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#75307 - 10/25/05 08:23 AM when to stop starter/grower in bantams
Nolte Offline
Bantam

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 51
Loc: Minnesota
I have 12 week old bantams. I was going to keep them on starter/grower until 20 weeks, but then read someplace that bantams mature earlier than standard breeds. When should I switch them to layer and start giving oyster-shell/calcium?

Thanks!

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#75308 - 10/25/05 08:43 AM Re: when to stop starter/grower in bantams
Garden Chick Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 447
Loc: Minnesota
Fellow Minnesotan: What I understand is to start layer ration when they start laying. I believe you can give them calcium anytime, even if not laying, it's good for their bones, and double duties as grit.

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#75309 - 10/25/05 08:50 AM Re: when to stop starter/grower in bantams
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Whoops, Oyster shell is not a substitute for grit, in fact the gizzard needs grit to grind it into useful calcium, as well as utilizing grains. Suggest waiting until they are laying to offer it--they will eat it only if they need it. And yes, Start and Grow should be continued until after most start laying--but you actually do not EVER have to change and feed them anything else, if you don't want to.
CJR

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#75310 - 10/25/05 08:50 AM Re: when to stop starter/grower in bantams
Nolte Offline
Bantam

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 51
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks much. Nice to see someone from Minnesota here, I'm in the southern part of the state near Austin and Rochester.

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#75311 - 10/25/05 08:57 AM Re: when to stop starter/grower in bantams
Garden Chick Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 447
Loc: Minnesota
I guess the calcium I get is like gravel, not oyster shell, of course I can't think exactly what it's called, calcium something-ate. I also offer actual grit.

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#75312 - 10/25/05 09:08 AM Re: when to stop starter/grower in bantams
Nolte Offline
Bantam

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 51
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks...I do give them grit already. You guys are such great help!

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#75313 - 10/25/05 09:11 AM Re: when to stop starter/grower in bantams
Mini Tree Offline
Chicken

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 95
Loc: Maine
Speaking of grit -- is it something that should be bought at the store, or can one just scoop up some sand & gravel and offer it to chickens?

Our local feed store only carries grit for chicks. Is chick grit too small for adults? It seems a little silly to buy rocks. I guess if I knew the ideal grit type and consistency, I would go find some outdoors and bring it inside for them.

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#75314 - 10/25/05 09:21 AM Re: when to stop starter/grower in bantams
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Your sand and gravel may work just fine. The best grit is Granite rock, the hardest and lasts the longest in the gizzard. Chick grit would work, but one of the larger sizes is better. Meantime, your own wee gravel stones will doubtless work just fine. Your feed store can get you a sack of larger grit--and it lasts quite a long time for most flocks. Sand stone and other softer rocks are not as efficient, but will work, just need to be replaced often, as they wear down very quickly. CJR

Scrape up a little pile of bitsy stones and put them in a corner of your coop and see how fast they disappear.

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#75315 - 10/25/05 10:38 AM Re: when to stop starter/grower in bantams
Mini Tree Offline
Chicken

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 95
Loc: Maine
Thanks CJR!

My girls were part-time free-range over the summer, but now they are buttoned down in their winter quarters. I will scoop up some rocks/sand from various places and bring it in for them.

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#75316 - 10/25/05 02:06 PM Re: when to stop starter/grower in bantams
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
It might be better not to give a continuous mix of feed with sand. Chick Starter already has finest grit at the right ratio to process the Starter Feed. When grains are fed, then the baby grit or sand should be added, better still, is to offer it free choice--let them choose it when they instinctivly need it. The gizzard will hold only the right amount, and the excess of sand moving continuously through, could irritate the intestines and interfere with absorbtion of nutrients. I like the commercial grinds,(some is for large fowl and is too large for Bantams), and comes in a medium grind for bantams or fine, for chicks. It is clean, uniform in size and is very efficient to process their feed, and can be fed in its own hopper. It will go faster at times, the chickens eat it only as needed. CJR

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