Help - wrong chick starter?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by camjac, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. camjac

    camjac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northeast Ohio
    I am picking up my 6 day old chicks tomorrow morning (Monday) and I think that I picked up the wrong chick starter! The bag said 24% chick starter so I grabbed it and took it home Saturday night. I got everything ready for the brooder today and put the feed in my container and was throwing the bag away when I noticed that it said turkey, chukar, etc. on the bag (nothing about chickens)! These are my first chicks every 2 light brahmas, 2 black australorps and 2 araucanas. My question is can I feed them this or do I toss it? I don't know anyone raising these birds to give the feed to. Would I be able to mix this feed with something else to bring the protein down? I really want to do right by my new babies but hate to waste a perfectly good bag of feed! I have been trying to find information on the web and it is conflicting. Some sites say 20-22% others say that 24% will have them feathering out faster. I don't know what to do. I had to go back today to pick up an extra heat lamp and I told the kid that helped me at the feed store what I had done and he said that this would be fine (I don't know if he just wanted to make the sale or if this bag of feed is more expensive than the other chick starter). Please help! I have been so excited to pick up these chicks for the last month and now I am a nervous wreck that I might hurt them!
    Thanks for any help
     
  2. bionic_chicken

    bionic_chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You need medicated (this is critical) chick starter. Honestly, I'd use mash at first because it's so much easier for tiny ones to eat. I'd save the other stuff if some pros can get on here and suggest how you might modify it for future use. If you're picking your babies up at the hatchery, they'll probably have medicated starter you can take with you.
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    It should be fine. 20-24 isn't gong to be that big of an issue for growing chicks. With adults, prolonged use can cause gout. Medicated is personal choice. Depending on the levels of cocci present in the soil and the season, it may not be necessary. I've done it both ways. Medicated feeds often contain amprolium as the active ingredient, which is a thamine blocker that inhibits cocci (not a bacteria) from completing it's life cycle in the intestines of the chicks. For the medicated feed to work, the birds do need to be exposed to cocci as it helps them build up immunity.
     
  4. camjac

    camjac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank for responding so quickly! I still don't know exactly what I'll do but I pick the chicks up from the feed store (they pool orders together to get to the 25 the hatcheries want) so I can always pick up some feed from there in the morning! Again, thank you for your help! At least I might get a little sleep tonight!
     
  5. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    The bag said 24% chick starter so I grabbed it and took it home Saturday night.... when I noticed that it said turkey, chukar, etc. on the bag (nothing about chickens)! These are my first chicks ever 2 light brahmas, 2 black australorps and 2 araucanas. My question is can I feed them this or do I toss it?

    First, take a deep breath. Breathe in, breathe out - we'll wait....
    You can feed it to them. It shouldn't do them any harm as a feed. The one problem is that it might not be medicated. Chick starter invariably has a coccidiostat in it to prevent the disease, coccidiosis, from infecting your chicks.
    Coccidiosis is a protozoan parasitic infection and is transmitted from other chickens in feces and tissue. It is similar to the protozoan that transmits malaria.
    Since you've never had birds before, it is unlikely that your environs are infected with it. But I'd try to get some medicated as soon as possible and just use the other stuff by mixing it in ratio.

    Would I be able to mix this feed with something else to bring the protein down?

    Dont bother. Chicks can use it. What they dont use, they will evacuate in the copious amounts of poo you will soon be dealing with.

    I have been trying to find information on the web and it is conflicting. Some sites say 20-22% others say that 24% will have them feathering out faster.

    Im currently feeding mine a grower for general poultry that is 18% protein. It says 'grower' right on the bag. I said "Whoa, that's not enough."
    The chicks are growing like weeds on it, contrary to all the experts.

    Much of what we are told as gospel, isn't. Some of it is lab stuff and some comes from the commercial side of the house. Some of it is based on what some have done or seen, but may not apply in all cases.

    Here're are my exclusive and bona-fide Five Rules of Chickens. Start with them.

    1. Fresh feed and water.
    Make it a solid ration, made by a reputable maker. Dont monkey with their feeding until you get a little more experience. Water should be fresh - goes without saying.
    2. Sound shelter.
    They need protection from the elements and lots of fresh air. LOTS of it. Build solid, but no need to overbuild. Keep them from feezing temps in winter and excess heat in summer. They dont like wide open, sunny areas, so give them shady cover and solve both problems. Above all, they don't need fancy.
    3. Protection from pedators.
    This can be fencing, wire, dogs, guns, or a combination of all of these. Whatever is needed. Take a hard look at your chicken yard and assume nothing. Everything wants a chicken dinner, so learn who may be inviting themselves for supper and what to do to stop them.
    4. Space
    Chickens need more than you think. If they are to be confined outside, quadruple whatever space you have allotted for them, add 50% more and then give 10% extra as a safety margin. Most newcomers (and many experienced keepers) make this same mistake.
    Inside the coop, make it 4 sq ft. of floor space/bird.
    90% of disease and most other problems is the result of overcrowding.
    5. Cleanliness
    Keep them clean and free of filth, feces and funk. Ventilate that coop to eliminate mildew. No mud or pooled water in the run, so ensure good drainage FIRST. Use mulch there, if need be.
    If clean is good for you, it's good for chickens.
    (C) elderoo/DH, 2008. Allrights reserved.

    Follow these and you will eliminate most of your problems at the outset. Hope this helps.​
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2008
  6. camjac

    camjac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, breathing! [​IMG] I've got everything down: space, water, clean. I just was stressing because it is their food and I don't want to do all of the prep work of building the coop and getting everything ready and then kill them with a bonehead move like buying the wrong food! Thanks for your post, I feel a lot better now and have definately learned a valuable lesson!
     
  7. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2008
  8. chickenlady

    chickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    I have used the medicated turkey starter for all of my chicks for a long time now. Never lost one yet.
     
  9. 2manyhats

    2manyhats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central NY
    elderoo, I just love your calming advice. Common sense just isn't that common anymore. I love to read your posts.

    Kimberly
     
  10. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    elderoo, I just love your calming advice. Common sense just isn't that common anymore. I love to read your posts.

    Thanks. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2008

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