwitt14, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. zerwitt14

    zerwitt14 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 16, 2012
    We are going to make the plunge this spring (April-ish) on getting our first flock (I had chickens as a kid) and was wondering what feed to have ready when they arrive?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Chick starter. Sometimes called Starter, sometimes called Start 'N Grow. Buy a 20lb or 40 lb bag, not the over priced 5 lb bag. In a little while, they really eat!!!!

    As to whether you buy medicated or not is entirely up to you. Just know it isn't an anti-biotic, merely a blocker for coccis.
  3. Dutch552

    Dutch552 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2011
    Hart County, KY
    I like Purina Start and Grow. Buy a big bag of it because you will need it soon enough.
  4. NanaRose

    NanaRose Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 12, 2011
    South Alabama
    Does anyone know of a commercial starter feed that is wheat & barley free? I have celiac disease and am very sensitive. I don't want to risk exposure to wheat and barley. Thanks in advance. We are getting our first ever chicks the coming Friday!
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens


    This is just one example...I am not familiar with this brand. I buy my organic chick starter crumbles from the feed store and they are wheat and barley free I am almost certain because I remember thinking that was strange. I dumped the bag into another container so I don't have it anymore. (I forget the brand.)

    To the thread starter:

    I like to have chick grit and organic starter crumbles available. You can use sand for tiny chicks as grit. Sprinkle the grit over the food like salt beginning on the third day (I get this from the McMurray website chick care FAQ page.)

    Up to two weeks of life the chicks will overingest grit if given free choice. At two weeks of life the light bulb goes on in their little heads that it should be eaten less voraciously.

    They sell chick grit at the feed store...but you will need the size #3 for adults unless you free range them or have sharp gravel available for them. The grit is needed to grind grass, treats, etc.

    They won't need grit if only receiving commercial food for the whole duration, but I like to offer it even while they are chicks as we give other tiny seeds as treats/grains too.
  6. GardenState38

    GardenState38 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2011
    Don't know how the OP is acquiring the chicks, but if getting the chicks via mail-order, the most important thing you can have ready for them, IMHO, is Gro-gel or a vitamin/electrolyte powder to mix into the water.
    Shipping is stressful to chicks and I'm continually amazed by the number of posts complaining about listless, failing chicks from people who don't think to have this stuff on hand when their chicks arrive.
    I believe that the vitamin & electrolyte additive I put into the chick waterer saved one of my chick's life.
    It certainly isn't always necessary, but why not be prepared?

    For the first week, instead of providing chick grit, I put a pan (cake pan or pie plate) full of playground sand in the brooder. Not only will you be amazed by how much of it they seem to eat, you will find that it provides both the chicks and their humans hours of entertainment as the chicks take dust baths in it!
    They LOVE it! And it's so adorable to watch them pile in and flutter around!
    (they'll also poop in it, but it's easily cleaned if you sift the droppings out from time to time. I also completely changed out the sand every few days.)

    Best of Luck!
  7. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    All you will need is a good chick starter.
    I prefer one with animal protein and either medicated with lasalocid (Bovatec) or Amprolium.

  8. immyjay54

    immyjay54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2011
    So true Chris,
    I use nothing but Chick Starter. Mine is medicated with Amprolium. I have raised hundreds of chicks. I have over the past years bought day olds from hatcheries and all I did was put a teaspoon of sugar in their waterer and to this day, I've never lost a chick from them. As of last spring, I started hatching my own from my eggs or shipped eggs from breeders and I may have lost 2 chicks out of maybe 150 hatches. IF and when I use grit, I start them with a little bit of parakeet grit sprinkled like salt on their feed but that is after they are a few weeks old. I do give my little ones a slice of bread ground up to little crumbs each day after day 4-5. These are 6 days old and as you can see, they are doing just fine. I usually only use the medicated feed for the first week or so them I go to just regular starter/grower and leave them on that for a couple to few months then go with grower/finisher till time to put them on layer pellets. 13 of these hatched and I still have 13.

  9. vjbakke

    vjbakke Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2011
    We opt for non medicated organic chick starter. We have a small flock, so we opted for non medicated, Just our personal preference.
  10. bantyhen'sfriend

    bantyhen'sfriend Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2009
    Southern Wisconsin
    I really like Kent Home Fresh Chick-Go. I have used Farm & Fleet's AgriMaster starter, and the feed mill's chick starter, both of which were serviceable and completely adequate. But Chick-Go is awesome! My chicks have feathered out faster, grow faster, and look better than they ever have. My cockerels are crowing at seven weeks! For bantam White Rocks, that is incredible! I will not use any other feed for my chicks now. I also use Multi-Flock, also by kent, for my show birds. You can visit the website for more information on their poultry feeds. They will be more expensive because it is a locked formula (so the price varies with the price of the ingredients) but they are totally worth it.

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