Starter, grower, crumbles

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by old mama hen, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. old mama hen

    old mama hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2012
    We are raising 27 chickens that are no 16 weeks. We had them on starter, then switched them to a starter grower. When my husband went to the supply store to pick up feed he was told that the starter was fine until they were 18 weeks. The main difference was the texture. Is this right?
     
  2. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    The difference between the starter and grower is the quantity of protein as a percent of the total ration. Usually the starter is higher in protein than the grower
     
  3. old mama hen

    old mama hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2012
    Thank you for the information. It's amazing the different information you get from different suppliers.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are some people at my local Tractor Supply that are pretty knowledgeable. Then there are the others. People are people.

    There are three different textures, mash, crumbles, and pellets from the major suppliers. Someone can always come up with an exception, but I'm talking about the major name brands. They make mash by gringing up the different feed components to basically a powder. They make pellets by taking that mash, getting it wet to form a paste, extruding it in that cylinder shape, drying it, and breaking the cylinders off so you get the final shape. To make crumbles, they crack the pellets. The texture does not matter as far as nutritional value. The only reason for the different textures is that different automatic feeding systems work better with different textures.

    Then you get the different named feeds. With the exception of Layer, the main difference in any of them is protein, listed as a percent. These percents can be off just a tad, but should be close to what you see.

    Starter = 22% to 24%
    Grower = 16%
    Combined Starter/Grower = 20%
    Flock Raiser = 20%
    Grower/Developer = 15%

    Layer is usually 16%. The difference with the others is that the Layer has a higher percent of calcium for the hens to use for egg shells. You should not feed Layer to growing chicks because the higher calcium can damage their internal organs.

    The normal progression is Starter for the first 4 to 8 weeks, then Grower until 20 weeks or they start to lay. But it is really not that critical to follow the exact progression. Some of us don't have all the options available, so we mix and match as we can or as we wish. My only real rule is to not feed them Layer while they are still growing.
     
  5. old mama hen

    old mama hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2012
    Thank you so much for your information. This is about a definitive as it could be. Again thank you![​IMG]
     

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