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

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Sparklee, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Sparklee

    Sparklee Songster

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    Jul 28, 2008
    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?
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    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.
     
  3. Sparklee

    Sparklee Songster

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    Jul 28, 2008
    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.
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    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.
     
  5. Sparklee

    Sparklee Songster

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    Jul 28, 2008
    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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