gamebird starter?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by firefowl, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. firefowl

    firefowl Out Of The Brooder

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    I just got a black copper maran chick that's 3 weeks old. I was told it needs 2 weeks of heat so I have it in a small makeshift brooder with some heat lamps at 32oC (is that ok?).

    But I don't have any chick start right now only gamebird starter from when I used to have quails. Is it ok to use gamebird starter instead of chick starter? How long will it need the starter for? I was given some pullet feed but I assume that's given after the starter?

    I'd rather not get chick starter if it can manage without it until it needs the next type of feed since I don't plan on getting more chicks anytime soon.

    On a side note the chick was sold to me as a rooster although I'm not quite sure how you can tell when they are so young. But my plan is to use the rooster to cross with my bantam araucana to produce offspring that are olive eggers. So another question is would there be any problem introducing a very young rooster to 2 year old hens?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    What percentage is the protein in the starter? It shouldn't be a problem. I've used both 22% and 27% starters for chicks and they work just fine. It should be on a medicated feed for about the first 8 weeks, after which it will be ready for a non medicated grower. If it's a rooster it should remain on a grower thereafter as layer feed can be damaging to cock's organs.

    You can't raise a chick on its own. It never ends well - the bird will be constantly stressed and noisy, and they tend to be "messed up" when they're mature. I've had them end up completely skitzo and become shin floggers (and that shin flogger wasn't even a rooster, it was a hen) You need to get at least one other chick to raise it with.

    Some of the best roosters are those raised under the supervision of older hens. However he cannot live with them until at least 10-12 weeks of age and "see but don't touch" introductory methods should be used.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
  3. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with QueenMisha with one exception. You only need starter for about the first two to three weeks. If they are three weeks now you should be fine with the gamebird starter. Heat should be used only at night. At three weeks they should be pretty feathered and can take the lower temps.

    I would not raise it be its self. You should get another to keep him company. I will introduce the babies to the flock at about four to six weeks of age. I place them in a separate house inside the main coop so they can see and smell the new one but not touch. Then after abut two week let them out and watch to see how they react. I have not had a problem as of yet and I have been dong this for about ten years now.
     
  4. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    Out of curiosity how do you figure two to three weeks for starter? Chicks are pretty susceptible to coccidiosis until 8-12 weeks. I've heard plenty of people who feed it late (to 16 weeks) but not anyone who feeds it for less.
     
  5. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't use medicated chick starter unless I hatch the chick as I all ways get my vaccinated for coccd., and Merricks from a hatchery.
    I have read several places and reference that say once a chick has eaten about one pound of starter ( about the time they are three week old) they can be switched to grower. I use either starter/grower or grower finisher at this time, until they are about 16-20 weeks of age. Sorry I don't think I was clear on the last post. I have 30 years experience with chickens and have not had a problem using this method. Not every method works for everyone. This works for me so I use it and recommended it to other people. It all come down to what you are comfortable using.
     
  6. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And I neither use medicated starter nor the cocci vaccine. Lots of different ways to handle it that yield positive outcomes. :)
     
  7. firefowl

    firefowl Out Of The Brooder

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    The gamebird starter is quite high in protein 28 or 30%. I'll start introducing it to the flock next week when it's 4 weeks old, so it only has to be alone for one more week. It was raised with other chicks for the first 3 weeks.

    But how am I supposed to keep it with the rest of the flock while making sure it eats a different feed? Seems impossible unless they are permanently segregated from each other which isn't the way I raise chickens (free range).

    How do you know that layer feed gives roosters organ damage?

    Also like Jens I don't use vaccine or medications
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  8. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    There's no way you can put a cockerel chick in with adult hens at four weeks old. They'll either kill it or get close to killing it. Maybe if you had twenty chicks, but a single one has no chance. If he is to go outside at four weeks (which, depending on temps in your area, could be fine - I wouldn't put him out if it gets any colder than 60* at night) that would solve the issue of him being a single chick, but he would need to be kept PHYSICALLY separate with VISUAL access only to the adult hens. Once he is 8-10 weeks, then he can be added into the flock physically. This will also allow you to feed him starter/grower for the required amount of time.

    You don't feed a separate feed, you just don't feed a layer. Flocks with roosters should ideally be placed on a flock raiser or grower feed year round, and supplemented with oyster shell for hen's calcium needs. Layer feed doesn't have any special ingredient that makes them lay, just higher calcium. That's it, that's the only difference. There's lots of good science indicating excess calcium damages cock's organs. It's the same reason you don't feed layer to a chick - they have no way to excrete it besides filtering it through ther kidneys, which does huge amounts of damage to them. However, unlike chicks, roosters have a tougher system and so "appear" to handle it better, when it's really wreaking internal havoc. I can't find the study right now but there's a very good article regarding tests done on the kidneys of cocks fed a layer feed, and as I recall, 70% showed significantly bilaterally englarged kidneys (one side got bigger to make up for damage being caused to it) and 8% were found to have life threatening kidney stones. While it may not kill them immediately, it can cause the same issues as any other toxic material being ingested - less than optimal health, potentially shortened lifespan, poorer growth and feed consumption, general lessened vigor, and so on.

    Oh - and honestly I don't really care if people feed medicated feed or not, I think it's a personal choice and I didn't use medicated for a long time until cocci became prevalent in my area - but the ingredient in so-called medicated feeds is hardly a medication. Why they call it that, I don't know. It's a synthetic B-vitamin - it mimics the shape of other B vitamins, specifically Thiamine, which causes coccidia protazoa to consume it rather than the real stuff, thereby severely stunting their ability to grow. It's not some kind of antibiotic like many people seem to think it is.
     
  9. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, amprolium isn't an antibiotic because it is not designed to work on bacteria, but it is a drug, a coccidiostat specifically. Drugs have many different mechanisms of action to achieve their effects, and non-functional analogues is a common strategy. I don't think it is particularly harmful to feed an amprolium-supplemented feed...just that it's not automatically necessary. I have had one batch of chicks have issues with coccidial overgrowth, and they arrived that way. Treated them with Corid (amprolium) and all was well. If I started having more issues, I would not hesitate to change my feeding strategy.
     
  10. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    You make a good point. I'm glad to hear your thoughts on it - and you're right, correctly speaking it is a drug, albeit a rather harmless one (well, except to cocci!). I just like to point out that it's not some big scary antibiotic boogeyman, since lots of people seem to think it is and think it will in some way hurt them or their chickens. Not considering it necessary seems like a fine reason not to feed it.
     

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