Protein for Baby Chicks?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Simeo, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Simeo

    Simeo Out Of The Brooder

    47
    0
    32
    Jan 22, 2013
    North Georgia
    Hello. I have two 'flocks' of baby chicks. One of layer chicks (13) and one of xRocks (15). The xRocks I want to dress in 6-8 weeks... but it's been about 3 weeks and they aren't all that big yet. Yes, some of them are twice the size of some of the layers (some) but I don't know how I would be able to dress these birds 3 weeks from now. Maybe the feed?

    I read that I should be feeding them 30% protein (feels like a lot!) but I had just gone to my local farmers exchange before I knew better and purchased Southern States Start-N-Grow. The label says 18% protein.

    I'm going to guess that's too little? What should I do? Should I change feed? Should I supplement with something else (eggs, etc)?

    For the layer chicks, should I keep them on the same feed or switch them to a higher protein feed for a time too?

    Any input I would appreciate.
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,834
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    It's says on the bag of chick starter I use that you feed them that from day old to finish - and they are big and plump. I think you will find that they really go through a growth spurt during the 2nd half of their short lives. I don't think 18% will hurt them - maybe just maybe add more fat than meat. Good luck to you!
     
  3. LukensFarms

    LukensFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    205
    12
    83
    Jan 5, 2013
    Fort Collins, CO
    This depends in part on your target weight. We can't advise you on your feed until we know how big you want them.
     
  4. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,215
    140
    243
    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    18% starter for the layers is fine for the first few months.

    For the others, how much are you feeding them?

    I raised 17 cornish x on Flock Raiser 20%, I fed them 12 on 12 off and started processing them at 4 weeks as game hens and then 8-10 weeks. By 8 weeks I couldn't fit 1/2 a bird in a 1 gallon ziplock. I didn't lose any to heart or leg problems.

    How much would you say they weigh? They should average about 1.5 lbs at 3 weeks old.
     
  5. Simeo

    Simeo Out Of The Brooder

    47
    0
    32
    Jan 22, 2013
    North Georgia
    Thank you for your reply. My target weight is "big enough to eat". I'd like to dress them out at 4-6lbs actually. I feed them 12 on 12 off with the feed I said I was using before. They will be 3 weeks old tomorrow and they average... 9.9oz

    If 1.5lbs is the average they should be at that really sucks. Only one of my birds is 13.3oz with the smallest being 6.6oz. Most of them are between 8-11oz. The "Start-N-Grow" from southern states is 18% protein. My chicks are vaccinated for cocci and the only feed they have at the feed store is medicated 20%. What should I do?


    Edit: The feed store only has sporting bird starter (28%) and flight developer (22%), both medicated, besides the start-n-grow medicated and non-medicated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  6. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,215
    140
    243
    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    Reread your 1st post. Are they Cornish Rock X or Rock X? If they aren't a cornish cross then they will not grow nearly as quick. It is very confusing since so many places sell basically the same hybrid but they call them different things. I always get a few of the big hatchery catalogs so that I have a quick reference to very basic info on different birds. Now the hatcheries are also calling them white broilers, cornish roasters, jumbo cornish and cornish game hens. [​IMG]
     
  7. Simeo

    Simeo Out Of The Brooder

    47
    0
    32
    Jan 22, 2013
    North Georgia
    Mcmurray calles them "Jumbo Cornish X Rocks" I weighed what seems like the largest one today and it was at 15oz. I'll guess the others are somewhere around 9-14oz today.

    Would it be ok for me to feed them the flight developer (22%)? It's medicated with BMD but they don't have have any other feed available for them besides the sporting bird starter (28%)

    I've read that BMD is safe up to 400 times the recommended dosage. I'll guess it's safe then?

    Edit: Today is exactly 3 weeks old by the way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  8. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,735
    117
    188
    Nov 16, 2012
    Does your Southern states not have any rooster booster or anything like that? Or just meat bird crumbles. Our local store literally has like 30 varieties of food. I plan on feeding mine the meat bird crumbles...makes sense to me. \

    It is 20% and non medicated. I'm not really for the All Grain thing, since chickens aren't vegetarians, but whatever as long as they are getting the higher protein. Surely they have something with higher protein, that is non medicated. Ask them, perhaps they can order some to your local store.
     
  9. Simeo

    Simeo Out Of The Brooder

    47
    0
    32
    Jan 22, 2013
    North Georgia


    They don't have anything like that. Just Start-N-Grow, Sporting Bird Flight Developer, and Sporting Bird Starter. No rooster booster, no meat bird crumbles.
     
  10. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,215
    140
    243
    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    I don't have southern states close to me but looking at their website they do make a "meat bird maker" You could call to see if they can order it for you and how long it would take to get.

    I, personally wouldn't go with the really high protein. It seems like thats when you'd run into problems. If it was me, I'd go with the 18% for now and order the meat bird feed. Many of the hatcheries recommend 18% at their age anyway. Some people just like to push them faster with higher levels.

    Remember that you'll need to find out the withdrawl time for the medicated feed. It looks like its safe for them to eat but remember you and your family will be eating them. I try not to feed medicated only because I don't want to eat it too. ;)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by