Question about growth rate

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by southernsibe, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. southernsibe

    southernsibe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2007
    kensington, maryland
    For those of you that have raised numerous chicks at various times of the year, can growth rate be influenced by what season the hatch occurs? The reason I am asking, the two eggs that hatched for me about five weeks ago are appearing to grow a lot faster then the day old peeps that I got in March. I was wondering if there is some sort of internal clock they have telling them they have more time or less depending on the weather, and what heat/cool they are exposed to. The two chicks are in my garage which is very temperate. It doesn't get very cold there and they still have a heat lamp. Any ideas on this?
    thanks
    Rachel
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Hmm. I don't think they respond to season but they can respond to how "fresh" their feed is due to nutritional decay over time in old food. The biggest thing may be the adults and how "healthy" they were as the health of the parents can impart on how well the chicks do.
     
  3. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    I don't have a ton of experience with this...

    But I will tell you I have 3 8wk old chicks. They were so TINY when I got them at 3 wks.. and have suddenly SHOT UP. I do know that length of day has something to do with how quickly a pullet matures, which is why Storey's Guide says you have to add supplimental light for chicks hatched this time of year (to slow down the maturity). Maybe it affects growth rate also?

    Meghan
     
  4. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2007
    Galesburg, IL.
    Chickens and in general, all birds are capable (but not always successful) of the same potential energy intake during the summer as in the extreme cold in winter. Take metabolism for example. There are two types known as existence and productive energy.

    Existence energy is the composite of energy requirements involved in maintaining standard or basal metabolism, in chemical heat regulation, in securing food and drink (economic maintenance) and in the heat increment or "specific dynamic action" of digestion and assimilation.

    Productive energy (economic production) is defined as that portion of the metabolizable food intake over and above the energy requirements of existence at a minimum level of activity. Productive energy is not to be confused with net energy which is defined as the metabolizable energy of food minus the heat increment of feeding, and which is available both for other factors in existence metabolism and for productive activities. Productive energy is of importance to the bird as this is the energy utilized for such activities as growth, locomotion, reproduction, molt, and fat deposition.

    The type of food consumed, its protein content, and its balance of essential elements and vitamins may affect the efficiency of its utilization as energy.

    The productive energy for any given month is simply the difference between the potential intake and the amount required for existence. So how fast your chicks grow is dependent on how much food they get over what they need to exsist and thrive. Summer months provide more food hence a faster growth rate. Winter is slim pickings for free ranging hence a slower growth pattern unless supplimentation is increased. Basically, are they going to be a marathon runner or a couch potato.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2007

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