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Some feed questions for a mixed flock, any help would be appreciated!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by purplepeep, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. purplepeep

    purplepeep In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2009
    Northern Ontario
    I am new to chicken raising, and have a few questions about feeding. To start I'll tell you about my flock. I have 16 laying hens (New Hampshire X Barred Rocks, Black Stars, and Columbian Rock X Reds) I also have 16 dual purpose pullets (I have no idea what breed they are. The catalog from the hatchery describes them as: "a combination of some of the heaviest and hardiest dual purpose breeds still in existance") I have included some pictures of them, in case someone knows what breed they are. I was planning on raising the dual purpose birds for meat, but ordered all pullets because I was warned that cockerels would fight, and stress my layers. All of my chickens are 2.5 weeks old, and they are all being housed together. I am feeding them all 20% medicated chick starter crumbles from our local feed store. I have no idea what brand, as it comes in a plain white sack. How long should all the chickens be eating the medicated starter for? Is there a feed that comes after the medicated starter? or do they just go on to layer rations? I assume that by the time my layers are laying (thus eating layer rations) that the dual purpose birds would have already gone to the freezer....??? I have already noticed that the dual purpose birds eat WAY more feed than the others, and they are about twice the size, even though they are all the same age. If anyone has any wisdom for me, it would be very much appreciated!! [​IMG]

    Here are the dual purpose "mystery breed" chicks:



  2. soctippy

    soctippy In the Brooder

    Dec 22, 2007
    if your chicks are growing well you could always find a chick starter feed that has no antibiotics in it. basically though you can feed starter untill they start laying.
    As for the hlaf meat birds, they do eat a lot so they can put on weight as fast as possible, and the high protein feed is exactly what they need. As for weather they will be ready to be killed around the time the others start laying, maybe or maybe not it depends on what weight you wnt to feed them to and how fast they grow.
  3. BawkinOnTheBench

    BawkinOnTheBench Songster

    Jun 13, 2008
    You need to keep them on starter or grower until at least 18 weeks of age - layer feed has too much calcium for chickens younger that that. If you've gone through 1 bag of medicated you are OK to switch to non-medicated as long as your babies are healthy. I think the medicated is just intended to prevent/treat cocci.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Okay, I'm a little confused. You say you have laying hens and dual purpose birds, but then you say all your chicks are 2.5 weeks old. I assume you mean that you have some chicks that you are raising strictly as egg layers and others you intend to use for meat. Dual purpose birds can be egg layers and meat birds. A breed commonly used for meat purposes only would be the cornish Xs. They grow big and quick and are ready for slaughter around 6 to 8 weeks old. The dual purpose birds aren't ready for slaughter quite that fast. You can eat them that early, but they generally won't have as much meat on them as a cornish x would.
    With regards to your feed question, there is a feed that comes between medicated chick starter and layer feed; it's grower or grower/finisher. If the unmedicated grower is available in your area you would feed it to your meat birds until slaughter and to your egg layer pullets until they start laying (or 18 to 20 weeks, whichever comes first). Then your egg layers would go on layer feed.
    Finally, medicated chick starter does not have an antibiotic in it. The medication in it is called a coccidistat. It aids in the prevention of and helps the chicks develop an immunity to coccidiosis.

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