Chicks on a high protein diet...?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Want Less, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Want Less

    Want Less Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2010
    New Bern, NC
    I have five chicks (3 Jersey Giants and 2 Ameraucanas) that are almost 10 weeks old. Just today I realized that the 50lb bag of chick starter that is nearly empty (meaning thats how much these five chicks have eaten) is actually 24% chick starter for turkey, quail, pheasant, etc.

    Ok, I should have noticed it way before now but its from a feed store we dont really buy from much (TSC) and it has CHICK STARTER on it huge, so I see how I made the mistake. Every other round of chicks we have raised in previous years has been done so on chick starter from another source.

    My question is, since regular chick starter is 20% protein, and they have basically been eating 24% on accident since day 1, is there any harm done? They have grown out beautifully and are big birds (especially the Jerseys of course). They act fine, look great.

  2. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2012
    The protein will make them have good strong feathers and muscles. It shouldn't hurt them. Lots of people people feed their meat bird chicks turkey starter (containing high protein).
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    I feed all of my chicks gamebird feed (22 or 24% protein, I'd have to check the label). Its easier for me when I have broodies, since all of the laying girls seem to think the babies food tastes better. I've never had an issue (unless big, beautiful chicks with gorgeous feathers are a problem :D ).
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Same Same. If the the Game Bird or Turkey/Flock starter is better priced, it goes into my truck. Sometimes chick starter is so over priced that it is a no brainer to feed the GameBird or Turkey. No way 24% protein is an issue, that I've ever noticed.

    At 12 weeks, I'd probably cut back on the protein, but it depends on the makeup of your chicks. I seriously doubt with your breeds you need to make a change. With sex-links, we've found that 16% Grower from week 12 to 18 stalls the Point of Lay, which is a good thing. It allows their bodies to mature before starting to crank out eggs. With large framed, more heritage fowl, this isn't a concern, as they mature more slowly.
  5. SamanthaBrooke

    SamanthaBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2011
    Jefferson, GA
    Mine eat Purina Show Chow TURKEY STARTER, they are all bantams. It is 30% protein
    My reasons for feeding this is because my chickens will be fore breeding/showing so the extra protein will be really good for their plumage and fertile egg production. At 10 weeks old I will slowly transition them onto the Show Chow Broiler Complete which is 26% Protein
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  6. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 25, 2008
    Northern KY
    ^ What they said. They'll be fine. Have no worries. I'd switch them down to about an 18% at this point.

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