Will it hurt my girls if I feed them the starter for two more weeks?

Backyard Barn

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 24, 2012
22
0
39
Southern California
I have 4 eight week old pullets and 3 twelve week old pullets.. I bought a 40 pound sack of medicated starter crumbles and then read I should have switched them to 'grower feed' this week. Will it hurt my girls if I feed them the starter for two more weeks? Can I amend it to be properly balanced nutrition for them?

They free range the backyard during the day and I supplement them with canned tuna, flax meal, steel cut oats, fresh vegies and cooked carrots. Is protein the biggest difference? Should I not give them tuna and shredded beef until I switch to grower feed?

Physical description ==> My eight week old pullets I have had since day 2 and they are huge girls. Tall, shiny feathers, but not fat. The 12 week old pullets came home at 8 weeks and have more than doubled in size and now have shiny fluffy feathers. They are all about the same size now. Thank you for reading...
 

Mehjr10

Songster
7 Years
May 17, 2012
1,417
94
148
Moscow, TN
Finish off the bag, the starter Is I think higher protein than the grower.. It should say on the label.. I will buy some starter grower for my flock and mix it in their layer, during the molt to give them a boost while growing in their new dew.
 

Backyard Barn

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 24, 2012
22
0
39
Southern California
Thanks!! Do you know if too much protein will hurt them??? I am asking because I wonder if I should not feed them tuna, egg, cheese or beef while using the chick starter.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,081
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CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Thanks!! Do you know if too much protein will hurt them??? I am asking because I wonder if I should not feed them tuna, egg, cheese or beef while using the chick starter.

I wouldn't worry that they're getting too much protein. My girls got multi-flock which is 26% mixed in with their 15% chick feed. They have beautiful feathers and the EE started laying at 16.5 weeks. My biggest concern would be the medication in the chick feed... but that's just me, I chose to go the non medicated route. You definitely don't want them on medicated feed as they approach POL.
 

A.T. Hagan

Don't Panic
12 Years
Aug 13, 2007
5,379
213
303
North/Central Florida
You could feed them starter forever if you want to. I've known several old-timers over the years never fed their birds anything but 21% chick starter and they seem to do well.

That said though it is more protein than older birds really need and it is more expensive so you can move over to grower if you want to when you've used up the rest of your starter. No need to not use the rest of it.
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
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donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,095
581
Southern Oregon
The numbers they give you on the feed sacks are guidelines. They're good to have but not absolutes. I feed a higher protein feed to all my birds--day old chicks to roosters to old hens-- and everyone does fine. I supplement with table scraps/freezer cleanings/ whatever we don't eat. some days the flock gets LOTS of protein (cleaning out some freezer burnt meat, or post-fishing trips), some days lots of veggies (salsa canning days), fruits (applesauce canning days), grains (great sale at the bread store), etc. I vary their diet as much as possible and let them self-regulate the commercial feed to balance things out. Always, always go by what your birds are telling you! Active, glossy birds mean you're doing something right!
 

Backyard Barn

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 24, 2012
22
0
39
Southern California
Thank you everyone!! I appreciate the replies. I am glad the extra protein won't hurt them! They are so darn cute!! I love my chickens even when they chase our rabbits, dogs and cats across the backyard.
 

Backyard Barn

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 24, 2012
22
0
39
Southern California
Rachel BB

Home from round 2 of 4 of consolidation chemo. No nausea, no mouth sores. Just tired tired tired! Thank You Lord for all the blessings you've shown my family during this time, and thank You for Southern Baptist ladies who love to cook for sick folks!

Please donate blood! I feel I'm single handedly depleting the entire Red Cross
I'm so very sorry you are not feeling well!! Please know Rachel I will be sending healing thought and prayers to you for a speedy recovery and for your family for strength while you are healing.
 

MANNA-PRO

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