changing over to laying pellets

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by treekatie, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. treekatie

    treekatie In the Brooder

    Apr 12, 2010
    Aiken Co., SC
    I have some chicks coming 4 months old when should I start feeding laying pellets instead of chick starter? Or should I feed grower/finisher first?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    There are a whole lot of different options. The "standard" is Starter for the first 4 to 8 weeks, Grower from then until you start Layer, then Layer from when they start to lay or they turn 20 weeks. If they start laying later than 20 weeks, you can keep them on Grower until they start to lay. If you want to keep them on Starter until you switch you can, but I like to use Grower so their body growth is more in line with skeleton maturity and internal organ maturity. Many people don't worry about that though.

    The major concern is that growing chicks do not need the extra calcium that is in Layer. Too much calcium can cause bone deformations or kidney problems. But once they are grown, the extra calium is not a problem.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    If you can find grower, that's great. I cannot in my area. No one carries it. If you can't, you can feed your starter or starter/grower combo till laying age or even just until 18-20 weeks old, as some folks do. Ridge is right, the main thing is they don't need extra calcium when they are not laying.
  4. GreenMountainEric

    GreenMountainEric Songster 7 Years

    Dec 23, 2010
    Quote:^This is the perfect answer. It is better to switch to a grower after 4-8 weeks if you are able. And higher calcium levels in younger birds can cause bone problems...most notably, Rickets. 18-20 weeks is usually a good time to start on layer feed. (or at onset of lay)

  5. Hiram

    Hiram In the Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    My local feed store only had starter and layer feeds. My girls are only 3 months and I've only feed them starter. They do get to free range during the day. Is this a problem? Is there something I can add to the starter to make it grower?
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Unmedicated starter is fine to use as a "Grower". All these are feed. They differ, essentially, only in their protein content with higher protein reflected in higher price because of the more expensive ingredients.

    Starter Grower is no big deal. The chicks will be fine. I do like to put the layer out by week 18. A little calcium boost just before POL has been shown to have good effect on pullets, maximizing their bone structure in preparation for lay. This depends on breed, of course. Some RSL hybrids begin lay at 16.5 weeks, so beginning them on the layer a touch early does no harm. Some breeds won't achieve POL until 24 weeks.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  7. hudsonnascarfan

    hudsonnascarfan Chirping

    May 26, 2011
    i was kinda wondering that myself my chicks are 6 weeks old they have been on starter feed sence day 1 was woundering if i could switch them over to the grower finisher now or get another bag of starter i got a good deal on the grower finisher feed last week so i pickedup 2 bags of it just wasent sure cause the bag said to switch the chicks at 8 weeks just didnt know if i should spend the extra money for a 50 pound bag that they will only need for 1 week

  8. Hiram

    Hiram In the Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    I don't believe it's medicated, but I'll check that once I get home. So I can switch to layer at 16.5 weeks? I ask because I'm trying to gauge what amount of starter feed I should get if I run out of my current supply. I'm going by the feed store today just to look around. So thanks Fred. Oh I got my first squash yesterday. I wont blame the government...Great times are here.
  9. threecutechicks

    threecutechicks Chirping 7 Years

    May 20, 2011
    Clinton, WA
    I am using the purina starter grower feed, I have a wonderful chicken lady at the Country Store and she said keep the chicks on this until they start laying then switch to the layer feed. She also said that there is no problem with them on the medicated feed until then either, I just switched the girls to the non-medicated when they were about 8 or so weeks. [​IMG]

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