feeding my wk old chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by simplecountrygirl, May 9, 2011.

  1. simplecountrygirl

    simplecountrygirl New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 9, 2011
    I have wk old chicks. I have some broilers and some pullets. I started them on Purina Start and Grow a week ago. I am now going to put them all on Purina Flock Raiser. Is this ok? I have been told also to limit feeding times for the broilers. Is this necessary? They are all housed together and would like to continue to keep them all together if possible. Any advise on feeding my little flock would be great. I also have one rooster and 7 layers which all eat Purina Layena and are free range part of the day. I try and keep them confined until all have laid each day. I also need to try and keep them all out of my gardens. Again, any help would be wonderful. Thanks ahead of time.
     
  2. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    1,498
    15
    163
    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    First [​IMG]

    I would separate the broilers from the others because they do need feed restrictions. They grow muck faster than other chicks. I am not very familiar with start and grow but I feed my chicks 18-20% unmedicated chick starter for 14-16 weeks then stitch to 16% Layer crumbles and at 20 weeks I start switching them to 16% Layer pellets. For the broilers I feed my Cornish X 20% medicated chick starter due to rapid growth for 2 weeks then I switch to 16% layer crumbles at 4 weeks then I switch them to Pellets at 6 weeks. I restrict the food at about 10 days old to having food from 8am to 8pm. They do drink a lot of water and I would recommend an automatic waterer. Good luck and have fun! Keep us posted!

    Nate
     
  3. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

    4,063
    105
    260
    Apr 7, 2011
    SE Wis
    I'd separate the broilers too. Not only do you need to limit their feed intake, but they have different feed requirements also. For feed, start chicks on a 18-20% protein for pullets, 22-24% protein for broilers, starter ration.
    Why would you switch from Start & Grow to Flock Raiser? Start & Grow is what your week old pullets should be on. You could maybe give the Flock Raiser to the meaties.
    Good links for beginners:
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/backyard-chickens/chicken-care/chapter-4-caring-for-baby-chicks.aspx
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/city.../are-you-ready-for-chickens-chickens-101.aspx
    http://www.tractorsupply.com/content/knowhow/chicks/livestock_care_caring_for_new_chicks
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/basic-country-skills/get-started-with-chickens.aspx
     
  4. simplecountrygirl

    simplecountrygirl New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 9, 2011
    As to why I am switching...... The animal nutritionist at my feed coop says that since I have a mixed flock(layers and broilers) that the Flock Raiser would cover all the nutritional needs of the flock. The Start and Grow product is targeted more for layer pullets. I am confused and concerned with all the different opinions out there. That is why I came to this forum so I could get experienced opinions without any motivations of selling certain products. I will re-read all of your posts and try and get a sense of a good direction to go with my babies. Right now they are all growing good and all seem healthy and active. I do have a heat/light lamp on them 24/7. Today I am raising the lamp a bit to start lowering the temp by 5* or so. I will see about getting another heat lamp and brooder container so I can separate them. Thanks for all your posts and appreciate any more advice you have.
     
  5. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,661
    14
    163
    Mar 7, 2010
    GSO, NC
    I kept mine together until they were about 6wks old. I just made sure to put up their food at night if they hadn't run out. That way they all had to take a break at night. Won't hurt the non-broilers to take a break. If they were with their moms, they wouldn't be able to eat in the dark either.
     
  6. simplecountrygirl

    simplecountrygirl New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 9, 2011
    mama24........was your heat source also a light source? Mine is and is on 24/7. What did you feed them while they were together? I just want to provide the best nutrition for both the broilers and the layers. I have them in a metal stock tank right now. I have 12 broilers and 9 layer pullets.
     
  7. simplecountrygirl

    simplecountrygirl New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 9, 2011
    Ps.........I would like to keep them together for as long as possible if at all possible.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,278
    3,574
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:I don't do broilers, so I have no direct experience with them. This link may help you. I'll include the video on how they raise the broiler chickens parents. That video corrected a lot of my misconceptiopns about broilers. I found it very interesting.

    Feeding Broilers
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps035

    Broiler Chicken Videos




    If you are raising a laying flock, the normal progression is Starter - Grower - Layer. You want them to get a good start in life, thus the high protein Starter, but you don't want them to grow too fast before they start to lay, thus the reduction in protein in the Grower. Don't get panicked by that. It is not a huge deal unless you go overboard.

    Many people raise chicks not only to become a laying flock, but have dual purpose chicks in with them that will be used for meat, not eggs. If they were raised separately, you would give the dual purpose meat birds a higher protein feed to get them to grow faster. You are not worried about long term effects of them growing faster than their internal egg laying factory matures. The 20% protein flock raiser is a good compromise between the two. It is a little more protein than the laying flock requires, but not enough to do any real damage. It is a little less than you would give dual purpose meat birds for optimum growth, yet they still grow pretty well.

    As far as keeping them out of your garden, the only thing I have found that works is a good fence.
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    456
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I've never raised meat birds but have read many times about restricting their feed after a certain age (I believe opinions on when vary) or you will lose them. I believe I'd keep them together til I started restricting feed, if you can handle the poop and smell. I would imagine you will find a lot more info on raising these particular birds in the Meat Birds section.

    Honestly there are multiple opinions on feed -- and I don't think they vary all that much, other than in protein and calcium content, and in whether any animal protein (such as fish meal) is included, unless you have access to a real quality feed. It's well established that chicks should not get layer feed before they start laying -- reason is, the extra calcium is harmful to their organs, can actually be fatal or at least shorten their lives. People feed roosters layer feed all the time, as they share coops with hens, but it makes sense to me that it's not the best thing for them, either. People who raise roosters separately I think typically use a game bird feed, which is high protein. My coop has mixed ages, some too young to lay, so I feed a grower or starter/grower to all my chickens -- flock raiser would also be fine -- and keep the oyster shell dish going for the layers (and another for grit.) Have been doing this for a while now and have no trouble with thin egg shells. On the animal protein, I am convinced they do better with it, especially if they do not have regular access to bugs. Chickens will eat bugs and worms any chance they get; it is a natural part of their diet. I recently read this has actually been established as more healthful for them but can't tell you a source, only that I read it from a source I trust implicitly.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by