When can we start feeding whole grains?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by FarmerGirl, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. FarmerGirl

    FarmerGirl In the Brooder

    Jun 12, 2007
    We are currently manually grinding grain for our chicks. When can we give them whole grains (and cracked corn)? Please say it's sooner than later!!

  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Well.....I would say, when they are about 18 weeks or so. When they become "adults" Laying age. Do they get to free range? They will definately need grit. As far as the cracked corn....in the heat, you will want to stay away from corn. It is considered a hot feed, and they can become overheated with too much corn. I dont use corn except in the winter...to help them stay warmer.
  3. allen wranch

    allen wranch Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    How old are your chicks ? Are you giving them a commercial chick starter/grower ?
  4. FarmerGirl

    FarmerGirl In the Brooder

    Jun 12, 2007
    They are 3 days old. I'm mixing whole grains and grinding them and that's my feed! [​IMG]
  5. allen wranch

    allen wranch Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    Baby chicks need more than ground whole grains. Your local feed store or Tractor Supply should have chick starter or a starter/growwer which is formulated with nutrients for a chick's growing body. If you want to go organic, you can usually find organic feed on line.
  6. Are you asking when you can feed them only whole grains?
  7. MillyMollyMandy

    MillyMollyMandy In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2007
    Wester-Ross, Scotland
    Your babies need baby food - chick crumbs - as much as they want. The Crumbs are small, so easy to eat, and specially formulated (mixed) to give good all round growth. At such a young age their bodies haven't developed enough to grind the hard grain.

    They will eat this up to 8 weeks at which time you gradually mix over to growers pellets, again this is specially formulated to give their fast growing bodies all the nutrition they need.

    When they are on Point of Lay change them to Layers Pellets, again by mixing both foods and weaning over to the new feed. 4oz feed per day per bird.

    Corn is a treat in my book. My mature girls get a scatter of corn at bedtime, so they have warm food in their crop overnight.

    Grinding grain sound like a tiresome chore, chick crumbs aren't expensive and very easy.

    All the best. Cheers!
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2007
  8. RockelleP

    RockelleP In the Brooder

    Aug 10, 2016
    i respect all opinions, but in the wild wouldn't chicks eat any thing they seem mama eating and can get their baby beak on? Anything crawly green or seed ?
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Three weeks. Mine, can consume whole corn at that time. Make certain they are getting their grit.
  10. Kiawaki

    Kiawaki In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2016
    I'm a bit late with this (quite late, actually), but if the question was about wheat grain, they can already eat it at 7 days or less. Last year I had to go to a business trip when our chicks were only 3-4 days old. I gave instructions to my partner to grind the grain, but when I came home after 3 days, there was whole wheat scattered in their box. My partner said he just gave them whole grain (too lazy to grind). Chicks were totally fine. They had grit, of course.

    In the first few days, I mostly feed them hard-boiled eggs, with the idea that they provide all the nutrients necessary. Chicks are crazy about them. (Now, don't look at me like that - I'm sure they wouldn't mind even if they knew. I've seen young and older chickens gleefully throw themselves at a wounded sibling, once they killed it because I wasn't around to intervene. And hard-boiled eggs didn't even start to develop. Laying hens can happily eat their own eggs if they figure out they are tasty. I've had one who deliberately pecked at a fresh laid egg to break it.)

    After first few days, I continue with hard boiled eggs (we have way too many eggs anyway) and take them outside as much as possible so that they eat fresh grass and bugs. I have an old door frame for very young chicks which I lay down on ground and cover with net so that they don't go too far and get lost. I also give them mixed grains (wheat, buckwheat, millet, ground corn and whatever else I find) with ground sunflowers.

    Once I bought commercial feed and was quite disgusted with the ingredients listed: cracked soy, cracked corn, synthetic vitamins and medication - not at all balanced if you ask me. I can't imagine how would that be better than fresh grass, bugs, hard boiled eggs and grain mix. All my birds grew up healthy with no nutrition related problems.

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