Is it OK to feed turkey starter to roosters raised for meat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ravenseye57, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. ravenseye57

    ravenseye57 In the Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    I've read that roosters raised for meat need more protein to reach a good size quickly. Our feed store only has pullet grower and when I asked about something with more protein they suggested turkey starter (28 %). I've been feeding it for a couple of weeks now, plus free ranging the roos for part of the day, and they seem to be doing well and growing fast. They are about 9 wks old.
     
  2. SaraF

    SaraF In the Brooder

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    Jul 10, 2010
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    I think it is perfectly fine, as long as it doesnt have a medicated ingredient for only turkeys that would be harmful to chickens. I feed it to my "slow growers" and they do fine [​IMG]
     
  3. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Songster

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    what breed of chickens are you raising out of curiosity?
     
  4. ravenseye57

    ravenseye57 In the Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    I've been so busy with garden, chickens and installing a security system to hopefully deter curious bears (!!) that I haven't been on for a while.
    I got an order of mixed heavies roosters for meat from Mc Murray which included White Wyandottes, Black Australorps, Buff Rocks, Speckled Sussex, Dark Cornish, New Hampshire and Rhode Island Reds and Light Brahmas.
    I will keep one or two for my laying flock of 21 pullets(Aracanas, B. Australorps, Lt. Brahmas, Dark Cornish, Buff Rocks, Red Stars, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Rhode Isl and I'm pretty sure one -sexing error?- N. Hampshire Red) but the rest will be for meat. They are 11 wks old.
    The turkey starter doesn't have any additives (I presume you mean such as medication or antibiotics?) but is higher in protien. I switched to it with no apparent ill effects and the roosters do appear to be gaining weight faster now (some are already crowing). Not really an objective observation since I'm not weighing them, but I do pick them up and feel for "meatiness" and they did suddenly start feeling more substantial after the switch.
    When should I switch my hens to layer feed? They are housed and fed separately from the roosters.
     
  5. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Songster

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    what age are you going to harvest your roos at? i will be interested to see how the 28% has impacted their growth when you get your dressed weights.

    i just switch to layer once i see the first egg. but as of lately i have just been feeding 17% to my flock and putting oyster shell, free choice, in the hens' coops.
     
  6. ravenseye57

    ravenseye57 In the Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    Thinking about harvesting one this weekend at 12 wks. If the weight turns out to be good enough, then we plan on harvesting about five at a time each week until they're all done. Since I'm new to this I don't want to make it too huge a project by trying to butcher 23 at once. BTW, I forgot to put Barred Rock on my list of breeds. I have both roos and hens of that breed.
     
  7. ravenseye57

    ravenseye57 In the Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    "i just switch to layer once i see the first egg. but as of lately i have just been feeding 17% to my flock and putting oyster shell, free choice, in the hens' coops."

    How old are they? One of my pullets is already squatting everytime I pet her, but I don't want to rush them since they're only going to be 12 wks this weekend. I'm currently feeding them pullet grower. Is it OK to give free choice oyster shell that young or should I just wait till they're at a more likely age for laying like 15-20 wks?
     
  8. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Songster

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    that is the age (12 wks) mine started squatting but they didn't start laying until they were 16-18 weeks (they are black sex links). the shells of every single one of my pullets' eggs have been perfect, and they actually aren't even getting oyster shell yet. they are on 17%, not layer, just regular flock grower. i'm attributing the hard shells to them being able to forage. i will probably start giving them oyster shell once more start laying and they start laying more regularly.

    my pullets' coop is in a different spot on our land than our other 4 coops so i am able to feed them separately.
     
  9. ravenseye57

    ravenseye57 In the Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    Mine forage too, so hopefully they're getting everything they need. My coops are near each other but then pullets never go over to the rooster coop because the roosters bother them so though the roosters sometimes eat out of the hen feeder, the hens never eat the roosters food. I've been supplementing with sprouted grains (wheat, flax and millet) mixed with cooked split peas and with extra greens and scraps from our organic garden.
     

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