when to switch food??????

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bantaclear, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. bantaclear

    bantaclear Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2011
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    i have 4 12 week old chicks and im wondering when to switch them to a broiler mix. Is it also ok if i decide to switch them to a layer mix at a later date?
     
  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Feed them Flock Raiser and you don't have to switch ever.
     
  3. bantaclear

    bantaclear Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2011
    High River
    Flock Raiser???????? sorry i have never heard of that [​IMG] my adults now have hen scratch is that like the same thing? it has corn and grains.
     
  4. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Quote:NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo scratch should only be given as a treat not as daily ration. Purina Flock Raiser, I get mine at Tractor Supply it's a bit cheaper than they sell if for at the local feed store.I used to feed them a bag of medicated chick feeder but now I just weed them Flock Raiser that has more protien than chick feed. I toss them some clumps of dirt and grass that they love. It gives them all the exposure to anything they are going to need to become immune to. Don't have to buy all kinds of feeds for different kinds of birds
     
  5. bantaclear

    bantaclear Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2011
    High River
    ooooohhhhhh. ok i will look and see it i can find that in canada.
     
  6. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

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    I had mine on the flock raiser also I think some call it grower feed as well. It's the Purina brand and its all I use.
     
  7. bantaclear

    bantaclear Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2011
    High River
    What if i cant find that type of food does anyone else have any suggestions?
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You don't have to switch them at all. Chicks can eat anything except layer, because of layers' high calcium.

    Starter, Grower, Finisher, Raiser and "some" scratch. But, Wait on the layer feed until 18 weeks or so.
     
  9. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    what are your chicks? pullets or roos? Pullets I believe, if I am wrong someone will correct me, need layer feed, ( at around 18-20 weeks of age) **chick starter till then, it has more of what they need for strong eggs. Never heard of Flock Raiser, but if it is obviously known as something different.

    http://www.mybackyardchickenfarm.com/chickenfeed.html

    http://poultryone.com/articles/feedingchickens.html


    I found these 2 links for you to check into. But one thing, Scratch is not food, more of a treat, or something to keep them busy, throw it into some tall grasses and watch them enjoy the hunt!
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I don't understand why you are considering a broiler mix if it is a laying flock?

    This is going to sound complicated because there are a whole lot of options that work. It is actually extremely simple because so many different things work. I'm only talking about feeding chicks that are going to be a laying flock. If you are raising meat birds, then it is different. They need a higher protein level.

    The normal progression is to feed them Starter (around 22% protein, but it varies) for the first 4 to 8 weeks, then switch to 16% protein Grower until they are 20 weeks old or they start to lay. Then you switch to 16% protein Layer. As somebody nmentioned, Layer has a higher percentage of calcium in it for the egg shells. But a steady diet of too much calcium for a growing chick can cause bone deformation or kidney damage. About the only hard and fast rule in this is to not feed Layer to growing chicks. The protein is the major difference in the different types of feed, other than the calcium in the Layer.

    Different manufacturers have different recommendations as to when is best to switch from Starter to Grower, anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. In actual practice, it does not matter. When you run out of Starter after 4 weeks, switch to Grower. Even if that is 10 weeks, you'll be OK.

    Some feed stores do not have separate 22% Starter or 16% Grower. Instead, they provide a 18% or 20% combined Starter/Grower. You can feed them this from the day they go into the brooder until you switch to Layer.

    Some manufacturers offer a 15% Grower/Developer. This works well for the chicks from 13 weeks until you switch to Layer.

    Another option is to feed a 20% Flock Raiser. This is pretty similar to the combined Starter/Grower. This is intended for flocks where some of the chicks are destined to be a laying flock and some are intended to be harvested for meat, sort of a compromise between the higher protein for meat birds and the lower protein for a flock that will be layers.

    I personally like to feed the 16% Grower or 15% Grower/Developer to the adolescents on the thought that it slows their body development to better match the maturity rates of their internal organs and skeleton. But that is pure personal preference. I often wind up feeding the combined Starter/Grower because that is the only choice available at my feed store. Lots and lots of people feed the higher protein feeds and do great. I do recommend staying away from the really high protein mixes that are intended for game birds. Too much protein can cause problems, but that boundary for too much is pretty wide. You'll be OK with any that I mentioned.
     

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