High protein chick feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by catchthewind, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought a 25% chick starter feed aimed specifically at heritage breeds for my chicks. I like it because it's all local, non-gmo grains and it's a good price. It also uses whole food sources of vitamins and minerals instead of synthetic ones and the lower protein formulas are soy free. I read on an American Heritage chickens club site they recommended high protein for heritage chicks.

    The sheet I got with the feed says to feed to laying age, but when I mentioned it on here a few people questioned whether it was actually meant as a chicken feed (it is), and I double checked and realized the label on the bag says to feed just to 5 weeks then switch to the next one which is 19%. Not sure if I should follow the label or the info sheet, but i went with the label and have had my older chicks on that one for a while but left the younger chicks (3-4.5 weeks old) on the 25% starter.

    Question is, I am going to run out of starter, probably tomorrow. I bought another bag of starter already, but now wonder if I should have gone with the 19%. How long will 44 pounds of food last 15 chicks? Will the high protein hurt them if I'm still feeding it in 3 or 4 weeks? The three week old ones are Silkies and are so tiny, I feel like they could use the boost. I would rather not return the food, the feed store isn't that convenient, but if high protein is detrimental in some way I will.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  2. crash0330

    crash0330 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I currently have some 10 and 7 week old chicks whom I've raised on turkey starter, %28 protein, since they were babies. They are pretty big and pretty meatie, I will keep them on that feed til they are 14 to 15 weeks old. I have heard tho that high protein willl sometimes make the chicks grow too fast causing them problems with their egg laying. But like I said this is my first batch being raised like this so we'll see. As far as how long does that bag will last you I will say about 3 weeks.
     
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    I keep my birds on high protein (24-25%) until about two and a half to three months old. Then I lower their protein to about 20% to give their reproductive systems a chance to catch up. Seems to work pretty well so far. Nice sized birds that lay well, but don't develop early laying problems.
     
  4. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome, thanks! [​IMG] I was confident about it until I got home, actually until I had paid for it, and then suddenly started second guessing myself. But I figure, they are growing and getting new feathers in and such, a high-quality protein feed is probably a good idea.
     
  5. Robo

    Robo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2010
    Knoxville,TN
    I give mine 27% starter for 10 weeks, then they get a 24% game bird grower until they are 18 weeks old, then I feed them a lot of 22% protein scratch with some layer in it. When they lay their first egg they get 22% layer and 22% scratch. I get an egg a day from almost all of the first year layers. Seems to work good for me.
     
  6. vjbakke

    vjbakke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Would a Dominique chick be considered a heritage breed? I have been feeding 16% grower since I got them. I haven't seen any starter that is higher than 20%. My other chicks are all hybrid breeds and and growing faster than the doms. Maybe a higher protein food would help?
     
  7. crash0330

    crash0330 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Quote:16% is too low for chicks, I have some chicks whom I raised with my regular laying hens so they were eating the same 16% protein laying mash they are now 15 weeks old and then I have some 10 week olds who have been raised on 28% protein and they both look as if they were the exact same age. 16% is just too low for any chick.
     
  8. vjbakke

    vjbakke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2011
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    Quote:16% is too low for chicks, I have some chicks whom I raised with my regular laying hens so they were eating the same 16% protein laying mash they are now 15 weeks old and then I have some 10 week olds who have been raised on 28% protein and they both look as if they were the exact same age. 16% is just too low for any chick.

    The highest I can find is 18%. I picked up a bag of that today and mixing it with the other feed.
     
  9. brahmabreeder

    brahmabreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northeast Ohio
    I know this thread is very old but I wanted to add that most 20%+ protein feeds will be game bird feeds not actual chick starter. Not that there is an issue with that but I just wanted to mention that in case someone comes a long to read this thread.
     
  10. MrsMVP

    MrsMVP Out Of The Brooder

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    Kingsburg CA
    I'm really glad you commented. I bought game bird crumble 20% protein for my heritage meat birds. A lady at the feed store just about had a fit trying to convince me to buy either chick starter or layer pellets even after I explained I had heritage meat birds and roosters, not laying hens. I ended up doubting my purchase by the time I left. This thread totally reassures me that I know what I'm doing here. Thank you [​IMG]
     

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