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Feed Formulation

 
Posts: 9
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Hello everyone. Please I need a very quality feed formulation for my broilers that I intend to raise for about six to seven weeks, dress and sell them. So, I need the type of feed that can make them grow very big and heavy. I could really use your help. Thanks.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1226
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Feed for chickens is a moving target.

For baby chicks, you need a starter feed that is high in protean -- upwards of 20 to 25% protean.  It needs to be ground very fine.  Do not use layer feed or any kind of pelleted feed, as layer feed is high in calcium and that's brutal on their little kidneys.

Once they are 5 weeks old or so, you can switch to a grower mix.  Grower formula is a bit lower in protean and higher in carbs -- basically, a higher percentage of corn.  Once they are old enough to leave the brooder and move into the coop/tractor, they'll also be able to forage a bit.  I'll throw a few more leftovers into the tractor for them to peck at, as well as fruit and veggie scraps.

As they get close to 6 months of age, switch them to a layer formula.  Layer mix bumps the protean levels up a bit, and also if fortified with calcium which is necessary for egg production.  People usually give the girls some crushed oyster shell as well.  Layer feed tends to come in pellets.  Their adult bodies have full-grown gizzards that enable them to digest it, as well as large bugs and other stuff that they'll forage.

Best of luck.
 
Posts: 198
Location: Northern Puget Sound, Zone 8A
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Looks like Kyle is raising Cornish Cross broilers, not pullets.  His chickens will have moved on to freezer camp loooong before 6 months of age.

Kyle - If you don't have everything already figured out weeks before the chicks arrive it's probably too late to do much without spending a fortune if you want anything other than pelleted commercial feed..  At this point if I were you I'd shop around for the various chick starters and broiler feeds and pick the one that has the characteristics closest to what you want and for the price you're willing to pay.  I wound up finding a local company that makes feed and it was a better price buying directly from them vs whatever the feed stores have.  It's not an "organic" feed but it is at least a lot fresher.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 132
Location: Saskatchewan
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I suggest starting them on a chick starter from a nearby feed company for the first 3 weeks. That feed was made by someone who has gone to university for a few years to get the knowledge of precisely what a chicken needs for maximum production and health. This will get them off to a good start.

After three weeks their protein needs decrease and they are much less delicate. You can start mixing in some grains and other stuff you have available. A feed store will probably have a grower ration that is lower protein that you could switch to until you butcher.

Always feel free to feed them bugs. They love bugs. They learn to come to your hand if you frequently have bugs for them.

I have never tried it but I know some people will sprout grains for chickens. I think it makes them more digestible, maybe higher protein?

When I raised Cornish x I liked to kill them at 9-10 weeks, they dressed out at 5-6 pounds. When I killed them earlier it felt like a lot of work for not much meat, and the flavour was a little boring. When they got to 8lbs dressed the legs and thighs are a little tough.
 
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