Need for Feed: When to Feed a Growing Hen

Hatching to 6 weeks old
Starter feed is perfect for chicks.  At about 20-24% protein, starter feed supplies the youngsters with the nutrients they need to grow.   Three to four pounds of starter feed will be required per bird.  Avoid feeding layer feed to chicks.  They wont grow as much and they may develop kidney problems and rickets as a result.

6 to 18 weeks old
After 6 weeks, switch to grower feed.  Grower feed consists of 16-20% protein and is sometimes sold as a general starter/grower feed.

18 weeks and up
After 18 weeks, a switch to layer feed will supply the hens with necessary calcium for egg production.  Layer feed typically contains 14-16% protein.  If you have any roosters, don’t feed them layer feed.  Instead give them grower feed from 6 weeks of age throughout the rest of their lifetime.

Remember, a healthy hen lays great-tasting eggs, so make sure your birds are getting all their nutrients at the right time!

Fact:  It takes 2.5 hrs for feed to pass through a chicken’s digestive system