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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Bjcm, Jun 18, 2019.
How old do you recommend when switching from baby food to adult food?
Are you talking about chickens?
If so, chicks usually get protein in the neighborhood of 18-20% till they are about 15 weeks and then the protein can be cut back to 15 or 16%. Then Layer feed can start when they start laying eggs. Layer is usually 16% protein and about 4% calcium.
Basically, the younger they are, the more protein they can utilize for growing bodies. Birds not building egg shells should never get over 2% calcium.
However, each manufacturer has a line of feeds for various ages and types of poultry. They know what the nutrient makeup of their feeds are so rather than asking when to switch from 'baby' to 'adult', it is best to read the bag. There will be feeding instructions on the back of the bag with a chart showing at what ages to switch between feeds. Sometimes the feeding instructions are also on the guaranteed analysis tag on the bottom of the bag.
One should get in the habit of reading those tags to insure protein and calcium percentages as well as the mill date so you aren't feeding old stale feed.
I agree with ChickenCanoe, check the Label on the bag.
Feed manufacturers design feed differently.
Some make a Chicken feed to feed day old Chicks till 10 weeks, 20% Protein, then switch to another till 18/20 weeks, 15% Protein,
, before switching to a Layers feed 16% Protein after 18/20 weeks.
Other manufacturers feed one type of feed, 18% Protein from day old through 16 to 18 weeks, before switching to a Layers feed.
It also varies for different species.
I prefer to feed day old Chicks a 18% Protein Start & Grow medicated till 10 weeks, then when bag is empty switch to a Non-Medicated Starter-Grower 18%.
I don't switch to a Layers feed anymore. I continue to feed a Non-Medicated Starter-Grower or a All-Flock/Flock Raiser feed 18/20% throughout adulthood with Oyster Shells separately.
When I did switch with my first Flock, I switched when their Combs and Wattles became red and swollen and they started to squat when I put my hand over them.
With my Golden Comets that was 16 to 19 weeks. My Barred Rocks took 4 weeks longer 20 to 23 weeks.
So I wouldn't switch to a Layers feed till they are showing signs or you find your first egg and switch feeds gradually over a weeks time. GC
I also feed everyone a 20% protein all-flock feed (Purina Flock Raiser) with oyster shell in a separate feeder for the actively laying hens. It's always fresh at my local feed stores, also very important. I don't want to feed anything over six weeks past the mill date; at least try for that!
Layer feeds are designed for smaller breeds (Leghorns) in confinement, who eat nothing else. My mostly heritage flock also includes roosters, young birds, and hens no longer laying, or in molt. Many of these birds should not be eating a layer diet, so an all flock diet is best here.
Shop, and read labels, and check mill dates, so you can pick something that works best for your flock.
I give all of my flock, young and old, non-medicated chick starter with oyster shell supplement on the side for the hens.
Once hens start to lay or at 6 months of age, whichever comes first.