Super Chicks....hatched Nov 18th, already crowing

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Gittx, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Gittx

    Gittx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG](they enjoy scrambled eggs too)

    I'm confused once more about the feeding recommendations. I have 5 chicks hatched on Nov 18th. They have grown much faster than any other chicks I have raised.....One even started crowing last week. The only thing I can think of that's different from my other chicks is the percentage of protein in their feel. I always feed the medicated until they were well developed, then turned to "layer" food. The feed store I'm using only carries 20% protein, so they've been feed that after the first week or so, after I ran out of medicated. Would that explain their accelerated growth and maturity? I realize this picture doesn't do a good job of revealing their real size since it's from above.
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Higher protein would help explain their more rapid growth. If you have been feeding them a twenty percent versus a sixteen or eighteen percent raiser mix, they would be getting more of the building blocks they would need for growth. There is a school that wants them to mature more slowly so that their bodies are fully ready when they start laying, they do that by lowering the protein in the feed. If you have been giving them treats like eggs they may well have been getting an even higher percentage protein then twenty percent.
     
  3. Gittx

    Gittx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, that's no doubt it. Tomorrow I move them into their new coop. In the mean time, I have felt sorry for them not being in a yard yet, and given them treats like eggs and meal worms. They're going to think I'm mad at them, but the next trip to town I'll buy feed without all that protein and maybe be able to put off leg laying. I hope I haven't done any damage to them. Thank you for the great information!
     
  4. mstrawn3

    mstrawn3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have they been under artificial light 24 hours a day? That can also accelerate their growth and maturity.
     
  5. Euphemia

    Euphemia Out Of The Brooder

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    It was suggested to me to start my brown layer chicks out and continue them on high protein broiler feed.22% However you are supposed to take the feed up at night only offering fresh water during that time. I have not tried this. I feed non medicated chick starter and #1 Grit until eight weeks then switch to flock grower until they are 18 weeks then switch to laying feed and #2 grit. My last 40 pullets have also grown more rapidly than the last batch of day old chicks I raised. I had one rooster that was fully crowing at11 weeks. I chalked it up to better quality of birds. The last group I ordered from a local organic farm store. I had all sorts of problems. from bad legs to death. This group from Stomberg's have been healthy from the start. Came in great shape and have not had any health or behavior problems except one Americana. I thought she might be sick but turned out she may have taken a good bump on the head from dive bombing in the new coop.(this group tends to go a little crazy when I wake them up in the morning) I brought her to the house and she recovered and went back to the baby coop with her flock mates.There are three red heat lamps on at night. I assume that artificial light probably has more to do with early maturing than protein%. However. wouldn't early maturity be measured by the age they start laying rather than how fast they are growing??? I don't know the right answer to that question.
     
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A better diet promotes better growth. That is true through out all species. The abundance of protein allows for faster muscle growth, which is why a broiler's diet is higher in protein. Slowing the growth of muscle in layers allows the a layers body to grow in a better balance. The skeleton and organs become more in line with what the pullet needs to sustain egg production. It is true that a spring chick will grow better than fall chick. The light in a spring day is longer than a fall day, and maybe the extra light has a role. However most attribute the better spring growth to a warmer climate where the chick can put more energy into growth rather than fighting the coming winter. A better quality chick that has a better growth potential is a possible reason, if the OP got the chicks from a different place or a different breed.
     
  7. Gittx

    Gittx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have always warmed my chicks with light. My "super chicks" had a red bulb for the first 2 weeks, then I switched to a regular bulb as a cheaper way to regulate the heat. The last week in the house I turned off the light at night because they were fully feathered.
    I kept earlier chicks, under a regular bulb the whole time in the house, until they were 3-4 months, mostly because they weren't growing as fast as the super ones.
    Today is the chicks 2 month anniversary, and they went out to the coop yesterday. So far all is well, although I had put them out in the pen, and instead of going into the well lit coop, were huddled in a corner of the pen. At 9 p.m. last night I crawled into the pen to retrieve the little sweeties and place them in the warm coop. I guess these super chicks don't have super mental abilities........but I love them just the same. [​IMG]
     

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