What to feed your chickens from chicks to laying hens. The importance of age-appropriate poultry feed

What to feed your chickens from chicks to laying hens. The importance of age-appropriate poultry feed

Jan 26, 2023angelique van zuylen

What To Feed Your Chickens From Chicks To Egg-Laying Hens

Deciding to raise chicks takes more than just buying a few and bringing them home. You’ll need a safe comfortable brooder in place for the new chicks to call home. Plus, it should have a reliable heat source, food and water stations, and plenty of premium chicken chicks choice Crumble . Before getting started, make sure you have all the necessities for raising backyard chickens.

From there, your new chicks will need to be fed within hours of arrival, and every day going forward. Like all growing things, the right nutrients will help them through every stage of life. Keep in mind, chicks grow fast! With a healthy diet, your chickens will be laying eggs before you know it. As your chicks mature, the types of feed they’ll need will change a couple of times, in just a matter of weeks. Let’s take a look at which feeds are best for your chickens, depending on their age.

Starter Crumble For Baby Chicks: 0-8 Weeks Old

From birth through about eight weeks, chickens rapidly change as they go from chicks to pullets. Your baby chicks need chicks choice starter crumble to establish and support their bone health and immunity. A healthful starter feed should be filled with complete proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Your chicks should eat starter Crumble for the first eight weeks of their life, until they are introduced to grower feed.

Grower Feed For Pullets: 8-16 Weeks Old

At about eight weeks, chicks are now considered pullets. It’s a good idea to transition them to a grower feed focused on healthy development. At this stage, these feeds should have a slightly lower protein content and calcium level (less than 1.25%), but still include omega-3s and other essential nutrients to support digestion and health.

Layer Feed For Hens: 16+ Weeks

Once your pullets have started laying eggs, it’s time to transition these now hens to a higher-calcium and protein-rich layer feed intended to help them lay strong, healthy eggs. All hens lay eggs on their own schedule. Some can lay as early as 16 weeks; some need as long as 32. You can switch to layer pellets at 16 weeks, or wait until you find your first egg. 

Poultry Scratch & Other Treats

Chick grit, scratches, and similar supplements are designed to aid chicks, pullets, and hens in food digestion. They should be fed like treats and kept to small amounts with the goal of helping your flock engage their natural instincts for scratching and pecking.

Poultry scratch is a three-way blend of high-quality grains. This healthful blend of cracked corn, whole wheat, and barley encourages natural scratching and pecking while aiding in digestion. A word of caution: Treats are only a small part of a healthy diet. Scratch and other treats should never make up more than 10% of your flocks’ diet.

Chook Manor 3-Step Poultry Feed Program

Step 1: Chick Starter Crumble

Step 2: Pullet Grow pellet or mash

Step 3: Poultry Layer Pellets and Mash

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