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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Rhode Island Red chicks arrived in the mail 5 weeks ago. They are doing very well. What I would like to know is when do I transition them from chick feed to the adult chicken feed and at what age do I need to start feeding them grit?
 

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At about 8 to 10 weeks they should be put on grower and taken off starter and keep them on it till there off egg laying age depending on the breed then put them on the layer.
 

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I love flock blocks by Purina. They have oyster shell and grit in them plus a lot of seed etc. I use that instead of buying separate grit and shell. They love the block!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the flock block tip. I am going to town to get my tires rotated this afternoon. I will drop by the Tractor Supply and see if they have the block and check it out.
 

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I may be wrong, but at 12 weeks I changed over from chick feed directly to layer feed. I never have them grower feed. Is this an issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I visited my favorite feed store yesterday and he said I could feed the chicks starter feed and at about 4 to 5 months switch to layer feed. Since the friend who gave me the chickens also gave me another bag of starter feed she had left over, I am happy to know I can just feed the chicks this food and then when it runs out buy something knew.

I found the flock block and the chickens love it. Within 24 it went from a block to a ball.
 

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I feed one bag of chick starter mixed with layer to everyone and then switch it back to layer and whole grains for everyone. It simplifies things. My chicks are out on free range by 2 wks of age and fully integrated with the flock and I ferment all my feeds in one bucket, so I just keep it simple by giving a nod to the chick starter for one bag and then no more.
 

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Thanks for this question & feedback!


My chicks are 8 weeks old now & I have one more Bag of chick feed and I was hoping I could then switch them/transition them over to layer feed.

I hope the guineas do okay switching to layer feed...

We will see! Ha!
 

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I have 6 hens and 4 babies and they are all free ranging and were eating both starter and layer feed. I tried to separate every thing but it was too hard and caused fights. The hens wanted the starter feed and vice versa. Also one of my hens got diarrhea from the starter feed so I switched them all to layer feed and free ranging. My babies are 6 weeks old and seem to be fine!
 

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I've got six yr olds and 4 yr olds who were started on layer and are all fine as well. Free range chickens need more calcium for the amount of exercise they do, utilizing any extra calcium in the feed to deposit into bone, so the incidence of it needing to be filtered through the kidneys is largely unnecessary as it does not stay in the blood stream.
 

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Thanks for this question & feedback!

My chicks are 8 weeks old now & I have one more Bag of chick feed and I was hoping I could then switch them/transition them over to layer feed.

I hope the guineas do okay switching to layer feed...

We will see! Ha!
When changing feed, you have to do so gradually over a period of about 1 week. Mix both the new and old feed together with increasing proportion of the new feed. This will help the chickens to gradually get used to the new feed.
 

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I thought that layers feed is given when a certain percentage of the flock start laying?
That's the technically correct answer when dealing with multiple breeds but if we're talking about heritage and production breeds I think it's fine. Most do start to lay by then.

It's the slow ornamental breeds like silkies that it be bad. This is because they don't lay an egg until 3-5 months after the production and some heritage breeds. (the meat heritage breeds can be the exception to the rule)
 

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I feed grower to all my birds at all stages and provide free choice calcium. This not only takes out any guess work but also ensures I don't have any health problems in my roos and non-laying hens.
I do feed starter to my birds for the first 4 weeks while they're brooding.
 
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