What kind of feed should I use for a mixed flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mgaub, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. mgaub

    mgaub New Egg

    Feb 10, 2017
    We had a hen go broody last month and some of her eggs hatched today, (so exciting!), my question is what kind of feed should we be offering? Chick starter or a mixed flock? Both? Anything I should be aware of with having a mama hen and her babies in with the rest of chickens? We have 5 chickens and 1 rooster. [​IMG]
  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 True BYC Addict

    Jun 23, 2013
    The Big Island/Hawaii
    I'm no expert but from what I've read being that your hen/chicks are with the rest of the flock, what are you feeding the flock?

    Chicks should not eat any layer feed, it's an overload of calcium for their liver. Never had a broody hatch...My chicks come from the feed store or incubated chicks, starting them off on Medicated Chick Starter which I kept them on until 18wks then switched to layer. I can only have Pullets. However, that would sometime mean left over MCS & hate waste, read I could keep them on MCS until they lay then switch to Layer. But then I've read about FLOCK RAISER...

    It's been said start off with a small back of Chick Starter, until they're about 4 - 8wks, then switch to Flock Raiser which ALL chickens can eat. For the hen have a container of Oyster Shells on the side as they'll eat as they need. I've since changed to doing that as FR has higher protien & figure with laying it takes alot out of the hens. My girls egg shells are fine, not thin and strong.

    I also ferment my feed; love the benefits of less poop & smell, no waste with feed being scattered all over & no wasting the "dusty" stuff, nutritionally there's more benefits also. There's a LONG thread on FF, it's worth reading and there's a thread on Flock Raiser and what to feed a mixed flock.

    If I'm wrong, BYC members correct me please.
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    The chicks need to be on starter food - not only is it nutritionally appropriate, the grain size is similarly appropriate for chicks.

    Ideally, the rest of the flock should be on mixed flock / grower feed, with optional oyster shell (calcium source) for the layers.

    Some people keep momma and chicks separate from the flock in the first weeks for the safety of the chicks. I have never had an issue with adults picking on chicks, and I've let momma do her thing. It's a case of observing your flock dynamics - if all is calm, then you have few worries but be prepared to intervene if things are not going well.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble full time to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (a freshly trapped mouse, mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided once in while and during molting and/or if I see any feather eating.
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    X 2 -- this is the approach I take as well.
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    x3. Flock Raiser, oyster shell on the side, to all ages. My chicks, including tiny bantams, eat it just fine without any grinding. Mary

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