Bought 24% protein feed by mistake. Will it hurt my chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Engteacher, May 12, 2010.

  1. Engteacher

    Engteacher Poultry, Poetry, and Prose

    Sep 1, 2009
    Hastings, MN
    Okay, so should I return these two bags of chick pellets? I have 26 brand new meaties and 44 six-week old heritage breed birds. Will too much protein for a week or two hurt them?
  2. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Songster

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    Babies need a higher amount of protein to grow their muscles and feathers (as well as other tissues) so 24% for a week or two should get your chicks off to a great start! The meatbirds especially need higher protein levels to "fatten up". Make sure they have a lot of water available to help protect the kidneys from possible difficulty due to increased protein intake. I believe more is better for the entire feathering out process, but others may not agree. Either way you should be safe to feed them what you have.
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  3. Engteacher

    Engteacher Poultry, Poetry, and Prose

    Sep 1, 2009
    Hastings, MN
    Thanks! I'm glad for your advice and will be sure they have plenty of water.
  4. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Quote:You said pellets? Chicks need crumbles, not pellets. Pellets are way to large for them to eat. Check the ingredients for the amount of calcium also. The protein amount is fine, but I would worry about the ingredients. What brand and what name is this feed?
  5. Engteacher

    Engteacher Poultry, Poetry, and Prose

    Sep 1, 2009
    Hastings, MN
    Sorry. I meant to say crumbles. It's Purina brand. I just wasn't paying attention when I lugged two #40 bags into my car. It's definitely for chicks - pheasant, chukkars, turkeys, etc.
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  6. OmaBird

    OmaBird Songster

    May 10, 2010
    CA High Desert
    It will be fine. I raise my chicks with my turkeys that eat 30% protein. They are all healthy. I have done it this way for years.
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  7. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    Just keep an eye on those meaties. They typically do not do well on high protein feed due to their fast growth rate. The heritage birds will do fine with it for a couple weeks.
  8. fastpat

    fastpat Songster

    I fed my chicks 24% for about three weeks with no apparent ill effects, except to my wallet. 24% costs more. I went to 19% now, they seem to be eating more now, though they are getting bigger almost everyday, so that could explain the higher consumption.
  9. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Mine are eating 28% gamebird starter because they're in with a bunch of turkey poults. Everybody is thriving.

    In a few more weeks they'll all go to a lower protein feed.
  10. laughaha

    laughaha Songster

    May 5, 2010
    They should do great. My suggestion would be to make the meaties run around. Separate the food and water as much as you can to force them to leave the food dish (at least for a little while). Once they get outside, the farther away the food and water dishes are the better.

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