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Starter, Starter/Grower, Finisher, AHHH!?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kait27, May 18, 2009.

  1. Kait27

    Kait27 Songster

    Apr 30, 2009
    Central Massachusetts
    Some of these chick foods are confusing!
    I was at a farm supply store this weekend getting some stuff for the garden and decided to take a look at the feeders/waters I'll need for the chicks. I got one of each, and then decided, since this store is a bit of a drive, to pick up some chick starter. They had a convenient 5Lb bag of medicated starter crumbles (by Manna Pro), so I picked it up knowing it was what I needed to start with. (Don't need 50lbs for 4 chicks!) The instructions say to feed from 0-8 weeks. But Manna Pro doesn't make anything to give after that! Is that when I should look to switch to a finisher, or a starter-grower, or what? Also, this particular brand of starter crumbles is only 18% protein. I looked at what TSC offers, and their starter is 24%, or a starter/grower combo is 20%. Should I use something else? Why such a difference in the protein content among starters? is 18% enough? The Manna-Pro starter crumbles have some small chunks in it- is that ok? It doesn't say to feed with grit, but I've seen chick food that is nearly powdery, this is not. Am I just thinking too much?

    Also, for those with small backyard flocks, how much starter do I need for four chicks? I know I might need additional 5lb. Bags, but 50 Lb. seems a bit excessive, right?

  2. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Crowing

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Since you can feed starter til they start laying 50 lbs isn't a bad deal.

    I can't really help you with the whole switch to starter/grower thing because I start mine on gamebird starter and run them on that til they lay.

    Once the majority are laying - no accounting for stragglers, then they all go to laying pellet - the higher protein.

    I raise turkeys as well so it's natural to have the 28% here. Chickens feather a TON faster on that. And I have found that dead useful. I wouldn't go back.

    Most everybody has a different answer dependent on their situation.
  3. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    I just feed 20-22% starter/grower until about 16-20 weeks. Then I switch to layer feed.
    Technically you make the switch at 8 weeks and 20 weeks, give or take.
    Starter to 8 weeks, Grower to 20 weeks, Layer after.

    Much depends on the development of the birds, too, and your budget. I know folks who give only all purpose feed all the time. Many also feed a wet mash of scraps to extend their feed ration and so can get by with other methods. As a rule of thumb, the above should work.
    Last edited: May 18, 2009

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