How Much Does a Chick Eat per Day? (+ How Often Should Average Baby Chicks Eat Daily?)

How Much Do You Feed a Chick a Day?

The average chick (0 to 8 weeks old) will eat around 3/4 to 1 lb (pound) of chick starter (Amazon) or starter grower feed (Amazon) a week, which is between 2 1/4 cups and 3 cups a week. That means a chick would eat 0.11 to 0.14 lb a day (approximately 5 to 7 tbsp daily).

A pullet (8 to around 18 weeks old) will eat about 1 1/2 lb a week, which is about 4 1/2 cups a week. That means a pullet would eat 0.21 to 0.64 lb a day (roughly 10.5 tbsp daily).

Pullets should be fed a high-quality grower feed (Amazon) or starter grower feed (Amazon) until they’re 18 weeks old or they start laying, whichever comes first.

Laying Hens, Eggs & Medicated Feed

It’s OK to eat eggs from hens who consumed medicated commercial feed, which contains amprolium?

Yes, you can consume eggs from hens who ate medicated feed, which contains amprolium. The amount of amprolium that is transferred to the egg is very minimal and poses no threat to human health.

In fact, amprolium is commonly used as a treatment for coccidiosis in poultry. There is no need to worry about consuming eggs from hens who have been treated with this medication.

How Much Does a Chick Eat per Day in KG?

A chick (0 to 8 weeks old) will eat between 0.34 to 0.45 kg (kilograms) of feed a week, which is about 0.05 to 0.06 kg everyday.

A pullet (8 to around 18 weeks old) will eat about 0.68 kg of feed a week, which is about 0.10 kg a day.

How Much Do You Feed a Broiler Chick a Day?

Broilers (chickens raised for meat) require a higher-level protein feed (Amazon) for maximum growth (approx. 19%-24%).

Most people raising meat birds will suggest feeding them unlimited feed 24/7 for the first 2-3 weeks and then 12 hours with feed and 12 hours without afterward until they reach slaughter weight.

How Many Times Do You Feed a Baby Chick a Day?

A baby chick needs to be fed a minimum of 3 times a day. However, it is best to feed them 5-6 times a day. This will ensure that they are getting enough food and nutrients.

Chicks like to eat often and in small portions. So, I personally believe that the best feeding method is to free-feeding chicks. This means having chicken feed available for them to eat all day long.

Can You Overfeed a Chick?

I’ve always let my chicks and pullets eat whatever amount of chicken feed they want because they won’t overeat. (I think they drink more water than they eat.)

And, unless you provide them with endless amounts of treat all day long*, it’s hard to overfeed chickens with regular feed. Somehow they instinctively know when to stop eating.

*Please Note: I personally don’t recommend that you give chicks any treats, like table scraps, until they’re at least 18 weeks old. It’s best if they can get as many nutrients as possible from commercial feed when they’re little. This will give them the best opportunity of developing into the finest egg-layers (or broiler birds) possible.

Warning: Chickens Need Grit!

If your chickens eat anything but commercial poultry feed, then you must feed them grit. Grit is essential because it helps them grind up their food and aids in digestion.

There’s poultry grit (Amazon) for chickens that are older than 8 weeks and smaller grit for chicks (Amazon) who are 2 to 8 weeks old.

For more information on this topic, check out my post: Do Chickens Need Oyster Shells and Grit?

Conclusion: How Much Do You Feed Chicks?

As a general rule of thumb, you should start feeding a baby chick at least 5 to 7 tbsp daily and increase the amount of food as they age.

However, there are a few factors that can affect feed intake:

  • It turns out that the amount of food a chick needs to eat each day is directly related to its size. Larger chicken breeds will need more food than smaller breeds, simple as that.
  • If you’re feeding a chick a high-quality, complete commercial feed that has a variety of vitamins and minerals, it will eat less food than if you were feeding it a lower-quality feed.
  • If you give your chicks too many treats, they won’t be eating as much commercial feed. This also means they might not be getting the nutrients they need to be healthy. A chick’s diet can determine the amount of fresh good-quality eggs you’ll receive in the future.
  • It’s very important that chicks have access to chick grit (Amazon) if anything other than commercial feed is offered.

I suggest that you don’t stock up on bags of feed. Only buy what your flock can consume in the next couple of weeks. This is so the feed doesn’t go stale, which can happen fast enough. (Of course, the feed will last long in cold weather.)

Storing feed in a cool, dry place and in a closed container, like a galvanized steel can with a locking lid (Amazon), slows the rate at which it gets stale.