What is the best feed to start & grow meat chickens on?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by crenees, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. crenees

    crenees Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 30, 2011
    Hey Everyone!

    Just rec'd my red broilers (slower growing/not crossed) this morning and purchased Purina's start & grow feed thinking it would be a good feed to get them going on. Now that I'm home & read the package it says that there's no animal protein & I see that it's only 18%. From what I know (which isn't much as this is my first round growing my own broilers) the protein should at least be around 20-24% to get adequate growth and I've even heard some saying they switched to turkey starter at some point (which I'm assuming has even more protein?). Also, I'm not sure why the feed wouldn't contain at least some form of animal protein since chickens are omni's...dont know how this will affect their growth either.

    Any advice is appreciated as I want to make sure my chicks grow adequately and arent lacking in any nutrients.

    PS. the chicks will be free ranging around my 1/2 acre lot once they're old enough to go outside so I'm sure they'll receive a boost in animal protein & grasses once they're released...dont know if this will make a difference in the feed they need but wanted to mention.

    Thanks again! You guys have all been great and really helpful!

  2. crenees

    crenees Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 30, 2011
    Also, as a side note, I'd like to stay away from medicated feed if possible but I've seen split opinions on the matter so any notes on that as well would be great!
  3. madamwlf

    madamwlf Nevermore Acres

    Aug 22, 2010
    Mount Airy, MD
    I used Flocker Raiser the whole time for my meat chickens.
  4. ronniewayne

    ronniewayne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2011
    I fed out 300 broilers last yr 100 heretage and 200 cornish x s ...i too dont use antibotics or hormones or arsenic....in mine and use the salatin pastured poultry method of free rangeing....i tried a 22% chick starter grower and they did pretty well..but the best feed i got was organic fresh ground and they made a 24% starter for 3 weeks and then cut back to a 20% grower...i am not sure the organic was worth the extra cost...dont want to start an argument there some so and thats fine ...but i do think if you local feed mill will grind feed for you from fresh grain..organic or regular...your preference...your chicks will do better...my opinion and my results from raising some broilers....best of luck with yours...one thing i only got 3 weeks at a time feed so it would go stale....[​IMG]
  5. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi crenees,

    The way commercial feed producers can avoid meat protein is they add artificial amino acids like D,L Methionine. The higher the protein on the label, the higher the rate of added artificial amino acids. Cat and dog foods are often balanced in the same way, depending on the amino acid profile each animal requires. If that doesn't bother you, it's easiest, cheapest and most reliable to stick to commercial feed.

    However I haven't fed commercial feed as the staple in ages. My meat birds have grown just fine on a home mix of ground grains, legumes, soured milk, minerals and grass. It takes effort to find a really reliable recipe, but I feel it's worth it (and the expense)...

    I've posted a few tried-and-trusted chick feed recipes on my blog, but they're probably designed for layers rather than meat birds. If you want to click on it, look at the right hand side and scroll down to the recipes. I've also added comments on how you can replace individual ingredients with ones that might be easier to obtain, if you're interested. But warning, it can be hard work (particularly if, like me, you insist on hand grinding the grains to retain as many vitamins as possible)... [​IMG]


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