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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by an123, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. an123

    an123 New Egg

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    Mar 27, 2017
    I've been feeding my baby chickens Dumor Poultry 24% starter. They are only a week old. Will this hurt them? I noticed they should be eating the starter/grower. [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    24% won't hurt chicks the first week or two because that is when they need protein for growth. I'd cut back after that.
    I sometimes feed 22% for the first 2 or 3 weeks.
    For chickens, in my book, ideally I shoot for 20% till about 6-8 weeks. Then 18% till about 15 weeks when if possible I cut back to 15% till laying is about to commence. For boys, I stay at 15% unless they're molting.

    All that said, it's hard to screw this up unless one starts feeding too much calcium when birds aren't building shells.
    You can actually use 18% protein all the way through the growth period. But they can utilize more protein early and not as much when they are nearly grown.
    Excessive protein is a waste and is discarded in the feces which becomes ammonia in the bedding. It is also hard on the liver. No need to feed more than necessary.
    Mature roosters do quite well on about 13-14% protein. Trouble is, that type of feed isn't commercially available.
    Purina makes a game bird maintenance feed that is 12.5%. Grains are around 8-12% so feeding a little more of that to adult males can cut the protein in the available feed.
     
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  3. an123

    an123 New Egg

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    Mar 27, 2017
    I notice the chicks peck at the pine shavings. Should I sprinkle some feed into the shavings or not?
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Nov 23, 2010
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    I wouldn't. Chicks will peck at whatever is at their feet. At a week of age, they can find the feed in the feeder.
    The first 2 days, I have them on paper towels with feed sprinkled on the floor and a feeder. But once they start using the feeder, I then use shavings and feeders.
    I don't recommend it and never heard of it before but a person I know uses feed as the bedding. She says it works fine. They can eat the feed or their feces.
     

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