Commercial vs. Organic Feed and Chick Growth Rate

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MissChris, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. MissChris

    MissChris Out Of The Brooder

    14
    2
    24
    Nov 14, 2012
    I have some chicks that I'm raising on organic feed from day three. They seem to be growing at a slower rate than the first group I had last year that were on commercial feed (I got the first group at 6 weeks, and couldn't find organic feed for the first two months I had them, so they were basically raised on commercial feed.) My question is has anyone else raised chicks on organic feed and noticed a slower growth rate as compared to those raised on commercial feed? I'm thinking it may be due to the things that are added to commercial feed and not found in organic, such as growth enhancers/hormones/medications etc. Or perhaps the fact that it's winter and the chicks are still inside in a large brooder and not outside getting sunshine right now is contributing to the difference in growth rate? Any thoughts or past experiences/observations? Thanks in advance for your comments!
     
  2. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    11,005
    445
    328
    Jun 1, 2009
    Ohio

    Quote: There are no, Growth Enhancers, or Hormones in commercial feed. As for medications, if the feed is medicated it is most likely either a Coccidiostat prevent coccidiosis or BMD which prevents Necrotic ecteritis.
    There can be a number of reasons that your birds ain't growing as fast,
    Quality of feed,
    If it has a coccidiostat or not,
    if it has a medication to prevent Necrotic ecteritis or not,
    Protein amount in the feed,
    Type of Protein in the feed,
    Type of vitamins in the feed,
    Quality of vitamins in the feed,
    Breed of fowl,
    Quality of fowl,
    Environment,
    The list can go on.

    What was the feed that you were feeding and what is the feed that you are feeding now?

    Chris
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. MissChris

    MissChris Out Of The Brooder

    14
    2
    24
    Nov 14, 2012
    Thanks, Chris, for your comments. Previously, I fed crumbles from Tractor Supply. Currently, I'm feeding a mix from Nature's Way, which is USDA Organic (28% crude protein, 4% crude fat.) It's not processed into crumbles, but is ground a bit for the younger birds. I've been doing some other reading, and it could be that my chicks are picking out their favorite parts and therefore not getting all the ingredients ingested and losing out on a bit of nutrition that way. I've read about others making a mash, so their girls don't get to pick and choose quite so much, and I think I'll give that a try. I want them to get ALL the goodness that is in this feed!
     
  4. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    3,479
    50
    246
    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    It's most likely environmental factors. Short days means less feed consumed. The same goes for warm temperatures. If this flock is still being kept warm in a brooder versus the last flock that may have have had brooder lamps turned off earlier then that may account for the reduced consumption.
     
  5. MissChris

    MissChris Out Of The Brooder

    14
    2
    24
    Nov 14, 2012
    Thanks, Mac. I think you're probably right about environmental factors having an impact. I did give them a mash yesterday, and they ate it all up without being able to pick and choose tasty morsels. That can only help, but I'm looking forward to being able to get them out to the coop. Fresh air and sunshine can only help! The first group I had were not inside at all from the day I brought them home. I got them at six weeks and it was late spring, so they reaped the benefits of being outside as the days were getting longer moving towards summer. This is my first time with raising chicks in winter. This is definitely a learning experience!
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    3,479
    50
    246
    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Yes, it's most likely the temperature then. Ambient temperature has a huge impact on feed consumption. If the previous batch was running around in spring temperatures without any supplemental heat then they were definitely eating a lot more than if they were kept in a brooder with supplemental heat.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by