My Colored Rangers Aren't Digesting Their Food! Remedy?

Sparklee

Songster
11 Years
Jul 28, 2008
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At 7 weeks, our Colored Rangers from JM Hatchery were not fully digesting their food. I grind it fairly small (field peas, wheat, corn) so that they don't have to spend energy grinding it and can gain weight instead. The tiny chunks can be seen quite clearly in their manure.

They get spring water and granite grit. I started giving them larger grit (medium), but now at 8 weeks, there's been no change. They are out in a field during the day if they like and about 1/3 to 1/2 do go out of their hoop house and walk around in the pasture. The hoop house gets moved every day to few days.

How can I get them to digest the feed so that they can get the nutrients from the feed and not waste our $$$?

Any ideas? Any comments? Warnings? Suggestions?
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
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Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Unfortuantely, because they are bred to have food go though them fast, all you can really do is have the food you feed them be pre ground as small as possible.
 

Sparklee

Songster
11 Years
Jul 28, 2008
414
0
129
Quote:? Okay, it's late and maybe I'm not thinking clearly. Why are they bred to have food go through them fast? I can't think of why. My sleepy brain isn't getting it.

Thanks.
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
975
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
They are bred to eat and eat and eat, to grow the fastest they can so as a side effect, the food goes right though them. Feed that has been ground very finely and pressed into crumbles/pellets would probably be the best to increase the surface area per grain of food for maximal absorption during it's short trip though the chicken's gut. Unlike your standard layer where a whole grain would sit in the crop for an extended period of time getting rolled around, the sheer amount of feed likly "flushes" out the crop and so everything juts goes right through.
 

Sparklee

Songster
11 Years
Jul 28, 2008
414
0
129
Ah. Thanks for further explanation. They are quite crazy with their eating. Some like the food deep in the feeder so that they can take even bigger bites. Fascinating in a way, revolting in another.

In their favor, they are putting on weight quite well. Their feet are so big that they would make Seinfeld's soup nazi drool.
 

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