No Grower

AccentOnHakes

Songster
10 Years
Oct 2, 2009
1,333
15
151
I've heard that if the feed has too much protein, the laying hens will be more likely to have problems. Starter is around 20%, layer around 14%. Grower should have 16-18%. That's what I've heard. My feed store doesn't have grower.
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People told me to give them gamebird(or pheasant at my feed store) or starter. But then there's the protein problem. And I can't give them layer, due to the calcium. What do I do?
 

ThePamperedPullet

Songster
11 Years
Oct 4, 2008
2,337
33
181
North Central Florida
You can feed started/grower up tp 18 weeks and then switch to layer. Our chicks go on layer at 8 weeks once they hit the yard and we have never had a problem with them. We also will give starter/grower to our older birds as a treat.
 

AccentOnHakes

Songster
10 Years
Oct 2, 2009
1,333
15
151
I'm just kinda scared, because of all the protein. The books say it causes problems if layers are forced to mature to quickly;they are likely to get eggbound.
 

Kittymomma

Songster
10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
3,873
31
204
Olympia, WA
Quote:
The 20% protien won't hurt your hens at all, in fact it's pretty good for them and will help keep their feathers nice. I feed 22% gamebird to my flock and put oyster shell out free choice so the layers get enough calcium. I'm wondering if the grower is bad for hens message got garbled, it can be bad for laying hens, but not because of the high protien, it's the lack of calcium that can cause problems and that's easy to correct with free choice oyster shell.
 

AccentOnHakes

Songster
10 Years
Oct 2, 2009
1,333
15
151
Quote:
The 20% protien won't hurt your hens at all, in fact it's pretty good for them and will help keep their feathers nice. I feed 22% gamebird to my flock and put oyster shell out free choice so the layers get enough calcium. I'm wondering if the grower is bad for hens message got garbled, it can be bad for laying hens, but not because of the high protien, it's the lack of calcium that can cause problems and that's easy to correct with free choice oyster shell.

I used the chart from the BYC offical book(too lazy to type whole name) and another book as well, they both said the same thing.
 

Chris09

Circle (M) Ranch
10 Years
Jun 1, 2009
10,999
580
328
Ohio
AccentOnHakes--

Birds need protein it helps with growing in young birds, feathering, egg production etc. I don't know any layer that is 14% protein, most layer feed should be 16% or better.
I have Bantams and Large Fowl breeds and I feed a 21% Starter/ Grower to all my birds all the time. Chicks, Growing birds, Layers and Breeders all get 21% Starter/ Grower. I do supplement calcium and a Vit./Min. mix to breeders and layers. The 2 major feeds sold in my area are Buckeye and Kalambach feed. I Have used both feed and right now I feed Kalambach...

Buckeye --

Starter -
http://www.buckeyenutrition.com/media/137650/18_pct_miracle starter.pdf 18%
Grower -
http://www.buckeyenutrition.com/media/137676/15_pct_pullet grower and developer.pdf 15%
Layer -
http://www.buckeyenutrition.com/media/137728/16_pct_prosperity layer feed.pdf 16%
http://www.buckeyenutrition.com/media/137715/17_pct_complete laying crumbles.pdf 17%
http://www.buckeyenutrition.com/media/137689/18_pct_layer breeder pellets.pdf 18% Layer/Breeder
http://www.buckeyenutrition.com/media/137702/20_pct_gold standard laying crumbles.pdf 20%

Kalambach feed --

Starter/Grower -
http://www.kalmbachfeeds.com/1044.html 21%
Layer -
http://www.kalmbachfeeds.com/1116CR.html 16%
http://www.kalmbachfeeds.com/1117CR.html 17%
http://www.kalmbachfeeds.com/1020CR.html 20%

Chris
 
Last edited:

PunkinPeep

Songster
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
3,642
69
229
SouthEast Texas
Also keep in mind that if you are free ranging them (and i have no idea whether you are), the grass, etc., that they eat diminishes their protein percentage. The same goes for any treats you give them, etc.

And if you're really worried about it, you can give them extra hen scratch. This will greatly diminish the protein percentage, so do your numbers and go easy.

I'm not claiming to be an expert. But i started feeding the gamebird grower to my girls, and i am pleased with their health. I also free range them about 12 hours per day. I add egg shell to their feed from time to time, and i have had no problems at all.

One other thing.....books are great, and learning from experts is priceless - but the truth is that nothing is without exception. Keep in mind under what conditions certain things are learned (like the things the books tell you). I hope that sentence made some sense. You have to take in all the info and then make the best decision for your birds and your situation and what is available to you. Don't feel like you have to do everything by the letter of what a book says.

All in all, i would say it is worse to give them too little protein than to give them too much.
 

Tala

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 14, 2009
6,372
56
251
Benton (Saline County) AR
I feed Purina Flock Raiser 20% protein to everyone, and the layers get oyster shell free choice at all times. It's more simple to me and my birds seem to be doing great on it. I don't think protein alone can force a bird to mature faster, although it does have a lot to do with feathers and chicks are constantly growing feathers.

My birds free range for most of the day after about 6-8 weeks of age though. I consider their feed just a supplement to their "real" diet.
 

fiberart57

Songster
10 Years
May 31, 2009
614
19
164
Colorado
AccentOnHakes,

I think we read the same book, Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, because I was concerned with the same thing. I fed Starter, 22% protein, to mine until they were about eight weeks old, then began to give them a little bit of homemade scratch in the form of an oat, wheat mixture in the mornings and night. I still kept the starter out for them, but because they ate the scratch, they filled up a bit on that and didn't eat so much of the higher protein. My intent was the same as yours.

As they got older, I gave them a bit more scratch, this time with some BOSS (Black Oil Sunflower Seeds) mixed in, mornings and night again but switched them over to Purina Flock Raiser and free choice oyster shell when they were around 18 weeks old. I continued the scratch, maxing out at slightly over one cup of scratch between six standard pullets.

The first egg came from a bird that was 26 weeks old and the last was somewhere around 34 weeks old. They have all been nice and hard shelled, no problems and the girls are very healthy.

Having said that, they are now only 10 months old and some of the laying problems you described often start as they get older, although I've read of egg-bound birds under one year old.

I'm happy with what I did, the girls are healthy, and I'll just wait and see what happens. They now get about one cup of the scratch just before bedtime to fill their crops.

Mary
 

MANNA-PRO

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