Difference between grower and layer?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by grandmaof5, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Songster

    Aug 8, 2009
    Central N.S.
    I'm ready to make the switch to grower from starter, but is the main difference between grower and layer the protein content? The girls are not ready to lay yet, (only 14 weeks old), so is there any advantage in buying layer yet? Should I make the switch now to grower?

  2. MakNugget

    MakNugget Songster

    May 31, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Protein and calcium content are different. You don't mention how many chickens you have, but at that age I would have purchased 2 50# bags before my three lay. I would stick with grower for now.
  3. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    The biggest difference is calcium, and protein. Growing chicks (not yet ready to lay) don't do well with the amount of calcium in layer feed. It can cause kidney damage if fed long enough to chicks that aren't using the extra calcium to produce eggs. Growth also requires more protein than laying, but it's less of a health issue as you can supplement protein if you need to. It's not too hard to add protein to their diet, but it's very difficult (nearly impossible) to reduce the calcium in their diet if you're feeding a layer feed.
  4. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Songster

    Aug 8, 2009
    Central N.S.
    Quote:I have only 3 Welsummers [​IMG] Ok then, the next bag will be grower...

  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Most layer will have added Calcium, Vitamins and Minerals to aide in egg laying.
    Some feed manufacturing companies will have little to no difference in protein amount between a Starter and a Layer..
    A grower should always be less protein than a Starter and a layer..

    For example -
    One of the feed that I used to use had/was
    Starter 18% protein
    Grower 15% protein
    Layer-Breeder 18% protein
    Layer Crumbles 20% protein

  6. HeritageHens

    HeritageHens Chirping

    Aug 9, 2010
    Quote:I was reading this over at the Dummies site this morning. Your Welsummer heritage breed needs to develop slowly to be the best layer per the site.

    Grower pullet rations. If you’re raising young pullets to become layers, you want them to grow slowly enough to develop good strong bones and to reach a normal body weight before they begin producing eggs. High-protein diets tend to hurry the birds into production before their bodies are quite ready. Therefore, the ration for growing pullets, from leaving the brooder at 6 weeks to about 14 weeks, should be about 18 percent protein.

    “Developer or finishing” pullet rations. At 15 weeks, it’s ideal to lower the ration to 16 percent protein. From 15 weeks to 22 weeks old or until they begin laying eggs, whichever is first, protein levels should be about 16 percent. The object is to get them well grown without too much fat.

    Your feed should have normal levels of calcium and other vitamins until the birds start laying. If you feed a diet high in calcium and phosphorus to very young birds, it can damage their kidneys, so don’t begin feeding layer feed until pullets are at least 18 weeks old.

    Adult layer rations. After the hens reach the age of 22 weeks or begin laying, and throughout their laying careers, they need a protein level of 16 to 18 percent. The calcium and minerals should be formulated for laying hens.

    Read more: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-choose-commercial-chicken-feed.html#ixzz100UzbmZ3
  7. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    It's best to feed grower as long as possible--you can supplement calcium to any of the layers by putting out a small container with crushed oyster shells--at least until all the flock is laying. If you have extra grower, no problem, just mix it with the layer until it's gone. It's better for your birds to feed grower too long than layer too soon--no need to rush their development.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
    rjohns39 and saltytaco728 like this.

  8. purecountrychicken

    purecountrychicken Songster

    Sep 11, 2008
    Gray Court, SC
    I never switch over to layer pellets untill I see the first egg. That seems to work best for me.
    rjohns39 likes this.
  9. rdcowman

    rdcowman Songster

    Oct 28, 2016
    i have different aged chickens so when i put my 4 month old chickens in, i needed to start everybody on grower food. i put them together when they were around 5 months old. when they all started laying i switched back to layer feed. i think my grower feed was 16% protein, and the layer feed is 18% protein. i switched a couple months ago, and it seems like i haven't had as many eggs as i should be getting. i have 18 chickens. 4 are molting. i get 2-3 eggs a day. That's not right! does switching feed affect egg production?

  10. rjohns39

    rjohns39 Enabler Premium Member

    Aug 20, 2015
    Smith County, TN
    it can.

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