Experience with soy-free?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by PotterWatch, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    5,470
    25
    288
    Apr 22, 2008
    Virginia
    Just wondering if anyone has experience growing cornish cross on soy-free food. We have a batch of 40 that a customer ordered and is currently eating soy-free food from Modesto Milling. It is a starter/grower that is 22% protein.

    This is the ingredient list: organic corn, organic sesame meal, organic peas, limestone, Redmond Conditioner (clay), diatomaceous earth, kelp meal, Redmond Sea Salt, monocalcium phosphate, DL methionine, poultry vitamin & mineral premix, dried aspergillus niger fermentation product, organic garlic, organic horseradish, organic anise oil, organic juniper berry.

    Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein min 22%, crude fat min 7.0, crude fiber max 4.9, ash max 7.7%



    We have another 35 birds that are on our regular organic starter/grower also from Modesto Milling and also 22% protien.

    This is the ingredient list for the regular feed: organic Corn, organic soybean meal, limestone, monocalcium phosphate, organic kelp meal, diatomaceous earth, Redmond conditioner (clay), Redmond salt, DL methionine, poultry vitamin & mineral premix, organic garlic, organic horseradish, organic anise oil, organic juniper berry

    Guaranteed analysis: Crude protein min 22%, crude fat min 4.2%, crude fiber max 4.4%, ash max 9.1%


    The birds on the soy-free are noticeably smaller than the others. They are all from the same hatch and are almost three weeks old. I'm assuming that all we can do is keep them a little longer and process them later to get the same size bird. Why do you suppose there is such a difference between the two when the protein content (as far as percentage), is the same? Is there anything we could add to up their growth that would stay within the soy-free guidelines?
     
  2. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,194
    28
    211
    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I ran a batch of 50 on a soy-free ration last year. They were much slower growing than their soy fed counterparts. I bought 800 pounds of feed and planned to processs when it was gone. Right at the 8 week mark the feed was gone. Birds averaged under 3 pounds dressed. Needless to say, I have not tried it again. My guess on why they are smaller w/ the same level protein in the non soy is not as easily digestable. Have you noticed there is hardly any smell to the soy frees dropping? I noticed that and they don't drink as much water. I had the mill add some fish meal to my feed, and I could taste the "fishiness" in the skin. I will say this batch was the most active CX's I have ever raised. They were always on the go.

    Goodluck! Hope you charged enough/pound to make something off them.
     
  3. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    5,470
    25
    288
    Apr 22, 2008
    Virginia
    We will definitely still make money off of them. We told the customer that it would be our normal price per pound plus whatever the extra feed cost ends up being. Hopefully it won't be too much more for them, but we will see I guess.
     
  4. wholehearted

    wholehearted Chillin' With My Peeps

    174
    14
    121
    Feb 26, 2011
    Ohio
    Not Cornish, but we are raising Freedom Rangers on soy-free feed from Hiland Naturals. We did have to start them on soy-based chick starter (21%) because we couldn't get starter in soy-free initially. After one bag of that, we put them on soy-free grower (19%). We have been pleased with their growth though we were warned by many that it would be slower than the norm due to being soy-free. It seems to exceed most of the growth in the freedom ranger grow-out journals from those using regular feed. I have read of some people on Modesto Milling have leg issues and/or slow growth. Hiland seems to use a more diverse blend of ingredients than some of the other soy-free feeds...I'm not sure if that makes any difference. For example, the first ingredients in our grower are: corn, oats, wheat, sunflower seed, flax, barley, peas, alfalfa meal, fish meal, oyster shells...and then on to the vitamin supplements (they use Agri-Dynamics).

    We butchered three of them this past weekend at 7 1/2 weeks. They were all 5+ lbs live weight and 4+ dressed, which seemed good since that is a bit early for butchering Rangers.

    Always interested in these threads since we are trying to learn all we can about soy-free experiences and results.
     
  5. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    5,470
    25
    288
    Apr 22, 2008
    Virginia
    What age did you switch them to the soy-free food?

    We have had great results with the other birds we have grown on Modesto's feed. No complaints there as our last batch had a few birds that were almost 7lbs dressed at 8wks. I'm still hoping to find something we can add to the feed to get their growth rate up. [​IMG]
     
  6. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    1,929
    29
    183
    Apr 18, 2010
    Mid-MI
    I'm probably way out on this, but I wonder if the it's because the soy is much higher calorie and protein than the corn/sesame meal. The soy (44% protein) would need to be cut in order to get to 22% protein of course, but it's much more calorie dense still than corn or sesame meal (based on what I can google quickly, oz per oz breakdowns).

    I wonder if there is a way to determine kcal per pound or whatnot for the feed, even though the non-soy feed is higher fat, I wonder if the soy feed still tops in kcal. Even if they match other nutritional values, if the kcal count is higher, then more calories = more weight [​IMG]

    I'm one of those one the fence/ neutral people on soy - I personally can't eat too much of it, but it is a high protein, high nutrient feed, and good for crop rotation (for nitrogen fixing).

    Just a thought [​IMG]
     
  7. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    We just found started using soy free feed. So this meaty batch will be 1/2 regular and 1/2 soy free. Our next batch will be all soy free. I'll let you know. the results. We're processing the 27th of this month at 53 days old.
     
  8. soap&eggs

    soap&eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    220
    2
    101
    Jul 22, 2010
    how you dont mind me asking..but why soy free ? do you feed them anything other then their regular feeds ? i get day old bakery breads that i give some each day, along with any table scraps, cracked corn, cooked apples, any extra eggs i boil up & feed back to them....basically anything possible to keep feed costs down......have noticed the less of the reg. commerial grower feeds given mine dont get that fat bloaded look, and drink less water, but...taste is really good and under skin amt of fat is more yellow then pale.
     
  9. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    5,470
    25
    288
    Apr 22, 2008
    Virginia
    We are doing soy free because that is what our customer wants. You can read more about why some people are choosing to avoid soy here . We don't supplement our birds other than putting them on pasture simply because we raise so many of them and everything would have to be organic (or soy-free for the soy-free batches), and I'm not certain it would be cost-effective or worth my time. If we were only doing small batches for our own use, I probably would toss in any scraps or extras I have around.

    Booker, that is an interesting question. I'll have to try to find that out.
     
  10. ChickenAlgebra

    ChickenAlgebra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    Never tried soy-free, can't say I have seen it even. But the link from Potter, the first 2 issues are stunted growth, yet people here are saying soy-free chicks grow slower, however maybe more balanced.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by