Do I have this right? Starter + Oats = Grower?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by organicmama, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. organicmama

    organicmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 8, 2008
    PDX
    My girls are 9-10 weeks old and the 20% starter I am using says it is for up to 9 weeks. I did some searching here and confirmed that it's too early for layer food, but I saw a couple posts about DIY grower/developer. Is it true that I can mix the leftover starter 50/50 with rolled oats to achieve the right protein balance for the grower period? If so, how long do I do that for until layer food and should I add anything else to the mix? I can buy organic developer locally but I still have ~20 lbs of starter left. I'd love to use up the rest of the starter rather than buy the 50 lb bag of grower, but only if it would be good for the girls. Thanks in advance. [​IMG]
     
  2. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    That would put you realy close to a 17% ration, but you will also be diluting the Calcium, Phosphorus, Salt, Vitamins and Trace Minerals by 50%. You will also reduce the Metabolizable Energy consumption since the oats contain less energy and more fiber.

    Jim
     
  3. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    This is from Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens:

    "....when layer pullets reach 8 weeks of age, gradually add oats until you achieve a balance of about 50/50, and continue feeding free choice."
    "At about 18 weeks (20 weeks for heavier breeds), gradually reduce the oats and switch from grower or developer ration to 18 percent lay ration."

    This is to delay onset of laying by slowing down growth. "Otherwise they may start laying early, before their bodies are ready for production, or they may get too fat. As a result, they'll tend to lay fewer, smaller eggs and will be more likely to prolapse."

    I haven't decided yet if I will use this method. Speckled Hen says she doesn't.

    Lazy J, why does the Storey's book recommend this type of feeding? I thought it was pretty much the bible of chicken raising. Just asking, because I'm confused. [​IMG]
     
  4. organicmama

    organicmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 8, 2008
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    Good call on the reduced mineral content, Jim. I hadn't thought of that. Hmmm.... so tempted to use up the rest of the starter though! Would providing kitchen and garden scraps plus some free ranging time make up for the reduced minerals and energy if I went the starter + oat route?

    And thanks for the more detailed oat instructions, BearSwampChick. [​IMG]
     
  5. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    Welcome, organicmama! I wish Lazy J had answered again, because I have to go buy feed today and would like to make a decision about this. I'm using Purina Sunfresh and I'm not sure if they have a strictly grower ration.
     
  6. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Can you not find organic grower where you are? We can get at least 2 brands here, BlueSeal Organic Life, and Poulin (from Green Mountain Grains, really.)
     
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I want to say pullets should be given a 'developer' which is like 12% or 14% until they hit PoL.
     
  8. chicken_boy_Kurt

    chicken_boy_Kurt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2008
    I can't find any grower in my area. Is there any food I can feed them after they're too old for starter? Or any other mixes?
     
  9. Suess hens

    Suess hens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2008
    Altadena, CA
    I just went to the purina site. The Start and Grow says it can go until they start laying....then they have Flock Raiser that says it can go until laying. Don't know if that helps at all....
     
  10. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    Quote:Clear as mud! [​IMG]
     

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