What to feed?!

SarahInAlaska

Songster
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
260
10
103
I have 19 chicks ranging in age from I think roughly 2 weeks to possibly as old as 6 but I'm not totally sure of ages as I was getting them in batches from different people. Some are quite large and they are just getting tooooo big for our brooders. My two littlest guys will probably stay in the small brooder with my silkie hen since she has adopted them and they are bantams anyways.

My question is this: We have been feeding them all the same chick medicated starter feed since day one. We will lay down a huge amount for them and by the end of the day the feeder is almost bare and theres a huge quantity on the floor being wasted, not to mention the amount that is just turning to dust. We are wasting so much feed and I'm wondering if its because the older chicks are ready for something else. If they are what do I feed them and will it hurt the younger chicks? Can I move the older chicks out with the adult hens? I don't know the sex of 15 of them.

The biggest of the bunch. Pretty sure he is a rooster as his comb and wattles are already turning red (you can't see in this picture.) Excuse the weird angle. He was clawing my hands pretty good as I was trying to keep him still.


One of the youngest of the bunch (the two youngest are in a different brooder and doing fine with the feed.)


My Amerecauna who is somewhere in age between the two.
 
Last edited:

HEChicken

Crowing
11 Years
Aug 12, 2009
7,552
208
356
BuCo, KS
My Coop
My Coop
You can feed chick starter through all stages of life - just switch to non-medicated after about 8 weeks of age. Alternately you can feed a grower formula from 8 weeks on, and supplement with calcium once they reach about 18 weeks of age. Or, you can do one or both of those things and then switch to layer feed when they are 16-18 weeks old. If you have a flock of mixed ages, you might be better sticking with the grower formula and putting out oyster shell on the side for those that are laying.

The wasting feed is another issue altogether. You can try different types of feeders and see if it makes a difference. Sometimes raising it up or hanging it will stop the waste.
 

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