What do you feed your meat bird chicks?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Anna_MN, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. Anna_MN

    Anna_MN Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2011
    Princeton, MN
    I have a dilemma! I cannot find Nutrena meat bird feed anywhere in the tricounty area. Nutrena is the only thing I will feed my birds because I have been very happy with their product. So I bought a bag of Nutrena All Flock- but it says I can't start feeding it to the meat birds until they are 7 weeks old. What do I feed them the first 7 weeks? I need your help since the babies are coming tomorrow or Monday!
  2. jessicayarno

    jessicayarno Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    Do you not have any local feed mills? What is the percentage of the flock raiser? I know alot of people that start their meat birds on a 20% flock raiser and keep them on that the entire time and don't have any problems. If that is all you have available then they should be fine til you can find a different feed. Sorry to say but eventually you might have to find a different brand to feed your meat birds, if they don't carry just a basic chick starter, but meat birds really do need a higher protein percentage than egg layers.. Some people on here use meal worms to up the % of protein... Hope this helps
    I did a little search for you based on the location under your avatar and this is the closest feed mill i could find.. you can give them a call and see what they carry and if they don't have it, maybe they can direct you to where you need to go. I buy my feed from a local feed mill and it is the best quality feed in the area, free of hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and ruminant meat and bone meal. Hopefully you can find a quality feed in your area.
    Grasston Co-Op Feed Mill

    209 Oak Street, Grasston, MN 55030

    (320) 396-2497
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  3. Anna_MN

    Anna_MN Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2011
    Princeton, MN
    Thank you for your help! I have chick starter for my layers, could I feed them that until they can have the All Flock? There is a pet store in town that carries meal worms. Would this combo work for the first 7 weeks?

    *My chick starter and all flock are 18% protein.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Buy game bird starter or turkey starter for them.

    If you can't buy those, either, you are going to have to switch brands.
  5. Anna_MN

    Anna_MN Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2011
    Princeton, MN
    They don't have game bird or turkey either.....and they don't have meat bird starter in any other brand!!! This is so frustrating [​IMG] I did find a place that will order some for me- but I won't get it until Tuesday and my birds will be here already for a day. It won't be the end of the world if they get regular chick starter for a day will it?
  6. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2010
    I can't see any reason why you shouldn't feed ordinary chick starter. You might (or might not) have to process them a week later, maybe two weeks, but if you're interested in flavor and health that's definitely not a bad thing.

    The only thing is the chick starter is probably medicated. I would be introducing other feeds toward the end of their second last week, as long as they've had ground exposure all along (so won't get coccidiosis). Just make sure all diet changes are gradual.

    The odd mealworm would be great. Access to grass is always good for flavor and meat quality.

    Go for it, I say.

  7. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Feeding them the Nutrena meat bird feed would be better, but that's just me, I like a higher protein, but it would not hurt them at all to eat the Nutrena 18% chick starter all the way through. It is not medicated so you don't have to worry about that. Good luck. :thumbsup
  8. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010
    I find I like the 20-21% level feed. I get it from my feed mill - there is no "brand" or name to it, just their own custom milled feed. They have what they call the 21% "grower" feed crumble, and then an 18% layer crumble or mash. That's it for chicken feed. They sell in 50 or 100lb bags, load it for me, and are as friendly as all get out.

    It's fresher and cheaper than the bagged, branded feed. I used to like pellets more than crumble, but that was because the bagged crumble from TSC was generally dustier and had a lot of powder. I like the crumble more now from the mill. All bags do have a tag with nutritional information and ingredients.

    Check out your local feed mills in the area, to see what they carry (mine carries the layer and grower feed year round). You won't find the variety of brands, but you will find good quality at a lower price. Just ask if they have a non-medicated chicken feed in the 20% range.
    1 person likes this.

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