What to feed?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ChickenThug, May 10, 2011.

  1. ChickenThug

    ChickenThug Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Mabelvale Arkansas
    Hey guys need input. Was thinkin bout startin my new chicks out on a 24% protein game bird chick starter and then changin it to a regular 18-20% protein crumble. Will this have any adverse affects in the chicks or is that perfectly fine?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The standard progression for chickens that are intended to be laying chickens is to feed them Chick Starter, usually 20 to 22%, for the first 4 to 8 weeks, then switch over to 16% Grower until they start to lay, then switch to Layer. It does not matter that much when in the 4 to 8 weeks that you switch to Grower. I do it when the Starter runs out. If you are feeding chickens that are intended purely for meat, not a laying flock, then higher protein is called for.

    Part of this is pure cost efficiency. They do not need the higher protein and it is more expensive, so why needlessly spend the extra money.

    Part of it is that they need to mature as they grow. Their bone structure and internal organs need to develop as they put on weight. There is wide range of what are acceptable protein levels without causing harm. I've seen 30% protein as a threshhold for adult chickens where extra protein causes medical problems, but I don't know what that upper level is for growing chicks. A standard method for raising dual purpose chcikens together where some willl be layers and some will be for meat is to use 20% flock raiser instead of 16% Grower once they are off the Starter. If the intended meat birds are broilers instead of dual purpose, I would not try this.

    I suspect you will probably be OK doing what you propose, but I really don't know. I'd think that people that raise turkeys with chicks might do that. But unless you have a specific purpose in exceeding the recommendations and maybe causing a problem, why would you do that?
     
  3. ChickenThug

    ChickenThug Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Mabelvale Arkansas
    My thoughts were that they grow SO fast from birth to 4-5 weeks that a lil extra protein would help them to not have any muscle issues. Also I thought about mixin the 24% and 18% i have to reach that 20& level that's mostly recommended for young chicks. Very valid points though in the over growing and losin development in organs and such. Thanks for that enlightenment it does help. But I'm sort of experimentin with it to see what the "right" protein ratio is. But will definitely research more on this. If you find anythang else please let me know. I will definitely cut back on the 24% til I know for sure I won't cause any harm in doin that. And Thank you SO much again for the insight.
     

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