What to feed baby chicks that are in Flock with Adults?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by flgardengirl, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sunny side up :)
    HI I had two hens go broody and hatch out 15 chicks between them. They all hatched out in the last few days. I am going to let the moms raise them because they are key west chickens and do a fine job of mothering. There are 2 other grown hens and one roo in the flock. They are all getting along great.
    What should I feed them all since there are chicks in there now? Chick starter or flock raiser or thier regulatr layer feed? Thank you.

    Here is a pic of the moms from yesterday. They have way more babies now lol.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Not layer. Just put out oyster shell separately for the hens who want it. Layer is too much calcium for young chicks, harms organs, can damage kidneys. I never had a problem with chicks getting into the oyster shell. I feed everyone grower and my egg shells are fine. I do see the hens taking oyster shell.
     
  3. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Put everyone on a Starter Feed and put out Oyster shells in a dish so the the hens can get to it.
    Your chicks and you rooster/s don't need the amount of Calcium that is in the Layer feed.

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  4. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay thank you. I usually only have one broody and separate her and the chick and feed them the starter food but since there are 2 broodys and so many chicks and they are staying with the flock I wasn't sure which would be best. I will put the oyster shell separate for the other hens. Good point! They have 2 more chicks now lol.
    Should I give the medicated starter or the regular?
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  5. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:i'm no expert for sure, but for me it's easier to just use the medicated than worrying about doing everything separate, maybe i'm just lazy, LOL
     
  6. quintinp

    quintinp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i feed everyone layer crumbles, they are all healthy, and if i try to feed my chickens scratch, they will starve themselves before i get them a bag of crumbles, they don't like seeds, at all
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Nothing wrong with medicated even for your layers, you can still eat the eggs, I've read. I have, certainly. Just stay away from the layer. Flock raiser, starter or grower is actually better for your roosters, too. They survive on layer, but I've often wondered whether the calcium eventually leads to an earlier death. And, no, scratch is generally too little nourishment and lacking in vitamins or minerals to be a regular feed; it should be a treat, only.
     
  8. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    When I have a mixed flock, as I do quite often (right now I just moved the 3 week old chicks out to the coop with the big girls) I feed flockraiser or gamebird feed. With either you need to offer oyster shell for your layers. I just put the oyster container high enough that the chicks can't normally reach it. And I've never found a chick even trying to explore the oyster shell, they don't feel the need for it so they don't seek it out. Flockraiser is 20% protein so I don't bother offering anything else. However, gamebird starter (my birds seem to prefer the starter vs maintenance gamebird feed) is around 30% protein so I mix about 1/3 scratch to 2/3 gamebird starter = about 22% protein which is very close to the chick starter from Purina.

    I do start all of my chicks on medicated starter form 1-day old in the house brooder and until they have been in the outdoor brooder for at least 2 weeks (feet touching ground and exposed to flock poop...all things that would harbor cocci or other bacteria that medicated starter will protect the chicks from until they are old enough to build their own antibodies). After that the entire coop gets flockraiser, or gamebird starter (it is non-medicated)mixed with scratch.

    Using this method I have never lost a chick from illness, can be sure that my egg customers are getting chemically clean eggs, and both the hens an chicks are getting appropriate nutrition.
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I found a great feed at our local feedstore called Allway Kernels. Same basic feed as the flockraiser produced by Purina. I like that it's always very fresh, since it's milled here. Now I have all my birds on it, from my 3 year old roo right down to the youngest chicks. My hens all have oyster shell in a seperate dispenser.
    The same company that mills the Allway (Big V) makes a gamebird feed called Black Rooster. It has little corn, some grains, pellets, just a whole bunch of different things that my chickens love. I use it in place of traditonal scratch.
     
  10. FuzzyButtsFarm

    FuzzyButtsFarm Rest in Peace 1950-2013

    I solved that problem and started using Nature Wise All Flock 18% pellets by Nutrena. The pellets are a smaller diamiter than Dumor or Purina. It has very little powder so there is less waste. I have three batches of chicks 20, 17 and 14 wks old. My laying hens and a rooster. I was tired of buying different types of feed. The hen stall gets extra calcium in tins screwed to the wall. My 20 wk olds started laying last wk. and are getting this too. I have 22 2 wk old chicks who will get chick feed till they are 5wks old and will swich them over. It is 2 dollars more a bag but I'm using less because of less powder and waste. When I buy 10 bags or more I get a 10% discount. I'm very happy with it. [​IMG]
     

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