Considering you want a healthy growing chick, you need to pay attention to its dietary requirements in its first eight weeks. Chicks need to eat right, and providing rations of balanced diets is the best way to help them grow and thrive. Young chicks or hatchlings between 1 – 18 weeks should be fed rations of feeds highly rich in protein, as it guarantees their successful transition into maturity.
A young chick typically needs higher protein feed to help them transcend healthy to older, more robust chicks. Their protein requirement at this stage is usually higher than when old. As a result, the feed given to a chick should change over time to maintain a nutritional balance.
Categories of Chick Feed and Nutritional value
There are various types of feed special to different kinds of chickens, whether meat-producing birds or laying birds.
The Feeds for laying birds are;
- Starter feed: The contents of this feed are high enough in protein and energy; hence, they should be introduced to the chicks in their early weeks, usually 1-8 weeks. Starter feed contains the right amount of nutrients to help young chick kickstart healthy growth.
- Grower feed: Protein level is lesser than in starter feed. After week 8 of protein intake from the starter feed, chicks begin to develop designated features. The pullets (female chicks) distinguished for egg protection require a lower-protein diet to maintain normal body weight during egg production.
- Layer feed: this feed contains less protein than the other two types of feeds. It provides extra calcium and minerals for strong eggshells during egg-laying.
Growth Stages of Chicks and Their Feeding Roadmap
Chicks grow fast! You diligently observed if there is a need for quality changes or readjustment in their feeding patterns. These growth stages and their applicable feeds are as follows;
- Weeks 1 – 8 (Baby chicks) it is strongly recommended that you start your chick’s journey on a strong foot. Chicks within this age bracket require Starter Chicken Feed from grubbly farms that contains just the right amount of protein for young chicks. Why protein? Protein consists of amino acids that play significant roles in the growth, immunity, and egg production of chickens. At this stage, protein is essential to support chicks’ development.
- Weeks 9 – 17: You should have transitioned your chicks off the starter feed into the grower feed at this stage. The feed now contains more calcium and just the right amount of protein. As this is the patent stage, the chick needs the nutrition for stronger bones and adult body weight.
- Week 18 – 22: chicks are grown and ready for egg production. Layer feed becomes the proper diet for your chick. With just the right amount of protein and increased calcium intake, you chicks will have the shell quality and strength during egg-laying
The transition of your chicks into adulthood and the flock’s overall productivity depends on proper feeding and all other perks of traditional poultry farming. As such, prioritizing a quality feed early on for your chicks will set them growing healthy.