Mine are 5 weeks old. They are just finishing their first bag of chick starter. The man at the feed store sold me grow feed. Said to go through that bag then switch to layer feed. I have 12 chicks. Did he steer me in the wrong direction? Do I need to buy something else?
Thank you CF, I was afraid I had bought the wrong thing. I called my husband and he said well... ask your chicken friends! Of course that means all of you at BYC! So thank you once again. I feel better now! So much to learn!
It can be over whelming, even if you read all those books beforehand!! And people at feed stores don't always know the answers and just say anything. It's best that you come here and ask all these great chicken friends. Good luck with your chicks and remember, we are all here for you!
I think you will find it best to keep them on chick starter until they are about to lay. Grower is more for meat birds. You can give them treats now and then. I habe found that starter keeps my chicks healther than grower.
Thanks for the info -- I was really wondering the same thing. There is lots of great info on the first 30-60 days, but I was not sure what happens after that. My 24 chickies are doing great. Just polished off their first big bag of starter. I found another bag of starter/grower that said it can be fed from the first couple of days to 20 weeks or so, so I went with that versus the layer feed that the folks at one of the feed stores I go to. It didn't sound right, so I did the exploration and found the starter/grower and thought that seemed like the right thing.
Today I gave my chicks 1/4 cup of corn scattered around their coop plus a box of sand to play in and for grit. When I left them they were having a blast with the corn but had not yet ventured into the box of sand. Hope they had fun with it today.
It is pretty cold here, so I thought that they might get some extra warmth from the corn. Spring is just around the corner, right??
The rule of thumb I was taught some 30 years ago and have adopted ever since was a minimum of 8 weeks on starter, then move to a grower crumble till they are big enough for pellets. For layers I switch to layer pellets at 20 weeks, to give them a good solid couple weeks with the higher calcium and minerals.
After 8 weeks they do not need the high protien content as found in starter and the crumbles you will not find in a starter. You will find they will waste less with a crumble mix, and pellets they can pick up and eat later as it is spilled on the ground.
In addition, grower cost less and they are old enough to eat scratch, greens and other fiid sources.
Not saying its the right way, just one way that I was taught and have used with great success.