|Posted by Larry Locara on April 9, 2012 at 12:25 PM|
We have this spare time during the Easter break and we thought we can update our friends on how we feed our game chickens in the light of the new developments in the industry and in our game: cockfighting. Consider the following factors that would greatly affect the results of our crop of stags and cocks this year.
First consideration: Three big money events for the stag season, the Bakbakan, Rambulan and the Digmaan. These events promise for the breeder a ticket for a better life for him and his people. We are also interested in this, particularly the Digmaan because this is what we can afford, being a smallscale breeder. but whether you are small or big, the bottom line is that we all should be able to produce stags that can compete and have chances of getting to the championship. For this, feeding the right feeds and at yhe right amounts would mean healthier stags with the proper height, conformation and station.
Second consideration: Budget. This is probably the bottom line. Feeds are expensive and one can only hope to raise good chickens with limited resources. But there are alternatives when one is innovative and even inventive.
We are only writing from experience in the hope that somehow others can draw ideas from them.
FEEDING OUR CHICKS:
This is the most critical stage of the chicks' life. Like all the others, we feed only the best quality and even the most expensive chick booster feed in the market. We also follow the recommendation of one manudfacturer to feed only for 15 days then shift to the starter. Their recommendation stems from the complaints and observations of breeders who claim that many of their chicks fed longer on chick booster tend to have shorter shanks and longer legs.
We shift to a mixture of the expensive starter in 1 kilogram packs and the cheaper "1000". "100" or "1". This way, we save about P5 per kilogram without compromising the health of our chicks.
From day 1 we already add probiotics at the rate of 1/2 teaspoon per liter of water. More than this rate will induce lack of appetite for the chicks. We have seen the benefits of using probiotics since we started using it in 2004. We don't need to explain about this anymore.
In extreme cases where our budget gets compromised we resort to the ordinary chick starter crumbles fed to broiler chickens but we add 1 tablespoon of a powder vitamin-mineral preparation with added amino acids. There is a brand intended for pigs and this works well with our chicks too. Sometimes we also add skimmed milk at the rate of 1 heaping tbs per kilogram of feeds. With these added ingredients, there is an increment cost of about P3.00 per kilogram but the nutritional value had been greatly improved.
FEEDING THE GROWING STAGS.
From 2 to 4 months, our stags are fed with the stag developer rations of any of the popular brands although at 4 months we prefer to use the one we developed for a large company. This stag enhancer is good especially if you plan to compete in big fights. But feeding with the ordinary developmersis also as good especially if you fortify with amino acids and vitamins and minerals which are also freadily available. when on freen range, it is best to add probiotics on their drinking water since probiotics tend to exclude harmful bacteria from the internal systems of the chickens.
During this stage, we watch out for many things like feather picking, stunting and sudden weakness as manifested by lack of appetite and lack of physical activity. These are early signs of disease infestation and the chickens are immediately transferred to a quarantine area for treatment. Father picking is a sign of amino acid defiency and specifically methionine which is needed for feather growth. By picking others' feathers as a raction, the chicks think they can supply their own body's needs with that particular amino acid.
FEEDING STAGS ON CORD WALK:
Many feed companies have already turned out their own maintenance feeds. Years ago we already anticipated the demands of big competition and we designed an appropriate feed to meet such requirements. But we based the feed on a very basic feed easily available in the market: the Hog Starter Pellets. We had been using this since the early 1980s when there was yet no specialized feeds available. Until now, we still use this for maintenance. From the time the stags are corded, we feed them with a full diet of HSP without any grain mix since we are after body development. Of course we add vitamins, minerals and amino acids powder which works well to further develop the muscles and bones of the growing stags. At 7 to 8 months, we add gradually the grains at a maximum rate of 20% so that the stags get used to eating the grains. HSP is an excellent feed especially if you buy the brand manufactured by a large company.
In the latter part of the season, we add grains so that the stags get used to eating them since during the conditioning period, they will be fed with a larger portion of grains in their diet. However we add more vitamins in their diet. When fed appropriately, the stags seldom get fat deposits and it makes the job of the handler easier.