Chick Starter Question!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Frizzlett98, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, I'm getting back into chickens after 3 years of not having them (So excited!). I just went to Tractor Supply today and picked up some of my essentials and walked out with 50lbs of DuMor chick starter 24%. I looked back and forth between the 20% and 24% and, for some reason, decided on the 24%. I didn't read the bag because I thought, "I've done this before, and back then they only carried one kind - the 20%. So maybe the 24% is better?" I never had a choice before. I was clueless about the difference between them. Now after a little bit of research I've found that the 24% is really just meant for game birds/ meat birds. I'm getting Cochin bantams so I really don't need the 24% but I don't want to have to drag 50lbs of feed (50 was all they had) alllllllllllll the way back to TS and switch. We don't live close to it. I haven't been able to find a clear answer as to if it's bad for them, just a bunch of "Meat birds need higher protein to grow faster." or just that it's "intended for game birds". I've still got another week before I get the chicks, so I will gladly exchange if needed. This is the first time I've ever come across 24% chick starter. I already know about all the other protein levels in grower, layer, etc., and when to give it to them, so I don't need to hear it again. Please refrain from commenting all of that, because as I've said, I've done this before. [​IMG] All I need to know is if the higher protein will cause any negative effects on them. I've read a few possible side effects but I couldn't find any specific answers. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don’t think so. I don’t have bantams, I have full sized chickens instead. When I raise turkeys with them I use the 24% and the chicken chicks do fine. There are several people on here that use the 24% for chickens all the time, not just as a starter, but I do think that’s a lot of protein.

    One risk of too much protein is that they can get avian gout. But the studies I’ve read about that talk about 30% protein levels, not 24%.

    If you are really worried about it, mix a low protein feed in with it to get the percent protein down, but I really don’t think you will have a problem. It’s just not that precise a science for backyard birds. There is a pretty big range that works. When a broody hen raises chicks, if she gets a grasshopper for them, they get a protein boost. If she misses that grasshopper, they get less.
     
  3. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very helpful! Thanks!
     
  4. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How many chicks are you getting? 50lbs is a lot of feed for chicks. The more important in my opinion is the feed going stale before it's used up. I only buy enough feed to use within 4 months of date on bottom of bag. The water soluble vitamins lose their potency and the oily vitamins in the feed can go rancid. GC
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  5. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm getting 8-10 chicks. I didn't want to get 50lbs but it was all they had.
     
  6. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah I would bring it back and get a 20 - 25 pound bag of start & grow, 18 to 20% protein. Check date on bottom of bag. This time of year, many bags of starter have been sitting on shelves. GC
     
  7. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Maybe exchange it for an all floock/flock raiser and then you can just stick to one thing going forward offering oyster shell when the reach POL?

    Gary
     
  8. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used to use flock raiser since I had hens, roosters, chicks, and ducks. My adult chickens got really fat and the chicks did worse on flock raiser. My Tractor Supply only had 50lb bags of 20%and 24% chick starter. The only other feed they had was for layers. I'm going back in a week and I'll see if they have more options. If not, I'll have to stick with what I've got. All the other feed stores I've been to nearby only have feed for layers or adult birds in general. Nothing I need at the moment.
     

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