What to Start Your Organic Chicks on When They Arrive

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 4under3, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. 4under3

    4under3 New Egg

    Feb 20, 2012
    I'm new to raising chickens and SO excited. My husband and I are moving to the farm and I've already ordered my chicks.

    I know we will be having our meat and egg birds forage as much as possible, but what do I start them off on when they arrive? I have watched a video on sprouting BOSS, Oats, Millet and Barley. Can baby chicks eat those also? Or is that too big for them when they are just hatched?

    Also, does anyone add kefir, brewers yeast, kelp, D.E and molasses to their feed?

    Thanks for your helpful knowledge in advance. :)

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You'll need to start them on organic chick starter. Sometimes a bit tough to find, so search and secure now. Organic chickens, to maintain a true organic status, must be fed organic feed from day one and ONLY organic feed. They won't eat those other things, to speak of, until 8 weeks of age, give or take. Sure, there are a few things they can eat, scrambled eggs, oat meal, etc, but those would also have to be organic and would require you finding some chick grit to mix in their feed for proper digestion.

    The basis of their feed, 95% of their calories, should come from the chick starter for a good long while.

    The problem with selecting feed products from all over is certifying that each and every one is organic.

    Oh, and enjoy your new adventure!!!
  3. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    In the beginning, just to make it easy on yourself, you could just start of with an Organic Starter feed. You can usually find this at local feed stores.

    When they get a bit older you can add other things, making sure they get grit along with it. You can give them yogurt at a pretty early age and they seem to love that.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  4. 4under3

    4under3 New Egg

    Feb 20, 2012

    We make our own yogurt from organic, raw milk. I'll remember to give them some.

    And, to be a little more clear, we don't need to be organic for certification reasons. Just personal preference. Maybe what I'm trying to say is that I'd like them to be fed the most natural feed as possible. But am unsure if there are certain things they can't have when they are just hatched.

    So, about 8 weeks is the turning point for food abilities?
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Yes, 7-8 weeks a indeed a turning point for me. I'm very cautious with my chicks and I haven't lost any in decades, in spite of brooding out hundreds in that period.

    I want 95% of the calories to come from their "baby food". There's time, later on, when whole grains and such are great. I do like scrambled eggs and Quaker oat meal though. [​IMG] Just not every day,, maybe once a week.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I add kelp meal for the salt (see my BYC page if interested).

    Yes, like the others said, organic chick starter is great!
  7. Juise

    Juise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2011
    Yay for you! [​IMG]

    I wanted to add that while our local feed store doesn't normally carry organic chick starter, just organic layer feed, when I asked them about it they were very happy to order it special for me. [​IMG] So that is something to try if you can't find any. Also note, if you do end up special ordering some, that they needed at least a week to order and get it in, so to be safe get it ordered a couple weeks before you have your chicks.

    Happy chickening! [​IMG]
  8. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    If you want, you can also order organic chick starter online. I had 7 chicks and I ordered a single 25lb bag, and it lasted me until they were old enough to move onto other foods (plus some)! It's a bit spendy to order food online, but for chicks they don't go through tons of it and if you have a small group it's not too much to spend. I fed mine Countryside Organics from day 1 and I was really happy with it.
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    One of the feed stores I go to carries Nature Smart Organic Chick Starter and I love the way it smells.

    Another store near here carries another brand that smells a little rancid even when fresh, which I believe is due to the flaxseed meal which goes bad quickly. However, the organic layer pellets in the same brand smell just fine. So they are not all equal.

    I LOVE feed stores. I have more fun in them than going to the mall or something.

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