Do I really need "developer" feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SunsetChicks, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. SunsetChicks

    SunsetChicks In the Brooder

    Aug 1, 2008
    My first flock of chicks is doing very well, at about eight weeks now. I had them on chick starter, but my local feed store didn't have a specialty grower or developer food, so I mail ordered some organic developer which was fine, but absurdly expensive with shipping costs.

    My local feed store recommended an "all age" mash, which is 16.6% protein, 4% fat, 3.8% fiber, 13% ash. It's about 75% cheaper than the mail order developer.

    Is this OK for pullets until they start laying (this, plus a few kitchen scraps), or should I keep mail ordering the specialty feed?

  2. mhaines4102

    mhaines4102 Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Stroud, Oklahoma
    I have just been through 60 pullets and I never used developer food. I fed starter for about 6 weeks and started moving them over to scratch and layer crumbles. I also feed wheat with it (just cause I have it.) All of mine have been healthy without problems.
  3. I've always assumed developer feed was for meat birds (and I could be wrong about that too). I used a starter mash until they were about 8 weeks old, switched to a grower mash and then moved to layer pellets at 18 weeks.

  4. geareduplyn

    geareduplyn Songster

    Jun 2, 2008
    Salley SC
    I like Purina Gamebird Flight Conditioner for my developing birds before they are switched to Laying feeds.
  5. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    The brand that I was using when my kids were chicks came in starter, broiler, and layer varieties. They recommended using the starter for the first 2-3 weeks, then using the broiler for all chicks until they were old enough to switch to layer (of course, with meat birds they wouldn't live that long). The starter and broiler feeds from this company were actually the same formula, just a coarser grind for the older chicks.

    So my guess is that regardless of the brand, the concept would be the same -- whatever feed is "in between" starter and layer (more protein and less calcium than layer) would be appropriate for all growing chicks that haven't started laying.
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Most brands of feed I have used just have a chick starter feed that is fed out to 18 weeks or so and then a layer feed that is fed from 18 weeks onward.

    I'm not sure about "developer" feed, but grower feed I would assume to be for meat birds.
  7. geareduplyn

    geareduplyn Songster

    Jun 2, 2008
    Salley SC
    I like the Conditioner because it develops Muscle and bone as opposed to Fat.

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