Fed chicks the wrong feed!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by foxtails, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. foxtails

    foxtails New Egg

    Jul 7, 2016
    I have 11 chicks I'm raising for layers and 16 Cornish Giants for meat. They are all 3 weeks old. I was told to switch my meat birds to grower at 3 weeks and leave to others on starter till 8 weeks. So I bought another bag of starter and a bag of grower. I then realized I they have all been eating 16% grower from day 1! I was sure I had read the label and it was the right one. I have now given the layers the starter and not sure what to do with the broilers. I'm am worried that having fed them the wrong feed from the start will harm them.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You have not harmed them. People get so worried about feeding them and it’s pretty much worry for nothing. The only rule is do not feed Layer with its high percent calcium to growing chicks. Just about anything else goes. Depending on your goals there are some feeds better than others for certain chicks at certain ages, but that does not mean you have harmed them if you don’t feed the exact absolute best.

    For example, for chicks that will become a laying flock some Starters with about 20% protein content say to feed it for 4 weeks, then switch to a 16% Grower. Other Starters say to switch at 8 weeks. The reality is switch when the bag of feed runs out any time after 4 weeks. Or continue feeding that Starter longer if you wish. Some people feed their chicks a 20% protein Starter/Grower combination forever, even after they start to lay. They just offer oyster shell on the side to take care of the calcium they need for egg shells.

    Feeding a 16% Grower instead of a 20% Starter just means they don’t feather out and grow quite as fast at the start. They will still feather out and grow on a 16% Grower from the first.

    I’m not exactly sure what a Cornish Giant is, I’m pretty sure it is a marketing name for the Cornish Cross. The general recommendation is to start them off at a high protein content and keep them at a fairly high content. By feeding them a 16% Grower for the first three weeks they will start off with weight gain slower. I don’t know what percent protein your Starter is, that information should be on the label, but if it is around 19% to 20% use it. Their final butcher weight may be a bit lower than it would have been if you had started them off with a higher protein feed, but it will still be impressive. You have not harmed them.

    You don’t say where you are so I’m not sure what berries are in season, but go grab a bowl of vanilla ice cream and put strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries on it, whatever is in season and chill. Relax. You have not harmed them.
    3 people like this.
  3. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join us here! You have some excellent advice from Ridgerunner so please do try not to worry. Wishing you the very best of luck with your chicks in the future and enjoy them!

    Enjoy your time here on BYC and all the chicken chat :frow
  4. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

    Apr 11, 2010

    You're good! I am one that doesn't go by what the supposedly norm is. I've had chickens for years now..they do great. Yours will too.
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] You got great advice from Ridgerunner. Don't worry and enjoy your flock!
  6. foxtails

    foxtails New Egg

    Jul 7, 2016
    Thanks for the advice, I am not worried now. The starter is 20% protein. I have given that to the layers and a mix of grower and starter to the meat chickens this morning. I thought I might give them the mix for a week or so.
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Have to agree with Ridgerunner - at least for me - ice cream is the best way to kick back and enjoy life.
  8. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

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