First chickens, kind of an impulse buy. Help me with feed?

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by Bug n Flock, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Bug n Flock

    Bug n Flock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Howdy folks!

    I finally got my first chickens yesterday (I'm a quail girl) on impulse. Was in TSC with my mom(such an awful influence on me that woman is! :p) and she talked me into getting some of the adorable little peepers. So now I have 9 little chickies in my brooder. 2 Gold Seabrights, 2 Silkies, 2 Porcelain D'uccles, and three little sex link pullets.

    I had run out of quail feed and bought an overpriced bag of chick starter from petsmart to feed them until I could make the TSC run. So I have probably 15lb left of this 19% protein organic non medicated starter crumbles. I also bought some 24% gamebird starter while there for my quail. Their old feed was 30% and they were giving me an egg a hen a day and a lot of big double yolkers on it, but it was 2$/lb and fairly low quality. The new stuff I think was around 15$ for 50lb of feed.

    Can I mix the rest of the 19% with the gamebird starter for the chickens, or will this be too high protein for them? The banties I intend to keep for eggs and the silkies as pets, but the sex links will probably go to freezer camp. I don't have the space for standards long term, I live in the city for a few months more at least.

    How old do they need to be before I can start feeding them scraps, etc?

    TIA,
    Bug
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  2. Hillaire

    Hillaire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if you were in TSC to buy the chicks... why not get the food then??? Do NOT give the chicks gamebird starter. Not a good idea.
     
  3. Jiffyrocks

    Jiffyrocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can feed them scraps after a week or so ( as long as they have grit as I'm sure you know) But don't be suprised if they aren't too interested. Mine didn't eat much else than their chick food.

    Even now, at about 2 months old they still don't seem too interested in scraps. I hope this changes!!! Maybe their crumbles are too good ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  4. Bug n Flock

    Bug n Flock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. After a week with me, or a week old? I think the youngest birds are just about a week old. Some of the banties I think are 2 weeks, they have long wing feathers, some tail feathers, and are starting to get body feathers.

    And I have chick starter if you read my post, I am just wondering if I can mix the two to stretch the chick feed a bit. I thought I had a bit more than I do have is why I didn't buy a bag while at TSC. I live in the city so not only is storage space and weight limited, but also frequency of trips to the feed shop, which is over an hour's drive from me. If I can't give it to them, fine, but why the attitude? Kinda off-putting..
     
  5. Jiffyrocks

    Jiffyrocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A week as in age. So sounds like your chicks can have scraps.

    As far as mixing, I don't know enough to say either way. But if the ingredients are similar I wouldn't see why not. Just make sure there isn't too much calcium in there because they don't need it yet and too much can be harmful.
     
  6. Bug n Flock

    Bug n Flock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cool! I gave them a couple of strawberry tops and they've pecked at them a wee bit.

    Both feeds have a calcium around 1%, which seems to carry the quail through all stages without an issue. Is this an ok amount for baby chickens?
     
  7. Jiffyrocks

    Jiffyrocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ya I would think that much is ok, especially if it's mixed.

    I know the grit I used for chicks was parakeet grit (cause I hadn't gotten any sand yet) and it had I believe 1% calcium. And they loved the stuff lol. I only gave them a small handful every other day, but they are just fine :)
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Some use that high of protein (24%) and even more. It's not a problem at all. The main thing with feed is calcium content and the only feed with high calcium is layer feed. Don't use that, all other feed is right around 1% calcium and what growing birds and non laying birds need. The issue with protein content is a lot of feeds don't really have enough and if you use high protein feed it's pricey. So the key is to have enough protein without being charged a premium. I feel 18% protein is a minimum amount for any age bird and like to see 20% for growing birds. In a perfect world I'd use 22-24% for growing birds and 18% for layers. In the real world we've a local mill that makes almost everything they sell 20% which works well for me as we supplement the extra calcium layers need with bulk oyster shell tossed on the ground once a week, or two, by handful or two each time. It comes down to what form I want the feed in. When we have chicks all the birds are fed non medicated chick starter/grower (20%) protein in crumble form. When the youngest birds are 10-12 weeks and larger enough the entire flock is fed Turkey/gamebird finisher (20% protein) as it is in pellet form. You go through less feed when using pellets.
     

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