Game bird starter VS Chick Starter 24% & 20%

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by AspiringUrbaniteFarmer, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. AspiringUrbaniteFarmer

    AspiringUrbaniteFarmer Chirping

    Jul 20, 2011
    Melbourne FL
    I'm wondering why using the game bird chick starter, vs. just the chick starter, wouldn't be better. The protein analysis is 24% for the game bird & 20 for the regular chick... Anyone have any thoughts on this? I, stupidly, gave 17% to my baby chicks b/c the guy at the feed store told me he never uses chick starter & always does layer feed for ALL his birds... it sounded good to me at the time, b/c I buy a soy-free organic layer... but after experimenting with both layer & starter.... I can see why the starter is preferable.

    I don't have any soy-free organic starters available locally, so I just use Dumor.
  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    Its my understanding that too much protein is harmful to the kidneys of chicks. Also the calcium in layer feed builds up and can cause damage as well. Just as too much of anything can be as bad as not enough. The feed companys have researched for fast growth and laying. There is a difference. Gloria Jean
  3. AspiringUrbaniteFarmer

    AspiringUrbaniteFarmer Chirping

    Jul 20, 2011
    Melbourne FL
    Thanks, that makes total sense. Good thing I didn't give the layer for very long!
  4. Neil Grassbaugh

    Neil Grassbaugh Songster

    Sep 1, 2008
    Game bird chicks have different amino acid requirements than do young chickens. Because of this the measurement we normally use called "crude protein" is higher in gamebird starter than in chick starter.
    Crude protein annaylisis of feed is an antiquated method of catagorizing the value of the feed. With todays knowledge of nutrition the term is basically a "dummied down" label that facilitates a perception of greater or lesser value. Relative to price of course.
    Layer feed for any bird less than at the point of lay is ill advised.
  5. jimredtalon

    jimredtalon Hatching

    Feb 21, 2017
    So the folks at the feed store have me game bird starter instead of regular chicken starter, would it be okay to use for day old chickens?
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Be very careful following advice from feed store employees. They aren't poultry nutritionists, nor are they veterinarians. Most know where the chicken feed is stored.
    Just because he has chickens and feeds layer feed to chicks, doesn't mean that is appropriate.
    Clearly on each bag of feed there are feeding instructions and no manufacturer says it is correct to feed layer to birds under 18 weeks.

    Excess calcium is hard on the kidneys. Excess protein is hard on the liver.
    The former can cause visceral gout. The latter can cause articular gout.

    Very good points.
    Crude protein vs. amino acid makeup is something people need to understand. There is something called limiting amino acids.
    Crude protein could be quite high but deficient in a couple essential amino acids. The excess of some amino acids will end up in the litter and increase ammonia therein.

    Up to about 24% protein is ok for day old chicks the first couple weeks.
    After that, 18-20% is appropriate. It is hard to mess this up. 18% can be fed from hatch to point of lay. As they mature a much lower protein percentages would be better.
    Game birds tend to eat many more insects, etc. early in life than chickens so game bird protein requirements would be higher the first several weeks.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017

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