Too much chick starter!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DerbyChook, May 15, 2010.

  1. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Songster

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    May 15, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    I bought my chicks at a local hardware store. The clerk sold me a ginourmous bag of chick starter, way more than my three chicks will be able to eat before they need to switch over to grower feed. What can I do with the excess? Is there something I can mix it with to produce a feed that is appropriate for their next stage of growth?

    I am new to chickens and new to Backyard Chickens, but have enjoyed lurking for the past few weeks. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010

  2. elmo

    elmo Songster

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    It depends on the formulation of the feed, but usually you can continue to feed starter to hens that have begun to lay if you offer supplemental calcium (oyster shell). That's what I'm planning to do this summer since I'll only have three hens and 14 growing chicks. It has more protein than they need, but that shouldn't be a problem.

    The other issue you have to consider is staleness, though. The usual rule of thumb I've read is that you should use up a bag of feed within 3 months for maximum freshness/nutrition. You can freeze some for later use, though, if you have space in your freezer.

    If you're using medicated feed, though, that changes things, because you wouldn't want to be feeding that to laying hens.

    p.s. By the way, your chicks might surprise you with how fast they gobble up that food. They'll be growing like weeds and they need the fuel.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  3. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    I wouldn't worry about switching to grower. Just keep them on the starter until they use it all up. They can essentially be on starter until they start laying. Where I live, they only sell Start and Grow, no separate grower.
     
  4. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Songster

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    May 15, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    Great to know! I am sure we can use up the feed in three months, just not three weeks. [​IMG]
     

  5. MotherJean

    MotherJean Songster

    Ummm...ya know another solution would be to get more chicks...I'm just sayin' [​IMG]
     
  6. CorralitosSunflower

    CorralitosSunflower Songster

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    Jun 24, 2009
    Corralitos
    Unless they are meat birds I wouldn't worry about switching to grower. Also like I have heard said previously you will be surprised by how much their appetite increases as they get older. They will double, triple even quadruple the amount they eat and you will be glad you bought the big bag. Our feed store nearly DOUBLES the price per pound when you get any less than a 50 lb bag so you are saving monies [​IMG]
     
  7. gettinaclue

    gettinaclue Songster

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    Mar 12, 2009
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    I have 10 growing chickens that hatched around end of march. I have already gone thru two 5lb bags of starter and have just started my second 50lb bag of grower. These guys do nothing but eat and eat and eat!!! LOL. They will definately gobble it up, don't be to worried.
     

  8. donjr

    donjr Songster

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    Jan 19, 2010
    I have always fed starter until they started laying. I have never heard of grower. Should i feed it or is starter ok until they start laying?
     
  9. elmo

    elmo Songster

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    Quote:Different manufacturers have different formulations, but with the kind of feed I use, the only difference between "starter" and "grower" is that they grind the starter finer for those little beaks. This year I simply bought the "grower" and ground it finer myself for the first few weeks.
     

  10. donjr

    donjr Songster

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    Jan 19, 2010
    OK Thank you.
     

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