How long on Chick Starter?

PacsMan

Songster
10 Years
Feb 8, 2009
671
5
141
Salt Lake Valley
Hi, I've got
9 chicks will be 6 weeks on Wednesday and
3 chicks will be 5 weeks on Wednesday.

I've got about 25% of my 50 lb bag of chick starter left.

And these girls are eating like pigs.
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(ok, maybe they're eating like teenage boys...)

When is it ok to start them pullet developer?

I have a 50 lb bag of 16% poultry developer ready to go.

But, I'm a little worried about starting them too early on it, because I've read that this could make them mature too early, lay eggs too early, and have smaller eggs overall. (And I like big eggs!)

I'm willing to get another bag of chick starter, and get them to 8 weeks if it will mean bigger eggs. (is 8 weeks the magic number?)

But, if I spend $15 on chick starter, and have some left over when I start this batch on poultry developer, then I guess I'd have to buy more chicks. *sigh* decisions decisions.
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Comments?
 

mazdacrzy

Chirping
11 Years
Dec 16, 2008
41
11
77
Winder, Georgia
The stuff I'm getting from tsc says to keep them on starter/grower until 10 weeks. So I'm gonna wait to switch them until they finish the bag, I don't care if they are past ten weeks or not. I don't think it will hurt them to go past 10 weeks on starter.
 

BrackenFarms

Songster
11 Years
Dec 18, 2008
170
0
119
Easley, SC
feed the Starter/Grower until they start to lay at which point you will feed them laying feed for hens and if you have roos then you can throw out scratch actually you can throw scratch for hens too but definitely need layer feed for laying hens:p and as far as the leftover grow feed it would be ok to mix it with the layer feed
 
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hinkjc

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
12,683
121
331
PA
You can keep them on starter until you see the first egg or around 18-20 weeks, then switch them to a layer ration. That has always worked for us and less worrying about what should they be eating now.
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hooksetz

Songster
10 Years
Feb 10, 2009
192
0
119
Tampa Bay
Yes, keep them on the starter feed until they lay, or crow. You'll be glad you did, they'll be much healthier birds, and achieve maturity quicker I think. (that's just my personal feeling, I have no scientific data to back that up )
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WalkingWolf

Songster
11 Years
Jan 1, 2009
2,285
25
181
North Carolina
I use starter then at 10 weeks switch to grower, after that I mix scratch grower. As I have mixed ages and roosters with my hens I do not use layer, but throw oyster shell with the scratch.

A 50 pound bag or starter grower for 20 or 30 chicks lasts up to 2 weeks, but then I use feeders that do not allow them to scratch the food. You will find that most of the food is waste if you do not use feeders.

My neighbor completely free ranges his birds chicks and adults, and he only uses scratch and his birds seem to do fine. But there are a lot of bugs around here even in cooler weather. 2 of his birds scratch my yard everyday, and they look very healthy.
 

TXmom

Songster
11 Years
Dec 3, 2008
1,505
15
161
Sealy, TX (West Houston area)
Sounds like your food is different than what a lot of us use. I use Purina Start & Grow, and I'm supposed to keep them on that until they start laying. But if yours is Starter only, and then you switch to Developer, then I think you're right about switching at 8 weeks. Hopefully someone with experience with that kind of food will come on here and answer your questions more specifically.
 

colby318

got 'dottes?
11 Years
Jul 14, 2008
1,079
24
171
Stamping Ground, KY
Do you have a southern states in your area? Ours will weigh you out as much starter as you need so you don't have to buy another 50# bag to hold you to the 10 week mark when you change over to the grower/finisher.

Or if you have too much starter left over at 10 weeks, you can blend it with the grower/finisher until the starter is gone.

We basically just have TS and SS in our area. Both of their feed brands recommend changing over at 10 weeks. I think I saw another poster said Purina has a different change date for their feed.
 

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