When to switch feed?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by showjumper_girl2002, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. showjumper_girl2002

    showjumper_girl2002 Songster

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    Jun 20, 2011
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    My 5 chicks are 2 months old now and I was wondering when do you switch your chicks from chick starter to adult feed and from chick grit to adult grit? Also, my local feed store only carries chick grit so what can I use for adult grit?
     
  2. All feed companies have a "Feeding Chart" for their products. This chart suggest a schedule. Here's Purina's for example.

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    Ask 100 people on here and you'll get 100 slightly different answers, based on their preferences and experience. But when starting out, follow the guideline of your feed company. You can't go wrong. Many companies print this chart, or similar, right on the side or back of the feed bag.

    As for the grit, the chick grit is likely a bit small for a full sized bird, but it would work. You can also be assured that if the birds have some time outdoors roaming around, they will find lots of natural sand, pebbles and tiny stones from the ground.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  3. showjumper_girl2002

    showjumper_girl2002 Songster

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    Jun 20, 2011
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    thanks for your reply. wow, so according to that chart they should stay on chick starter till 18 weeks of age? I thought they would be ready to switch around 2 or 3 months not as old as 18 weeks. as far as the grit goes. mine free range but I want to provide grit for them just to be safe so they have it if they need it. my dad had a chicken die from impacted crop so i'd rather be safe than sorry. what would be good to use for grit for adult chickens?
     
  4. The reason Purina says 18 weeks to start feeding Layer is that Layer is merely feed. No huge difference in Layer than a Grower or a Starter/Grower except for one thing. Calcium.

    The only thing that makes Layer feed an "adult" feed, to use your word, is that it contains a high level of calcium. That's it.
    You con't want to feed a high calcium Layer feed to pre-laying chicks. The reason is that calcium can cause kidney damage and gout in chickens. Why doesn't it cause these issues in laying hens? Because they expel that calcium in the egg shell they lay almost every day. That alone is the difference. Since laying hens must expel an egg with its calcium rich shell almost every day, they and they alone need the high calcium feed.

    Not to confuse you, but you could provide that calcium via having a dish of crushed oyster shells available to the hens. Many folks do this and keep them on the Flock Raiser type feed their entire lives.

    As for the grit, you're over thinking this a bit. I understand your concerns, but chickens are well able to pick up pebbles and sand around the property. Still, providing a bit of grit is an insurance policy. Any grit. Chick grit, hen grit. Either is fine.
     
  5. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Songster

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    Jul 22, 2013
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    I read in an article "True Grit" from a chicken magazine that it's wise to always provide grit because there is no why to know if you chickens are getting it from the soil, just because they pick at the ground doesn't guarantee anything. Whats wrong with better safe than sorry? I bought a bag for chick grit (about $10 I think), I screwed a small bowl to the coop wall and the chickens eat from it whenever they like. So now I don't have to think about it :)
     

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