How long on Chick Starter?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PacsMan, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. PacsMan

    PacsMan Songster

    Feb 8, 2009
    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. [​IMG]
    (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. [​IMG]

  2. mazdacrzy

    mazdacrzy Chirping

    Dec 16, 2008
    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.
  3. BrackenFarms

    BrackenFarms Songster

    Dec 18, 2008
    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
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
  4. happychicken

    happychicken Chirping

    Mar 26, 2008
    My organic chicken starter feed says to feed them for the first 8 weeks.
  5. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    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. [​IMG]
  6. hooksetz

    hooksetz Songster

    Feb 10, 2009
    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 )[​IMG]
  7. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Songster

    Jan 1, 2009
    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.
  8. TXmom

    TXmom Songster

    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.
  9. blueseal

    blueseal Songster

    Jul 3, 2008
    i use medicated chick starter for the first 8 weeks then grower cal for the next 8 weeks and then layer mash.from 16 weeks on.
  10. colby318

    colby318 got 'dottes?

    Jul 14, 2008
    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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