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Starter vs. starter/grower?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by GoodEgg, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Hi all,

    I have a question. Seems like when I got the ducks, there was special baby starter that they ate the first 2 weeks. When I went to the local feed store to get some for the new chicks, they were out. He said the starter/grower I feed my ducklings now would be ok for the chicks for the first day.

    I went into town today to get baby starter for the chicks, and they were going to give me the same starter/grower I already have, and said you feed that from hatching through laying.

    Maybe I'm just sleep deprived from having to reset the heating pad in the hospital cage every 60 minutes round the clock, and nursing those sick ones all the time, but I really thought I needed something with higher protein levels for the new chicks. Can anyone advise what I need to look for? The book I was using was a library book, unfortunately, and I had to return it.

    They arrived Monday morning, and I've had to feed them the starter/grower so far. I know I need an unmedicated feed since they were vaccinated at hatchery.

    Thanks!
    trish
     
  2. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    You should really feed a starter for the first 8 weeks, and then you could switch to a starter/grower type feed and feed that through laying. Then you switch to a layer type feed and supplement with free choice calcium. If all they have in your area is a starter/grower, I think you can get away with it. But, what I would do to hive them the extra protien they need those first weeks if they dont sell a starter in your town, is to get a gamebird starter feed, or similar to what you fed your baby ducks. It has the higher protien they need. Even better yet (if you can afford it and depending on how many chicks you have) would be to buy a bag of each (the gamebird and the starter/grower) and mix them 50/50 until the chicks are about 8 weeks old and then switch them to just the starter/grower.

    Hope that helps! [​IMG]
     
  3. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
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    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Thanks. One of the stores mentioned gamebird starter/grower, but they are out.

    I'm glad to know it is possible to "get by" ... which I don't want to do, but at least I hope in that case I'm not seriously injuring them in the meantime. I will keep looking for the proper feed, or mix it if I have to.

    I can always feed anything left over to the ducks ... I've cut down on their feed trying to encourage them to forage more, but they will ALWAYS eat and I could give them a little in addition to their regular food until any leftover is used up.

    The package I am currently using doesn't even have protein levels printed on the bag, that I can find anywhere. If I get into town today I will try calling, because I don't have a phone. (Internet but no phone, lol)

    Thanks again. [​IMG]

    trish
     
  4. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    974
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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    If there is a brand name on the feed bag, you can always try typing it in online and see if you cant figure out the ingredients and protein/fat/fiber content of it. Oh and internet and no phone....I've been there hun! Hang on, it gets better. [​IMG]
     
  5. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2007
    Colorado
    Eek! Based on the info I found in Purina's site, I was planning on using the starter/grower from the time I received the chicks until they began laying. I'll only have 3, so I really don't want to have to buy a 50lb back of chick starter and waste so much of it (plus, I don't want the medicated feed).

    Is there another way to supplement the protein aside from the gamebird feed? I thought I read somewhere else here about giving the chicks some hardboiled egg crumbles as a treat. Would that do it? And could that be started at about a week?
     
  6. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
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    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Thanks 4H Kids and Mom -- I will try searching that way. I don't know where my brain is these days ... between legal issues, a tiny found kitten still on milk, these chicks, and a bad cold I can't seem to think for myself right now. But you are right, I know it gets better, and I thank you. I never realized how much we depend on having a phone until I have to drive almost 15 miles to use one. [​IMG]

    4MyHennyPenny -- the large feed store here sells packages in 25/50 lb but they also package it up in 5/10 lb. Of course those smaller ones cost way more per pound than the big ones, but that might suit your needs better if a store there will do that? Just thought I'd suggest. Some people feed egg yolk from a few days, but I don't feel confident to be giving advice to anyone myself. Some have said they don't need grit if it's only egg yolk. I put some pulled weeds in the big brooder box yesterday so they could peck at them and I gave the roots/dirt, etc. too so hopefully they are getting a little grit that way? I haven't found a chick grit yet.
     
  7. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Well now I feel incredibly stupid as I thought they were one in the same! My chicks had been on locally made starter up until this past weekend, when my feedstore was out and I went elsewhere to pick up the Purina. Should I go back to what I was on?!? They're coming up on 4 weeks old.
     

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