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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by catterbug, Jul 17, 2010.
Is there a big difference between chick starter and grower? And what does the percentages mean?
i think that the grower has about 16% protein and the starter has 20% protein. they don't need as much protein as they get older so but they are fine on 20% and i doubt you would see any diffrences if you switched to grower instead of staying on starter
I think the starter is more or less just higher in protein, and the addition of medication.
This site does a pretty good job explaining the difference in how to feed your chickens.
Oregon State - Feeding Chickens
Starter is higher in protein which they need when they are just starting out. Starter may or may not be medicated. The Grower is lower in protein. After they get feathered out, which is around 5 weeks, they don't need as much protein to grow at the proper pace. The Grower gives them plenty of protein for them to develop and mature their internal organs and such without forcing them to grow too fast. Around 14 weeks you can switch from Grower to Developer, which is a little lower still in protein because at that age they just don't absolutely need that much. You can feed the higher protein feeds if you want and you probably won't harm them. The extension services and the research universities recommend the lower protein levels between 6 and 20 wees of age. That Oregon State site specifically mentions it. Part of that is probably because it is more efficient to feed them the lower protein levels but the way the Oregon State site phrases it implies that the higher protein can possibly hurt them. I'm not sure if they are talking about fatty liver syndrome, general obesity, or possibly the internal organs not developing correctly.
All this is about a flock you are raising to be a laying flock. If you are raising a meat flock, you give them a higher protein feed to get them to grow faster. Besides, you are not worried about long term effects with meat birds.