Game bird Starter

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Peaguy, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. Peaguy

    Peaguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I had my first go-round chicks raising/eating/ loving/ the chick starter They loved it soooo much that the 25 of them went through the 50# bag in 5 weeks before tragedy struck and the dogs had a very tasty chicken lunch. I had read on a thread here of using game bird starter for the protein content and had just bought a 50# bag and was transitioning the fated 23 onto this feed and they were liking it well enough. My question is. Having this food on hand and getting my replacement chicks shipped on the 13th Would it be okay to start the new chicks on the game bird starter or should I bite the bullet and go back and get at least a 25 # bag to start them on and then switch them over as I was doing with the fated 23?
     
  2. Peaguy

    Peaguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any advice appreciated
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Game Bird Starter if it's 30% protein is quite high for chicks. If you can get it no higher than 24% protein, I'd say that was acceptable. I do feed Game Bird Breeder to my Blue Orpingtons now because they are molting. Its 20% protein, so not excessive and I feel they need it at this time.
     
  4. antlers

    antlers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I fed 26% to my chicks and poults this spring with no problems.
     
  5. Peaguy

    Peaguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just checked Cyn... It is 28%... So I should invest in some chick starter and graduate them onto the game bird starter later? I had bought the game bird to get my other chicksfeathering into better shape than it was going but the dogs settled that issue for me. I'm just getting ready to start over again and want to do what's best for my new batch due to ship on the 13th. I'm already freaking about the heat! This batch will be outside much much earlier than my last ones! Got the hole in the run fence fixed and have hotwire charger and wire ready to install on my next day off from work which is Sat.
    ETA we are having a hot spell.... several days over 100°F this week .Humidity is way up also.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    IMO, 28% is a bit high for chicks, however, maybe someone who has feed game bird starter to chicks can tell us if there were any adverse effects. I forget what excess protein will do to a developing chick; I'd have to look that up. antlers says it had no harmful effects on the babies, but I think maybe we can't always see what's happening in their little bodies. I do wish I could find just starter and not the combo starter/grower at 18% protein. To me, that isn't quite enough. I'd prefer to have my chicks start on 21% or so, but my locale doesnt have it available. One reason game bird feeds are better for molting birds and breeders is that they still contain animal protein. My starter/grower has animal protein in it still, as well, but I wish it was higher protein.
    All that said, if you still have a little of the game bird starter left, I'd say the best time to feed higher protein is at the very beginning. Then it will have less harmful effects, if any, on the developing chicks. Then the next bag I might go lower protein to slow down their reproductive development.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
  7. bumblebeehillschickenfarm

    bumblebeehillschickenfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed all my chicks and turkeys on the wild game feed 28% it seems to let the chicks feather out faster and gives them a good healthy start. i have not had one chick die giving them high protien food. I now have over 230 chickens all healthy
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Good to know. Thanks for your input. There was something I read about excess protein being a detriment, but I cannot remember what it was. On the other hand, I don't think starter/grower combo has enough protein for optimal growth and certainly I think high quality animal protein should be in it, like the game bird feeds.
     
  9. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    You won't see chicks dying right off from excess protein unless you really go nuts with it. Excess protein to growing animals does mostly long term damage. It's more likely you will just notice shorter lifespans and more problems with bones and joints as adults from growing too fast as chicks. Faster growth is actually a bad thing sometimes in animals we want to keep around for awhile. It's only good for animals we want to slaughter early for food. In mammals at least it can also lead to stressed kidneys from cleaning out all the unneeded protein and increased water intake which can cause it's own issues including the animals getting easily dehydrated. I do not know the proper protein for chicks or if 28% counts as too high. I am only repeating what I learned about excess protein in animal nutrition classes and from feeding livestock and small mammals.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I believe that was the information my brain just wouldn't cough up, thank you!
     

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