Starter Feed Percentages

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chickeninthemeadow, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Chickeninthemeadow

    Chickeninthemeadow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2011
    I have seen 24%, 20%, and 18% starter protein levels in feed. What % would be best for chicks who are to grow into backyard pet hens/layers? Does it matter?
     
  2. Tiffany from Nutrena

    Tiffany from Nutrena Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2011
    North of Pasco, WA
    Protein percentages in feeds are definately all across the board! One thing to look at is the levels of amino acids (examples would be lysine, methionine, etc.) that are guaranteed on the tags. Having guaranteed levels of amino acids tells you that the protein is of a high quality and able to be easily used by the birds. No matter what the end purpose for your flock, you want to provide the best nutrition so that your chicks reach their full potential - even if that is just being the best pet hen around!!! Hope this helps!
     
  3. jact2010

    jact2010 New Egg

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    Apr 3, 2011
    Of the research I've done you should start your chicks on at least 20% protein and then ween them down as they get older and they should end up at 16% protein when they start laying. For instance: 1day old-6wks old:20% protein, 6wks-14wks:18% protein, and 15wks-22wks:16% protein. The first food is called Starter, second is called Grower, and third is called Developer or Finisher. Hope this helps!! I'm new to the chicken life too. My main question before my chicks show up is if I can feed chicks and keets(baby guinea hens) both a 24% starter feed? Hopefully someone will answer this question for me too. Enjoy!
     
  4. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I've never raised keets. But I have noticed that gamebird starter is usually 30% protein, I'm guessing they need more protein than chicks. However, after comparing the ingredients in gamebird starter and chick starter...I feed medicated chick starter to my chicks for the first 3-4 weeks (generally until they have been in the big brooder in the coop, for maybe a week or so, where they are exposed to whatever pathogens are out there and build some immunity) then I feed the entire flock of chicks and hens gamebird feed mixed with a high quality scratch. The hens get a mix that that brings the protein to around 18% and the chicks are gradually lowered from 24% to 18% by the time they start laying. I also mix oyster shell into the feed for the hens so that they get enough calcium.

    I have found over the last few years that my flock, both young chicks and laying hens, do very well on this diet. To each his own. And I believe that a lot of individual feed success has to do with local conditions...the natural forage available, insect availability, natural instinct of particular breeds to go looking for food, other food given to the birds such as kitchen scraps, local minerals found in the soil, etc. So what works for one person probably won't work for anyone else. But when in doubt, especially when starting out, I always tell people to just go with the suggestions on the back of the feed bags...starter first, then grower, then layer.
     
  5. sawmane1

    sawmane1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mcminnville, Oregon
    With my years of experience I'd say; 1 day - 8 weeks 20%-22% Protien; 8 weeks- 15weeks 18% protien; And15 weeks-Death 16% protien.
     

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