Friday, June 17, 2011

Starting chicks at Diamond T Poultry

4 month old Black Javas from diamond T Poultry
4 month old Black Java cockeral courtesy of Diamond T Poultry
When I take chicks from hatcher and move them to the brooder I begin feeding a 22% protein starter / grower, I use Purina Honor Show Chow. Since the chick feed is medicated with an antibiotic to prevent coccidiosis, it can eventually kill too many of the "good bacteria" in their digestive system causing digestive stress.
An occasional bit of plain yogurt helps keep their intestinal flora in balance for healthy digestion. I mix ground Calf Manna pellets at a rate of  10% ( 1 qt. To 9 qts.) in with the chick starter grower crumbles. This is measured at dry volume measurements, not weight measurements. I have this premixed in a plastic container with a tight lid on it. I feed this as their sole diet until they are about two months old. From  day 1 through day 14 I add Chick Saver or any vitamin / electrolyte mix to the water.   After that point they get it twice a week (usually on Sat. and Wed.) On the other days plenty of fresh water at all times.
  From that Point I put them on a 20% maintenance type finisher (I use Purina Flock Raiser) free choice with 5% by volume of  hard red winter wheat. Make sure it stays dry and clean and not accessible by rodents. At this point I also give access to grit. I use blasting sand it's a little courser than just regular screened sand but finer than most crushed granite. I also at this time I begin supplementing their feed twice a week with what my Family called Bun's mess. Mixed as follows:
  Keep three quarts of  20% laying mash indoors for a few hours until it reaches room temperature. Warm a 2 oz. bottle of VetRx. Pour entire bottle into mash and mix well by rubbing mash between hands. Let stand in warm room overnight. Next day, put this treated mash in a container with a tight lid and let stand for about two days.
           Mix thoroughly 3 cups dry 28% protein puppy food w/1 teaspoon of Bun's mess 
           Put 3 oz buttermilk or yogurt in a qt. Jar
    1.    Add 2 cc Red Cell.
    1.    Add 12 oz warm water, put lid on and shake it up good.
    2.    Add this liquid to the dry puppy food & VetRx mixture in sealable  container and put the lid on. Let soak overnight. then feed first thing in the morning. But only feed what they will clean up immediately, about 10 minutes, make sure trough is big enough for all to get access.
    3.     It is especially important that the birds get the correct dosage of Red Cell when using it in this mixture or in drinking water, because it contains selenium.
    4.    For layers and brood birds I mix 1cc per gallon of  clean water twice a week.
    5.    Both the Chick saver and Red Cell get baby chicks off to a good start while helping boost their immune system.

By following the above nutritional program the best I can, My birds have a good appetite so they eat well, grow fast, have plenty of vigor, have good weight, stay healthy and strong, and they grow to be very big with beautiful lustrous feathering. Our breeders have excellent fertility and reproduce strong and healthy chicks that thrive.
Jeff Thornton
Diamond T Poultry

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