As you start to raise baby chicks, you’ll realize that they require different food for their different stages of life. At the initial stage (between the age of 0 to 10 weeks), they need protein, amino acids, and probiotics in their diet. It’ll ensure proper development, immune health, and bone health. However, in the later stages, they need well-balanced and nutritious food high in protein and calcium.
For someone raising chickens for the first time, “what to feed?” could be a matter of great concern. But don’t worry! To resolve this concern, we have written down the 3 types of chicken feed.
Scroll down to learn!
- Starter feed
Starter feed is basically grain feed which includes the highest amount of proteins. It’ll help in the quick and healthy growth of baby chicks. You need to feed this in crumbles so that they can swallow it easily. Nonetheless, you need to ensure that grains have at least 18% protein. Also, chicks are more prone to getting sick. So, it would be better if you consult the vet before creating the diet.
After the chick becomes 4 to 6 weeks old, you need to gradually shift to grower feed.
- Grower feed
You need to give grower feed to your chickens until they start laying their first eggs. The protein in the grower feed is generally less than the starter (14 to 16% protein). It is sufficient to sustain their growth for a longer time. However, if you are growing game birds, their diet should contain 20% protein.
Along with this, you can go with crumble food or pellets. They are easy to mix with other food items and water. And results in less wastage.
- Layer feed
Layer feed is specifically formulated for laying hens. It is high in calcium and contains 16% protein. It supports their bodies during egg production. The calcium present in these snacks for chickens is essential for the production of eggs and ensures that the eggshells are strong. Generally, it is given at the age of 18 weeks or when the first egg is laid (Whichever is earlier).
Note: You need to be careful not to feed it to the younger chicks as high calcium is not healthy.
Just like other animals, it is essential that hens drink adequate water. Keep in mind that they need to drink 3 times more water than feed. It will ensure that their immune system stays strong and they stay stress-free. With the rise in temperature, the requirement for water will also increase. Therefore, you should keep a water container near their brooder or coop. As a rule of thumb, you need to provide one quart of water to four hens in the morning every day.
To Sum It All Up!
All the above-written feeds will ensure that you’ll raise a healthy chick. Moreover, what you’ll feed will also have an impact on egg production. So, you must pay attention to what they eat. Keep a record of the age of your hens to provide them with an adequate diet at the proper time.