when to switch from chick starter to regular food?


In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 27, 2014
I've been feeding my 5 chicks the Purina medicated chick starter since I got them and they are now about 8 weeks old. I'm almost out of the chick starter and a little confused as to whether I should buy another bag of that to feed them or switch to the adult type of food. Checking on the Purina label it gives multiple choices so I'm just not sure. I have been giving them some treats, like leftover cooked rice and a few produce scraps, and give them grit, and they do get to scratch in their run. However mainly they are eating the chick crumbles. Should I continue the chick formula and continue the medicated type?
They are much to young to start them on layer feed. You can keep feeding medicated or unmedicated starter or you can feed an all-flock or flock raiser type feed which Purina also makes. Once they start laying you can switch to a layer feed or just keep feeding flock raiser and give oyster shell on the side for added calcium.

As far as medicated vs unmedicated...it really doesn't matter since they can still come down with coccidiosis even when fed medicated. No matter what you feed be aware of the earliest symptoms of coccidiosis, keep Corid on hand and be ready to treat at the first signs.
Last edited:
There really isn't "regular" feed. If you mean when should you stop with the medicated, there are no firm rules. You COULD feed it all the way to first egg. Most folks, however, stop with the medicated feed at 7 or 8 weeks. However, it doesn't hurt to have Corid on hand, or at least know where you can get some in a hurry, should you have an outbreak of coccidiosis.

The amprollium in medicated feed is a very lose dose and won't necessarily prevent an outbreak. TSC and other rural lifestyle stores carry Corid, brand name for amprollium. Know the dosage ahead of time. No need to panic or be fearful, but knowledge is power.

Starter is sometimes sold as Starter/Grower and this can be fed to first egg. Or, at 8 weeks, if you wish, you could feed Grower, if that is what your local feedstore offers. There is also an "all flock" kind of feed sometimes sold as All Flock or Flock Raiser. That too can be fed to any bird or any age.

The main thing is to not feed Layer until you see eggs. Layer is essential just a Grower or Raiser, but is laced with 3x the calcium that only a bird expelling an egg every day can make use. Non laying birds cannot expel that much calcium and the result can be renal issues or gout.
When they turn 16 weeks old I would start to feed them fifty - fifty of both layer and starter and then at 20 weeks switch to just layer.
That is my two cents.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom