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feed question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Ema, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. Ema

    Ema Songster

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    I kept my 21 red sex links on medicated chick starter until they were 6 weeks old (last week) I then picked up a bag of chick grower (16%) and I am currently slowly adding it to the remainder of the chick starter I have left, in a couple days they should be only eating grower. I visited a friend last night and she told me I bought the wrong feed, that it should be 18% and I should be feeding my chickcs chicken scratch. I searched on here and there is so much debate over chicken scratch, and I can't find much or I am not looking in the right area regarding feeds. But I am almost positive that chicken scratch isn't somethign to be feeding them in this hot weather and at this young age!!?? and that 16% is the right food for the chicks. Someone reassure me or correct me please??!!

    Also are stripped sunflowers ok to fee dmy chicks? I was looking through the feed store yesterday and they just got new sacks of seeds, at a steal of a price... they are a mix of stripped sunflowers and back oil sunflowers..what do you guys think??
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I think you are doing just fine. Your friend is a little off. Scratch should be kept to a treat only. Some people think that scratch will raise the chickens body temp, I have my doubts about the veracity of this, but if it worries you do not feed it.
    The sunflower seeds are also OK. I do not know if there is a difference between striped and BOSS.
    A quick google search seems to say do not feed striped seeds to horses and they are lower in fat.

  3. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Songster

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    I kept mine on medicated chick starter/grower until I found the first egg, then I switched to 16% layer. If they're only 6-7 weeks, then I would think they should still be on chick starter. They need all the protein they can get at that age, at least that's what I think. You can switch them to grower at 12-15 weeks. Or, like I would do, when you find the first egg. Regarding the sunflower seeds, Black oil is the one you want. The seeds are smaller, softer, easier to digest, and the oil content (Which makes their feathers nice and shiny) is much higher than the harder to digest striped sunflower. Though the stripes are slightly higher in protien.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    This site gives the expert opinion. The standard progression of a laying flock is to feed Starter for the first 6 weeks, Grower from 6 to 20 weeks or first egg, then Layer. This progression is if these feeds are all they are eating, but it is a good base even if you do feed other things.

    Oregon State - Feeding Chickens

    After they initially feather out, which is around 5 weeks, they do not need a high protein feed. They develop at a good pace to develop into good egg layers if they are fed a feed around 16% protein. At 14 weeks you can switch to a 15% Developer if you can find it. You want their body to grow, their internal organs to develop, and their behaviors to mature at a steady pace. It does not help them properly develop if they gunk up their insides with gobs of fat. I've processed young pullets and it is amazing how much fat can develop on their gizzard, heart, liver, and especially in the vent area. And I was only feeding 18%, not the 22% that so many people seem to love.

    If you are growing meat birds, not a laying flock, this discussion does not apply. For meat birds, you want them to grow fast and you are not worried about long term effects.

    Good luck!
  5. Ema

    Ema Songster

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    thank you so much for all the advice. Definitely helps me out big time. The ranch I get my feed from I can get what ever I need or want, if they don't have it in stock they will order it, that is what is good about them. My friend got egg layers too just liek I did but she is mixed between keeping them or culling them in november. I did tell her it made no sense to do that because first off she got egg layers not meat birds...we got them in june and are only 7 weeks old now. I just love my chickens and can't wait till they lay their eggs, mine are keepers for sure and I want them to have the best!!

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