Feeding Baby Chicks
How To Feed Your New Arrivals
You can easily provide chicks with a healthy, balanced diet using pre-formulated, store-bought feed. Usually sold as "chick starter feed" or "chick starter mash," these formulations provide all the chicks' necessary nutrients from day one until their eighth week. After they're eight weeks old, chicks should be switched to a pullet grower feed until they reach 20 weeks. Pellets and crumbles tend to be less wasteful and messy than mash, which is powdery.
It's recommended (for chickens, not other fowl) to use a feed with a coccidiostat included for the first eight weeks to protect against the potentially deadly disease Coccidiosis. However, avoid using a feed that includes antibiotics unless directly instructed to do so by a vet.
While some sources suggest chicks need grit, a dietary supplement, don't worry about supplying grit unless the chicks are eating food other than the starter feed. If you decide to give them grit, use chick-sized granite grit or parakeet grit.
The Feeding Trough
When chicks are less than one week old, you can help them learn to eat by putting their food in an egg carton lid or shoebox lid. Place the feeder near the heat source but not directly beneath it.
As they get older, chicks often splash and peck around their feed dishes, spilling and spoiling the feed. To save yourself the money and mess of wasted feed, consider purchasing a plastic or metal chick feeder designed to prevent chicks from walking through their feed. Make sure chicks always have access to plenty of food; they won't overeat. To prevent bullying, the trough should be big enough for most of the chicks to eat at the same time.
Watering the Chicks
Chicks drink a lot; plan to refresh their water several times each day. For the first week, consider adding vitamin and mineral supplements to the water to help get your chicks off to a strong start.
While improvised water dishes can be used, they are not recommended because chicks can drown easily and will walk through them, kick bedding in them, and poop in them. Commercial waterers help avoid these difficulties to some extent, though it's still necessary to clean the water dishes several times a day.
When your chicks arrive, take each one's beak and dip it into the water to help them learn to drink. Make sure to get a waterer that the chicks can reach but not fall into.
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SKU 52352011Southern States All Grain Layer & Breeder Pellet is a complete vegetarian feed that is ideal for egg layers and breeders 16 weeks of age and up. The nutrient dense, all-natural formulation results in eggs produced with higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 content, and superior egg shell and yolk quality. The added probiotic optimizes feed digestion and overall heath in a natural way. Southern States All Grain Layer & Breeder is free of antibiotics, animal proteins and animal fats. Available in crumble form, SKU: 52352071.
SKU 52354051Southern States Traditions 2-Grain Scratch is a high-energy supplement for poultry with coarse cracked corn and whole wheat. Use it blended or top-dressed with other supplements or regular feeding regimen for chicks after four weeks of age through maturity.
SKU 52711011Southern States Traditions Egg Layer Poultry Feed Pellet is a complete feed for laying poultry over 16 weeks of age. This feed is available in crumble or in pellet form to suit the preference of your flock, and contains 16% crude protein to promote bigger eggs. Healthy hens eat Southern States Traditions Egg Layer Poultry Feed. Available in crumble form, SKU: 52711071.
SKU 52360071Southern States Traditions Chick Start & Grow (AMP) Medicated is a complete starter and grower feed for meat and egg type chicks. Medicated with Amprolium as an aid in prevention of coccidiosis. An economical formula that provides complete and balanced nutrition without compromising on quality.
SKU 52543011Southern States Flock Balancer 20% Booster is a pelleted complete feed for growing and mature poultry. It brightens plumage, builds great muscle tone and improves all-around performance. 20% crude protein ensures developing birds get the nutrition they need to be in top form.
SKU 52350072Southern States All Grain Start-N-Grow is an all-natural 18% protein feed for growing chicks. This feed has added vitamins, minerals and amino acids for growth, muscle and feather development. Southern States All Grain Start-N-Grow is free of antibiotics but does incorporate a probiotic which optimizes feed digestion and overall health in a natural way. This feed includes marigold extract for a bright, healthy skin and plumage.