OK to use higher protein meat grower (game bird) feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by farmergal, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. farmergal

    farmergal Songster

    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    Hi all,
    My feed store was out of unmedicated flock raiser, so they suggested I use their meat grower instead. (It was that or pay $30 for 50lb of organic. [​IMG] ) I just bought one bag of meat grower (which around here lasts less than a week), is it okay to give it to my birds for one week? I've read on here about using higher protein feed for show birds... so will it be okay for my backyard layer flock? I have some chicks in the brooder and the rest of the flock (out in the yard) would be on it too.

    Thanks for any advice! I don't want to mess up the birds tummies/livers or anything.
  2. farmergal

    farmergal Songster

    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    Hmmm.... anybody switched laying hens to meat grower for a while and then switched them back?
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Lynda, I don't really know what that meat grower is but I sure suspect that it is an okay feed for the older birds. Were you already feeding Flock Raiser to the brooder chicks?

    Before Purina had Flock Raiser they had Meat Builder. I would go from the starter to the Meat Builder for both the meat birds and replacement laying pullets. Then the layers would go on to Layena.

    With this batch of pullets, I've left them on Flock Raiser and just added oyster shells, free choice. Seems to be working fine. I think I would have been fine doing that with Purina's old formula for Meat Builder, also.

    . . . be good to know how old the brooder chicks are (and if starter wasn't available for them) - just my 2 cents worth.

  4. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Meat bird feed and game bird feed are 2 different things. Which do you have? It would also probably help to know the actual protein % on the bag. The game bird feed I get around here is only 22%. Some can go up to 28%.
  5. farmergal

    farmergal Songster

    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    This one is 21% I think... so it sounds like I should be okay... I didn't realize there used to be only 1 type, how interesting!
  6. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    You're probably going to be fine for the short term. The main differences are the calcium levels in food for laying hens and the protein levels. Long term high protein levels can cause problems for hens but one bag of feed should not cause any problems, especially if it only lasts you a week. Yikes!

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    I have fed nothing but a high protein [22%] game bird food to my birds for years. I feed it from the day they hatch to the day they die or leave. If feeding a high protein feed long term can cause problems for hens I sure haven;t seen any.
    On this feeding system the birds develop faster& have better feather growth & quality.
    The other benefit is I don't have to remember what pen gets what feed-there's only one feed. My wife appreciates this if I'm away for the weekend at a show & she does chores for me.
    I do provide oyster shell free choice to hens that are laying but I did that when I fed a layer feed as well.
  8. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    I feed my ducks meat bird food. Game bird food is $20/50#, meat bird feed is $13/50#. I offer oyster and egg shells in a separate container plus they get greens daily.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  9. farmergal

    farmergal Songster

    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    Thanks for the responses everyone! I have to remember to really stock up on my usual Flock Raiser, and not wait until I'm almost out to get more....
  10. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Crowing

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    I now rear turkeys with chickens. So they all start on gamebird starter here. Now that they're all at POL or older they're on a 21% layer. If I do bring in some game feed, I mix it in in small batches to prevent digestive stress.

    Mostly with switching, sometimes when you make huge protein shifts you get some with the runs, raw milk or powdered milk and or yogurt usually cleans that up as they adjust.

    On game feeds birds feather really really fast. Hadn't done it until I got into turkeys, now I wouldn't do it any other way. Mine are free range, so their entire diet isn't based on what I feed. They eat less of the higher protein feeds, so in some ways it balances the cost.

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