23% Protein Starter/Grower Ok Until Laying?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Superior Chicks, May 5, 2009.

  1. Superior Chicks

    Superior Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is this 23% protein starter/grower ok to feed up until first egg for my new peeps? (Now 3 weeks old) Or should I reduce the % of protein? The bag does say it is "Starter/Grower."

    I have had great results with the higher % of protein compared to my last hatch, but I'm unsure if its ok for growing them up until laying.


  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    We only have starter/grower feed available locally, but ours is 19% protein.
  3. upthecreek

    upthecreek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    South Alabama
    With the poor quality of layer pellets that are sold these days i would keep my birds(Layers or Breeders or Growers) on the Start & Grow plus find a very good Scratch Feed (they have some called seven grain scratch & etc) - mix these together for your birds making sure they can not scratch or knock it out of the feeder and waste it , This is very important !!!!
    Allways supply Fresh Cool Water for your Birds = plus Oyster shells and Granite Grit .
    Hope this helps ,
  4. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

    Apr 7, 2009
    Protein is as important to chickens as it is for us. I keep all my birds on 18% or higher plus fruit, veggies, and scrap from the house until they start laying then I give them lay crumble which is around 16% and I continue with the treats and goodies. They need that good protein for proper muscle development and growth.
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    A protein level at 23% is fairly "high powered" for maturing pullets. It is almost double what is considered the minimum for birds 14 to 20 weeks.

    One reason for dropping the level of protein is to slow the physical development of the pullets during the final weeks before laying. Sexual maturity, at point-of-lay, changes things for the birds. Continued growth, after they begin to lay, doesn't amount to much.

    Besides decreasing protein, commercial outfits leave the birds in darkness longer as they mature. That slows them down, also.

    In our backyard coops at this time of year, we don't have the option of decreasing the light, usually. With long hours of daylight and a high protein feed, chicks hatched in late Winter are maturing rapidly. The result may be small size laying hens and small size eggs.

    The addition of lower protein foods like fruits, vegetables, and scratch has been mentioned. Keeping the levels of those things at about 15% of their diet looks like a good idea to me.

    . . . my 2ยข


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