EXPERIENCES WITH COMMERCIAL FEEDS
You really have to be careful about starter feed. A while back all
our biddies starting slowing dying. They get various deformities,
get spastic and just fall over dead. We tried getting them from a
different source, then hatching our own but the result was the same.
After we had another batch die eventhough they had been vaccinated,
(for Merck's) I called the state pathology lab.
They had me bring in some carcasses and a couple of almost dead
chicks. They were dying from rickets caused by a deficiency of
vitamins A and D. I went to the mill to see why my chicks had no
vitamins A and D when they were getting "complete" starter-grower.
This was a mill to which we had switched when the nearest co-op went
bust and in thinking back our chick problems had started about the
time we started using feed from that mill. I had the manager explain
the process by which the feed was made. As it turned out vitamins
and D were in fact added to the feed before it was extruded into
pellets. The pellets were then crumbled by physically shattering the
pellets with a steam of igh pressure water. Both A and D are highly
water soluble so they were putting them in and then washing them
out. Needless to say, we changed mills and always add vitamins to
their water. We were able to save a few of the last batch affected
giving them mega doses of vitamins, but that was one very painful