Starter vs grower

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 5, 2011
    Brooklyn, NY
    Here's a feed question. Nellie is aproximately 7 weeks old. She's on medicated chick starter, as has been recommended here. When she turns about 8 weeks old my understanding is that she should be switched to grower, not layer. I'm having a problem finding grower. Anything I can find says layer. I've been buying online as I'm having a problem finding feed locally. Does anyone have any alternatives, or recommendations on where to find the feed online?

    Thanks much
  2. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I believe you can feed Purina Start and Grow right up to point of lay. Just switch to non-medicated when you get the next bag.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I wrote this a while back for another post. Maybe something in it will help you.

    This is going to sound complicated because there are a whole lot of options that work. It is actually extremely simple because so many different things work. I'm only talking about feeding chicks that are going to be a laying flock. If you are raising meat birds, then it is different. They need a higher protein level.

    The normal progression is to feed them Starter (around 22% protein, but it varies) for the first 4 to 8 weeks, then switch to 16% protein Grower until they are 20 weeks old or they start to lay. Then you switch to 16% protein Layer. Layer has a higher percentage of calcium in it for the egg shells. But a steady diet of too much calcium for a growing chick can cause bone deformation or kidney damage. About the only hard and fast rule in this is to not feed Layer to growing chicks. The protein is the major difference in the different types of feed, other than the calcium in the Layer.

    Different manufacturers have different recommendations as to when is best to switch from Starter to Grower, anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. In actual practice, it does not matter. When you run out of Starter after 4 weeks, switch to Grower. Even if that is 10 weeks, you'll be OK.

    Some feed stores do not have separate 22% Starter or 16% Grower. Instead, they provide an 18% or 20% combined Starter/Grower. You can feed them this from the day they go into the brooder until you switch to Layer.

    Some manufacturers offer a 15% Grower/Developer. This works well for the chicks from 13 weeks until you switch to Layer.

    Another option is to feed a 20% Flock Raiser. This is pretty similar to the combined Starter/Grower. This is intended for flocks where some of the chicks are destined to be a laying flock and some are intended to be harvested for meat, sort of a compromise between the higher protein for meat birds and the lower protein for a flock that will be layers.

    I personally like to feed the 16% Grower or 15% Grower/Developer to the adolescents on the thought that it slows their body development to better match the maturity rates of their internal organs and skeleton. But that is pure personal preference. I often wind up feeding the combined Starter/Grower because that is the only choice available at my feed store. Lots and lots of people feed the higher protein feeds and do great. I do recommend staying away from the really high protein mixes that are intended for game birds. Too much protein can cause problems, but that boundary for too much is pretty wide. You'll be OK with any that I mentioned.
  4. M.sue

    M.sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2011
    My chicks were started out on medicated chick feed strictly for chicks. At 8 wks. I put them on starter/grower that I bought at Tractor Suppply (Purina Mills - start/grow feed/medicated). My husband that same day was out shopping (without me)and knew we needed feed so picked up the TSC brand which is the same thing but not medicated. When he got home that wentout to give them their feed. I arrived home and found this bag open. I wanted to keep my girls on medicated feed. I called TSC and another store and they told me that I could mix the 2 and that would be fine. That was 2 1/2 wks. ago and they are thriving just well. So I guess you can say my girls are part all natural and part medicated.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  5. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    Here's a local supplier for you. Meg is a new reseller of countryside organics feed in Brooklyn. Might be easier to pick up rather than ordering online.

    Countryside Organics is pleased to announce our newest feed reseller, Meg Paska, of Brooklyn Homesteader in BROOKLYN, New York.

    Give Meg a call at 401.971-6401 or send her email at:
  6. Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 5, 2011
    Brooklyn, NY
    And she raises bees too! Another budding interest of mine. I'm going to have to retire soon so that I have enough time to indulge all my hobbies!

    Thank you all for the helpful information!
  7. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    I contacted Meg a few weeks ago to find out if she would be shipping feed. At the moment she only has pickup service, but she was willing to meet me on her way to an upstate farm to deliver the feed. Unfortunately, it was way too far west and it would have been easier to go to Brooklyn. Ordering online is convenient, but the shipping costs will scare the daylights out of you. For now I am sticking with the local dealer and seeing if they get more varieties of organic feed. Right now we are using Green Mountain, and the girls are doing well, but I would like to see how other organic brands stack up. Would also like to get a soy free feed that has some animal protein in it. Country side has fish meal and is soy free.

    Good luck with getting the right feed for your chickens. And definitely give the bees a go. We might do it next year. I know our neighbor wants to give it a try, so we may have a bee club soon enough.
  8. Cosmopolis Chick

    Cosmopolis Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2010
    Grays Harbor
    Quote:Thank you Ridgerunner, I needed that info. [​IMG]
  9. M.sue

    M.sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2011
    Can you tell me why switch to a non-medicated when they start layer? New to this also and mine right now 10wks. are getting a 50-50 mix (med. & non med). Story posted above.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    It's a personal choice but I never give medicated feed, it's strictly a cocciostat and (fingers crossed) after dozens of flocks haven't had a problem. Cocciodosis is everywhere and immunity develops in small exposures.
    I'm sure finding feed where you are is tougher but here we have choices. Med and non/med. I feed a non/ned starter/grower from hatching to the first egg, then switch to layer.

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