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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Big_Red, Nov 13, 2010.
at what age should i switch to starter/grower?
It kinda depends on what is available in your feed store. I'll use some standards but you may have something a little different available to you. There are no absolute hard and fast rules. Many of us do many different things. The following is for flocks that are going to produce layers. If you are growing meat birds, it will be different.
The normal progression is 22% Starter for 6 weeks, which is about when they are fully feathered out. 16% Grower from 6 to 20 weeks or until they start laying. At 20 weeks or they start laying, switch to 16% Layer.
One different version to this is follow what's above but at 13 weeks, switch from 16% Grower to 15% Developer until you switch to 16% Layer at 20 weeks or they start laying.
Another option is to feed a combination 20% Starter/Grower from Day 1 until they start to Lay or hit 20 weeks.
hmmm... i didn't see any grower at my feed store... i think the package says starter/grower. For that matter I didn't see layer either, it must be in the back. Good question red
Well here we have the starter/grower its the combo thing going on there. We fed it until we put them on layer mash , yes I married old farm boy with those words. We put out layer at about 20 weeks old but there isnt a set way or time to do this. The higher protien is needed when babies or winter time.
But I say read the protein level of your feed it will tell you alot about what its for.....
22% is for starter....18% is grower.....16% layer
We make our own so we up the protien for cold/winter months.
Actually around here, Grower is 16%. Grower/Developer, which is intended for age 13 weeks until you switch to layer, is 15% protein but it is not often available. If you are developing a layer flock you want to give their skeletal structure and organs a chance to mature before they start laying so high protein levels are not required.
If you are growing meat birds, you want a higher protein content. If you are growing chickens for meat and developing layers in the same flock, you can increase the protein some as a compromise. Flock Raiser or the combined Grower/Developer are good choices. It is not the best of both worlds, but for a mixed layer/meat flock it will work. If they are eating stuff that is not high in protein then the higher protein feed helps bring the protein level up where it should be. It is not really the percent of protein that is important but the total volume of protein they actually eat in a day.
With all that said, right now I am feeding 20% Grower/Starter. It is all that was available, other than Layer, when I went to TSC yesterday. I'd prefer to feed them the lower protein levels, but I do not think I am hurting them by feeding higher protein levels. I will switch back when I can.
I don't see it as something to really stress out about. It is good to know the goals and what to aim for, but this is really a pretty wide target. Just use what is available to you and you have done the best you can.
i was reading about flockraiser on the purina website. it says it's natural, but they dont claim organic. what's the difference?