Do you make your own chick feed?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by peri_simmons, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. peri_simmons

    peri_simmons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    312
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    ohio
    Last week Dh bought home 6 Buff Orpington chicks from Tractor Supply. He bought home their unmedicated chick starter. I have no information, because there is no lists of ingredients on the bag.

    How are you to know what you are feeding? So, I decided to make my own. I put oatmeal, frozen peas, frozen corn, some lettuce seedlings(romaine, little tom), too cold to plant out yet. Some other herb odds and ends that are getting leggy. along with milk powder. I whirled it for a few seconds in the food processor. I sprinkled it in with the store feed.

    What do you do if you want to know what they are feeding your chicks in those chick starter bags? Why don't they list exactly whats in them?
     
  2. Wisconsin Ann

    Wisconsin Ann Happy Scrounger

    Messages:
    13,635
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    There should be a label either ON the bag, or attached to it, that gives the protein level, and the ingredients. By law I think there has to be one...it's possible that it was ripped off the bag, tho. (sometimes it will say "meat products" or "plant protein" as a catchall for whatever they use that batch....some ingredients are hard to get month after month in all areas)

    The chick starter has minerals and salts in it that the chick needs to grow well. There is a product called "poultry nutrients" that a farm store can usually order for you if you really want to mix your own.

    from what you listed, you gave them maybe 10% protein, which is WAY to low. Although the milk powder, depending on how much and what type, would raise that. chicks like to have as much protein as practical....18%being the norm for a "chick starter". Some of us use 21% protein, or higher.

    Birds out on their own foraging will eat a lot of insects, worms, etc. to get the protein. Also weeds like plantain, dandelions, etc., as well as whatever seeds drop to the ground.

    http://www.lionsgrip.com/protein.html is an excellent place to start if you're interested in what is fed to chickens, protein levels, and "the ideal feed".

    eta: every animal needs salt to live. if you continue to mix your own feed, and don't get a poultry nutrient, you might want to add something like VitAl or Poultry electrolytes to their water.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011

  3. Joshie

    Joshie Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,298
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Location:
    Illinois
    If you're not experienced in making animal feed you'll likely lose these chicks. Chick starter is different from regular feed. Have you researched the nutritional needs of chicks/chickens? It sounds like these are your first chickens. I'd really recommend raising these chickens on feed. Chicks die easily enough when on feed.
     
  4. oregon woodsmok

    oregon woodsmok Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,336
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Location:
    Central Oregon
    Don't feed seeds that were sold to you as seeds to be planted. They are sometimes treated with insecticide or fungicides, or coated with inoculates.

    Until you get your degree in nutrition, feed the commercial chick starters.
     
  5. peri_simmons

    peri_simmons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    312
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    ohio
    Thank you for your responses. I did find the label under the bag and there is a label ( silly me).

    I will look up the above link on home-raised and formulated feeds however, the label had stuff in their that I couldn't pronounce.

    I try avoid stuff like that in the supermarket for my family. I will continue to use the chick starter, but I hope to augment with some other organic stuff I feel better about. Plant by-products, processed grain by-products, pyndoxine hydrocloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, monocalcalcium phosphate, plus 22 other additions makes me uncomfortable.

    I have had chickens before and feed them the traditional way no problem. They were healthy and fine. Since that time I had a dog sicken and die while useing a premium dog food (later recalled) that was made in China.

    It then made me hyper aware of what might be in animal food. I will do more research. I love how much easier it is to open a bag, feed it and trust the companies. But, I am just afraid to.

    Does anyone feed homemade chick starter with good results?
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Do you have access to raw milk? How about meat scraps? People have raised chicks successfully for thousands of yrs before commercial feeds became available. I'm raising a batch on sour milk, cornmeal and oats plus whatever their mom finds for them. Trying to get away from commercial feed because my daughter is reacting badly to the eggs. I do have dairy goats so that helps. The chicks are all healthy and their mom and I haven't lost a one. She brings them to the front door 2 or 3 times a day for meals.