Meat Brid Feed (when saving money is not saving money)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Clay Valley Farmer, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    Last batch of Broilers I fed starter for ~3 weeks then switched to 18% starter grower crumble to finish. At the end of 8 weeks had 7-10lb chickens, but cost was pretty high buying half a ton of feed at ~$13 per 50lb bag.

    The current batch of broilers from same source I kept on starter just a couple weeks then switched to a broiler ration mix from local mill, mostly whole grains but significantly lower cost $200/ half a ton. After 8 weeks chickens weigh 4-6lb and are on the scrawny side. Also have suffered much much higher losses. Still have a few hundred pounds of feed, but I think I will start supplimenting it with crumbles to get these broilers to put some weight on. Feed conversion with the milled whole grains has been much much lower even without considdering losses and they are wasting alot more food picking through it.

    Anyone else have simmilar experiences? I may try another batch keeping them on higher protien starter for 4 weeks then go to a mix of crumbles and grains to see if there is a balance point where it makes sence to feed any of the lower cost grains.
  2. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    The bagged feed was probably formulated to specific Amino Acid levels and probably contained specialty products the help enhance the growth and health of the birds. I bet the local milled feed was formulated to a CRUDE PROTEIN level and contained only corn, soybean meal, and a cheap, basic mineral/vitamin premix.

    I work with local feed mills throughout the Eastern Cornbelt and find this phenomenon regularly.

  3. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010
    What was the recipe of the mix? What protein percentage?

    Hubbard has a premix that can be used to mix broiler, layer, etc with recipes. It runs about $17.00 per bag and can be mixed, with corn/wheat, etc.

    Wheat is a better buy right now, but I still like a little corn in our mixes.

    Using a premix lets you use locally grown grains and just mix them with these premixes to get a balanced diet.

    A corn & soybean meal based ration will work if the birds have access to free range and find what's missing, but confined birds must receive a balanced ration to give them the vitamins minerals and other nutrients they need.

    The hybrids have been bred to eat and grow and then need the nutrients in order to grow properly and be healthy.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  4. Kelsey2017

    Kelsey2017 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Two Harbors, MN
    I was wondering if adding Sunflower meal to my meat turkeys ration would help them gain weight. I realize it will not be a complete diet but I would sure like to up their protein levels. It is 32% protein and the meatbird feed I am currently using is 22%. Would a half and half (27%) mix work for my turkeys until they are butchered? I would think that I need to supplement a vitamin mix for them if I fed it for very long. I really want them to get a little bigger by Thanksgiving but it would be a waste if it did harm rather than good. The sunflower meal has been pressed to remove the oils so it is very low in fat. Has anyone else used this stuff? I don't know who or what it is marketed for but it is affordable. Good un-medicated game bird feed is hard to find around here, so I am looking for options!
  5. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    I did read a study recently published in a scientific journal. I'm sorry I didn't keep the reference. It actually said that the broilers raiesed on whole wheat rather than wheat middlings had significantly fewer leg problems and better lameness scores.
  6. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi Kelsey2017,

    Without being an expert, I'm thinking the half-half ratio might be a little extreme. You could end up short in some essentials, and sunflower isn't a complete protein source. For instance it's fairly low in lysine compared to other amino acids.

    Also one site I looked at recommended no greater than 7.5% in poultry diets, due to digestibility and fibre issues. (That was via

    I'm just wondering whether you'd get the muscle bulk you want... Others might know better?

  7. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    I will have to look at the lables, but I did not think the claimed nutients were greatly different. I was thinking the issue might be partialy to do with absorbtion of the nutrients as much as anything. certainly moving whole granes through their digestion is going to take longer than with crumbles. Did read some material on this stating that the slowed digestion also set up favorable condition in broilers for cocci and enteritis infections.
  8. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    I've been feeding mine starter crumbles 20% but just started introducing 24% Dumor game bird starter crumbles which I plan on using full time for the next three weeks @ $16. per bag. Then I will drop back to 16% for the last two weeks. Maybe if you mix your mill feed with a portion of something like a Game Bird Starter you will get the nutrition without spending a ton of money.
  9. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 12, 2009
    I have always used Purina Start and Grow non-med. for the whole duration and cull roosters at 8 to 9lbs and hens 5 to 6 lbs. They feather faster and grow at a good rate. I also only feed 12 on 12 off and the price is also about 16$ a bag. Just the way I do it. I did it once using a broiler finisher and they did poorly, the feed was 10$ a bag but had a lot of of problems. I think there is a lot of corn in it.
  10. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    FEED MORE FRENCH FRIES [​IMG] Just kidding. But we go out to dinner fairly often and the chickens get the good leftovers. They like our nachos and French fries. My last dual purpose roos dressed out at almost 4 pounds at 18 weeks. I thought that wasnÂ’t too bad for dual purpose ones. Maybe feed some sunflower seeds? Also, if we want horses to gain weight and get a nice shiny coat we give them oil in their food. It could be messy and I have never tried it on chickens but it may be a reasonably cheap alternative. Hope all will be well for you!

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