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Bought Wrong Feed... Have Question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TheBarnSwallow, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. TheBarnSwallow

    TheBarnSwallow [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Lit

    My chicks are 6 weeks old and ready to switch them over from starter to grower.... Friday I went and picked up a bag of Chicken feed from my coop since I needed horse feed.... I realized last night that the bag of feed I got was for LAYERS [​IMG] ... my girls arent expected to be laying for another 12 weeks...I havent gave them the layer feed yet because I still had enough starter to feed them dinner but its breakfast time since the COOP is closed today and I wont be heading up town for chuch until later...

    Will it be safe to give them my game bird feed? for a one time deal until I can hit Atwoods after church for the right bag of chicken feed?.... Your wisdom will be appreciated.

    Also if its no big deal to give them the game bird feed... is it possible to just keep them on that until they are ready for layer feed? Just trying to weigh my options while I still am mulling over the whole making my own feed idea( a post question I did the other day)
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2009



    Jun 11, 2009
    [​IMG] All I feed mine is gamebird feed; the medicated starter until they are about 6 months old and then on to the gamebird conditioner feed; I get mine at the co-op, too.

    The higher percentage of protein seems to benenfit them in a lot of ways...I read somewhere here on BYC where someone was responding to a similar question as yours. This person had actually been a judge for many years at various poultry shows. He had noticed some of what he considered the best conditioned chickens he had ever seen, and asked what their diet consisited of...gamebird feed, instead of regular chicken feed. He started feeding it to his own flock, and noticed a big difference right away. That is all that he feeds right now. After reading that, I thought to myself, if it works for someone that judges poultry, why not for me? [​IMG]

    I don't think you can go wrong with the gamebird feed; of course, at their age right now, they should still be on the starter, though, and medicated if it is available.
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    The only problem I can see with keeping pullets on gamebird feed is that the high protein level "pushes" the birds to sexual maturity and egg laying. That may come before they reach a good size as a healthy layer of larger eggs. Pullet "finisher" feed is actually lower protein than chick starter by quite a bit. Commercial outfits will use lighting as well to control the onset of laying - delaying the pullets until they are of adequate size.

    Of course, that high protein diet can be diluted with all sorts of other foods that your birds will enjoy having [​IMG].

    . . . my 2¢.

  4. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    It won't make any difference if you feed them the layer feed. Go ahead and give it to them. Won't really make any difference though you will hear all sorts of people tell you it does.
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Here are some of those "all sorts of people" that say feeding layer feed to juvenile birds "makes a difference" - the veterinarians at DeKalb Poultry.

    DeKalb is owned by Hendrix Genetics, a huge international corporation. They also own the ISA, Shaver, Hisex and other lines of poultry.

    “Urolithiasis is a disease of chickens resulting from kidney tissue damage at the cellular level, the nephron. This damage eventually may lead to uremia, visceral gout, and death after enough time has elapsed and more nephrons are lost. . . once kidney insult occurs, the mortality from urolithiasis usually continues for life. . . Kidney cells are not regenerated once they are lost.”

    DeKalb recounts specific management mistakes that have led to kidney damage in pullets:

    1 - feeding left over lay ration from previous flock (doubled expected mortality throughout life of flock)
    2 - feeding low levels of phosphorus (increased mortality rate)
    3 - feeding layer ration too early (under 15 weeks of age)
    4 - using a large particle calcium source for pullets

  6. SC_Hugh

    SC_Hugh Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Your birds are too young, switch them back to grower as soon as you can. Calcium in layer feed is too much for them. Personal opinion is not professional opinion...all books, feed manufactures, etc. say to wait until 18-20 weeks to feed layer ration.

    Mine are 20 weeks now and I just switched them to 50/50 grower/layer.

  7. TheBarnSwallow

    TheBarnSwallow [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Lit

    Yea I realized that the bag I bought for the game birds(turkeys duck and geese) was wrong too.. ARG all this different feed labels with different brands are quite confusing for a newbie... we went ahead and picked up a bag of Starter/ Grower for our game birds(gamebird feed) and 2 more bags of chick starter....

    Thank you all for the help on this inquiry I had

  8. CoopmasterK

    CoopmasterK Chirping

    Oct 17, 2009
    Rehoboth Beach, DE.
    I am considering switching to gamebird feed for my girls. I just checked out the TSC website and the protein content of the gamebird conditioner is about the same as the protein content in the layer crumbles I'm feeding now. I was hoping for a higher protein content as my girls are about to start laying and we're going into cold weather. Any suggestions? I have access to Southern States and Tractor Supply.
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Depends on the game bird feed. If it's grower (Purina calls theirs Flight Conditioner), that would be fine. Starter at 28% or highe is too high in protein for chickens. If it's about 24% or less, that's fine. If game bird layer, it has less calcium than regular layer, usually.
  10. flowerchicks

    flowerchicks Songster

    Aug 18, 2009
    n. california
    Ok, now I am all worried. I have been feeding my chickens what I thought was grower feed since they were about 6 weeks old. We got it at the feed store and bought it by the pound, so I had no idea what brand, or what it really was for that matter. Today, we went to get more, and the guy said it would be cheaper to buy the 50 lb bag, since it's the same thing. We did, but it isn't grower feed, it's LAYER feed. Have I messed up my babies?? Should I stop feeding them that or is grower and layer the same thing? I am soooo confused [​IMG]

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