grower or layer feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by arsumaSue, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. arsumaSue

    arsumaSue Hatching

    Sep 8, 2011
    At what age should I switch my young chickens from chick feed to layer feed? They are 7 weeks right now and still on chick grower (actually it is turkey grower).
    Thanks for your help
  2. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I switch mine around 14 to 16 weeks. [​IMG]
  3. 18 weeks and [​IMG] from Calif. [​IMG]
  4. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Crowing

    Apr 7, 2011
    SE Wis
    You really should be feeding them chick starter for chickens. Chicken & turkey chicks require different nutrients to develop properly.

    Per TSC website: (similar info can be found on Hatchery websites also)

    This DuMOR[​IMG] Chick Starter/Grower 20% Feed is a complete formula for starting chicks, ducks, and geese up to 10 weeks of age and for growing turkeys and gamebirds from 6 weeks to market or laying age. Premium nutrition at the correct life-stage results in strong healthy, productive birds with beautiful plumage.

    •Designed for chickens, ducks and geese from 0 to 10 weeks of age
    •Designed for turkeys, quail, pheasant and chukar from 6 to 12 weeks of age

    •Provides essential nutrients for optimum development
    •Additional vitamins and minerals are not required

    Complete Poultry Rations
    Starter Feeds
    Newly hatched chicks ages 0-10 weeks should be fed a starter diet with a protein level between 10%-20%. These rations are formulated to provide proper nutrition for growing baby chickens. Higher protein starter rations (22%-24%) are reserved for meat birds such as turkey, quail and pheasant. This higher protein level maximizes growth for broilers and roasters, but is not necessary or desirable for egg laying chickens.

    Grower Feeds
    At 10 weeks of age, a grower feed should replace the starter feed. Grower feeds are typically 15%-16% protein, and are designed to sustain growth to maturity. The higher protein content (20%), in starter/grower feeds is recommended for growing game birds.

    Layer Feeds
    Layer feeds are designed to provide optimum nutrition for birds laying eggs for consumption. Layer feeds contain 16% protein and have increased levels of Calcium, for proper shell development. Layer feeds should be fed starting around 18 weeks of age, or when the first egg is laid, whichever comes first.
    1 person likes this.
  5. arsumaSue

    arsumaSue Hatching

    Sep 8, 2011
    Well we are using the turkey grower because we had, up until this past weekend, 25 broilers, and were feeding them all the same. They ones I am growing up for layers seem to be doing very well and look good. I will read more about the protein contant.
    Thank you!
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Layer feed is for birds that are laying. It is that simple. If they aren't laying, they don't need it.

    Layer feed is not magical or mysterious. It is normal feed that simply has added calcium ground into it, for the owner's convenience. The same thing can be accomplished by offering calcium on the side. If a bird's body needs it, it gets picked at. If not, it is normally ignored.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  7. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Starter --
    A balanced feed meant as the sole ration for chicks from hatching to twelve weeks of age.
    At 12 weeks of age the birds can be changed to Grower or Developer. Starter can be Medicated or Non-Medicated when Medicated it is with either Amprolium or Lasalocid. Starter is available in Mash, Crumble or Pellet form

    Stater/ Grower --
    A balanced feed meant as the sole ration for chicks from hatching to chickens begin to lay, this feed can be Medicated or Non-Medicated. If medicated it will be with either Amprolium or Lasalocid. Starter/ Grower is available mostly in Crumble or Pellet form.

    Grower --
    Feed as the sole ration to chicks 12 weeks of age as a finisher. Grower feed is meant to feed until the chickens begin to lay, then bird can be switched to a complete Laying. Most Grower feed is Non-Medicated but some are Medicated with Bacitracin. Grower is mostly available in available in Crumble or Pellet form.

    Finisher -- See above for Grower

    Layer --
    Feed as the sole diet to laying hens maximum production of eggs. Do not feed Layer feed to poultry, which are not in production because of the high calcium levels in the diet. This is particularly true of young growing birds. Layer is available in Mash, Crumble or Pellet form.

    Layer/ Breeder --
    Feed as the sole diet to laying hens and breeders for maximum production and for improved hatchability. Do not feed Layer feed to poultry, which are not in production because of the high calcium levels in the diet. This is particularly true of young growing birds. Layer/ Breeder is available in Pellet form.

    Scratch Grain/ Corn (Maze) --
    Is mostly used as a treat and should for the most part be feed separate from there sole feed (example - there Layer feed). Scratch should not exceed 40% of there diet when feeding a high protein feed. (Sole feed 20% protein or better) You may start feeding Scratch Grain at around 12 weeks of age.
    Scratch will also very in quality, nutrition, ingredients, it may be as simple as whole corn or as complex as a 14 grain mixture.
    I use a Pigeon Grain Mix as scratch and the protein runs around 17% protein and far from being "Candy" or "Cookies" for chickens.

    1 person likes this.
  8. 1hawaiian

    1hawaiian In the Brooder

    Jan 3, 2012
    A thorough explanation!
    Really great info just what I was looking for...Thank you, too!

  9. quietlyscheming

    quietlyscheming In the Brooder

    Sep 12, 2011
    Crosby, TX
    Just was I was looking for. Thanks!

  10. mrsjohnson0807

    mrsjohnson0807 In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2012
    Marysvale, UT
    This is great information. Since I have three different breeds out of 5 chicks I realize they will all begin laying eggs at different times and have separate dietary needs. Would it be OK to offer a calcium supplement to my layers then provide a layer feed once they all are laying? All opinions are greatly appreciated.

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