Feeding Meat Birds Layer Feed - Supplements?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by IndianaHomestea, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. IndianaHomestea

    IndianaHomestea In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2012
    New Palestine, Indiana
    Hey everyone, I currently have 25 meat birds that are about 8 weeks old. I FINALLY found some organic feed close to home, but they only have layer feed.

    Here is the nutrition label: http://www.naturesgrownorganics.com/files/pdf/Layer/organiclayer16.pdf

    I know you can feed meat birds layer feed and laying hens grower/developer and they'll be just fine, but I REALLY want to grow these chicks as fast as possible.

    However, it's also important to me that they all get organic feed, or at least mostly organic.

    I'm not very knowledgeable on the differences between grower and layer aside from the calcium and protein.

    If I feed my meat birds layer feed, do I just need to get more protein in them? If so, in what way do you recommend? And is there anything else I should be supplementing?


  2. trifecta

    trifecta Songster

    Mar 20, 2012
    Laidley, QLD, Australia
    Its definitely way lower in protein than traditional broiler feed. What type of meat birds do you have? If they're CX's, at 8 weeks they should be very close to butchering age anyway.

    I fed my meaties layer feed this time around- Orscheln's had a super sale on layer feed and it was $6 a bag cheaper. I noticed my CX;s grew a little slower, but my black broilers did fine.

    I also raise mealworms for my chickens at home. Its not organic, but at least I control what they get fed. The chickens love it and its an easy way to increase the protein.
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    They will grow slower on the layer feed, but it won't kill them. Layer should have enough calcium.

    If you want fast growth, you can feed the layer feed and a protein supplement. Soybean meal would be an easy way to go, if you feed soybean, but a lot of organic folks don't want to feed soy.

    I feed my birds cat kibble. All they need is 2-3 little kibbles per day per bird. You can get cat kibble in organic. The only thing is that I would be cautious about feeding a fish based diet to birds you intend to butcher soon. I don't know if it would flavor the meat or not, but I wouldn't risk it. I specifically want fish for my ducks, but they don't get fish if I am going to butcher them.

    Broilers get benefit from yogurt and yogurt also contains some protein (I'll have to look up how much protein.) It has good food value plus it helps with their intestinal health.

    If you grow some broilers over the summer, you can raise snow pea plants for them. That provides some decent protein, but you have a sort of small harvest window and they don't store for winter.

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