What to Feed Chicks: A Brief Guide for Beginning Chicken Keepers

what to feed chicks

You have chicks! They are so cute, and you can’t wait for them to continue to grow. The only problem is that you are a newbie chicken keeper, so you’re not sure about the basics of caring for chicks.

First things first, you have to learn what to feed chicks. Otherwise, how are they going to grow into grownup, healthy chickens?

Knowing what to feed baby chicks is essential to being the best chicken keeper you can be. Follow this guide to kickstart your chicken keeping journey!

What to Feed Your Baby Chicks

Depending on the age of your chicks, you will need to consider feeding them different things. One thing you can guarantee, though, is that you need to buy starter feed for your chicks.

If your baby chicks are less than eight weeks old, you will want to start them on starter feed crumbles. If your chicks are between eight weeks and fourteen weeks old, you will want to feed your chicks 16-18 percent of starter and grower feed.

Starter feed will have about 20% of protein in it to help them grow. As a note: chicken feed is not chicken scratch. Avoid feeding your chicks chicken scratch too.

Medicated or Unmedicated Feed?

Choosing between medicated or unmedicated feed is all dependent on if your chicks are medicated or unmedicated.

“What do you mean by medicated chicks?” you ask as a beginner chick keeper. Great question! If your chicks are medicated, it means they are vaccinated against coccidiosis, which is a disease spread through fecal matter. It can be deadly for chicks.

If you got your chicks medicated, then they can eat unmedicated feed. If your chicks came unmedicated themselves, then feed them the medicated feed. This can hopefully help them become immune to coccidiosis.

Avoid Homemade Feed

Another big tip is to avoid homemade feed. If you portion out or use incorrect ingredients, you risk having your chicks not grow right and possibly have longer-lasting health effects as they get older.

Only make homemade feed if you have a solid understanding of poultry nutrition. Otherwise, you may hurt your chicks!

Also, don’t feed them treats. Your chicks are too young for treats, but once they grow older you can indulge them.

Know What to Feed New Chicks

Knowing what to feed chicks is, as said before, one of the most important things you need to learn as a new chicken keeper. Feeding chicks set a foundation for the chicks to grow up healthy and happy!

Begin with a starter feed. Whether that is medicated or unmedicated depends on if your chicks came to you medicated or unmedicated themselves. Avoid making homemade feed as a novice chicken keeper. As you gain more experience and knowledge, you can look into changing that.

Good luck with your baby chicks! Want to know more about other animal advice? Check out the rest of our website to find the answers to your questions!

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