18% Protein?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jma6004, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. jma6004

    jma6004 Chillin' With My Peeps

    44
    0
    72
    Jan 30, 2013
    Carencro, LA
    I have ordered my 25 Cornish x. I got the first bag of feed and have everything ready. When I went to the small local feed store the owner who is always very nice and helpful said that they have had Cornish X in the past and always have fed 18% protein straight through. We discussed the 27% turkey feed and 20% starter feeds but he still suggested 18%. Everything I have read says >20%? Any thoughts? Should I not do the 12 on and 12 off? What will be estimated process time?
     
  2. SunnysMama

    SunnysMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    138
    8
    73
    Feb 13, 2013
    SE Idaho
    I also have always fed mine 18% protein except for the first bag of starter which is 20%. I do ferment though and feed 12 on 12 off. You should still be able to process at 8 weeks even feeding 18% straight through.
     
  3. msulaimain

    msulaimain Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Aug 16, 2011
    North Carolina
    I am thinking about starting my cornish rock chicks with the chick starter (20 percent protein or so) but was also recommended that I could use scratch feed, which is cheaper and contains 18 percent protein, to finish my chickens off.

    Will the cornish rock chickens eat scratch feed after their first bag of chick starter finishes off? Will I be able to process them at eight weeks?

    Any advice on the issue would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  4. SunnysMama

    SunnysMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    138
    8
    73
    Feb 13, 2013
    SE Idaho
    I personally would keep them on some sort of commercial ration just for the vitamins. Scratch grains are okay to add in though to help cut the cost down but I wouldn't feed them just scratch grains. This is my personal opinion so hopefully someone else will chime in.
     
  5. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,650
    188
    186
    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    I haven't raised CornishX in years but my buddy does it every year or 2. He feeds a scratch mix from his local feed store, he butchers on time and has birds the size they should be. His explanation for this is these birds are selectively bred to have the genetics to grow fast, it doesn't matter what they eat they are still going to grow fast. There may be some truth in feeding a better feed in order to have healthier birds and better vitamins etc but my friend hasn't had trouble feeding regular scratch.
     
  6. msulaimain

    msulaimain Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Aug 16, 2011
    North Carolina
    This is my first time raising Cornish Rock chickens and I really want to make it as economical as can be, since feed prices around my area are pretty darn high.

    Should I just feed them scratch feed after they finish the first bag of chick starter (which is really expensive as well)?
     
  7. jecombs

    jecombs Out Of The Brooder

    92
    2
    43
    Jan 31, 2011
    Interesting, because my feed store suggested I feel the Cx 24% for the first 2 weeks and then switch to 20%. Personally, I would not feed them scratch. Scratch is a treat, even for egg layers because it is not very nutritious. The chicks can't grow on thin air and I believe they need the protein and the balance of nutrients and electrolytes in commercial feed. I would not want to risk my birds having health issues and dying before slaughter because then I would lose what I have invested in them.
     
  8. msulaimain

    msulaimain Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Aug 16, 2011
    North Carolina
    Could I mix a bag of scratch with a bag of commercial feed you think... from what I have heard and what my local feed store said, nothing really harmful results from feeding scratch as a grower/finisher. It has 18% percent protein, which is only two percent below the recommended, which is even better I believe since Cornish Rock chickens grow so fast. Would it not be better for them? I need some more feedback before I actually try this.

    More people should reply so that I can get a better picture in my head about this issue.

    Thanks.
     
  9. pbjls

    pbjls Chillin' With My Peeps

    193
    24
    83
    Mar 11, 2013
    I have raised several thousand on pasture over the last 5 years. I would use the starter untill they leave the brooder. then switch to the 18% grower untill butcher. they do need a complete ration to develop properly. without it you risk lower weights, leg issues, and heart and liver problems.
     
  10. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,650
    188
    186
    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    I believe the feed mills have an interest in selling feed. Not to say that the commercial feed won't speed up the process some or possibly have healthier birds, but there are plenty of people experimenting with other feeds and fermented feeds and don't have major issues. When we did meat birds some years back we lost some birds even on the commercial feed, 1 just died probably from bad heart the other 2 we killed early because they couldn't walk. I also believe people raised chickens for thousands of years before there was such a thing as commercial feed. When I do meat birds again I want to try a fermented feed and free ranging if they will free range, some have problems with the birds being either too dumb or too lazy to hunt their own food, then again I may go with a slower growing breed as well
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by