Starter or Developer?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by hokankai, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got hens and chicks in the same coop, and the babies are out of their brooding pen. They eat the adult food and the adults eat the baby food so somethings gotta give. The babies are 6 weeks, would it be okay to put everyone on developer? Or would it be better to put everyone on starter?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The main thing is to stop the Layer and offer oyster shell on the side. That way the ones that need it can get it and the rest should pretty much leave it alone.

    You can feed whatever you want to the mixed age flock, except Layer because of thee calcium. The Layer available to me is 16% protein. Starter is around 22%, but it can vary. Grower matches the Layer at 16% protein. Here, the combined Grower/Developer is 15% protein. I can also get a 20% Flock Raiser. There is also a combined Starter/Grower that is 20% protein. I personally would not go above a 20% protein feed for a mixed flock once the babies are old enough to be off Starter. But feeding the mixed flock Starter for a few weeks should not hurt anything.

    To me, the ideal is to switch the chicks from Starter to Grower about now so, if a Grower is available, it would be my first choice. It matches real close to the Layer except for the difference in the calcium. Many people feed their chicks the high powered Flock Raiser or the combined Starter/Grower the entire time. Whichever one you feed them is your personal choice. My preference is to feed them the lower percent protein feeds after they are off Starter so the young chick's body grows about the same pace the body matures, specifically their skeleton and internal organs. And, in my opinion, the laying flock does not need the higher powered feeds. I go by the idea that too much of a good thing may not be a good thing. But how much you free range them or what and how many treats you feed them enters into it too. Many people feed the higher powered feeds all the time to their flocks.

    The bottom line is that you can feed either to your mixed flock. Just offer oyster shell on the side.
     
  3. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay fantastic, thanks! I think I'll just mix them both for now. I stopped the layer once I saw the chicks were able to reach the adult feed, and they always have a rabbit feeder of oyster shell available. I'll just gradually increase the level of developer until it's being fed exclusively [​IMG].

    Thanks again!
     

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