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How many chickens? - Page 4

post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalevi View Post

Junebuggena, are you saying that if I do the barely and sunflower seeds as well as garden greens, that I would switch to grower or flock food? And they still get the same nutrition? I have read a little on the fodder feeding and I know it's not just barley. There are several recipes so to speak but my intention is to always provide an organic dry for them as well. Thank you for your input.

Barley, sunflower seeds, and garden greens are not great sources of protein. Layer feed has just barely enough protein in it to support laying. When fed with other things, you run a very real risk of the birds getting protein deficient. That can lead to feather picking and egg eating, both of which can be very difficult behaviors to stop. A grower, all flock, or flock raiser feed has a higher protein content to help balance the overall intake. They will still lay just as well, if not better, on a feed other than layer. There is no magic ingredient in layer feed that makes them lay. For most backyard flock keepers, layer feed is actually not an appropriate feed at all. It's great if it's the only thing you offer your birds, with very limited treats. But if you free range, or offer lots of extras or treats, you need to balance the lower protein levels of the treats, with a high protein feed and supplement calcium with crushed oyster shell.

post #32 of 33
So completely different than what I was told. I was told foraging would give them plenty of bugs, hence plenty of protein. Just like anything there are lots of opinions. Lol. I appreciate your knowledge and will look for a higher protein organic food. Can you also she'd any light on adding extra oyster shells for calcium or grit?
post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalevi View Post

So completely different than what I was told. I was told foraging would give them plenty of bugs, hence plenty of protein. Just like anything there are lots of opinions. Lol. I appreciate your knowledge and will look for a higher protein organic food. Can you also she'd any light on adding extra oyster shells for calcium or grit?

Oyster shell is a calcium source, it is not a substitute for grit. Layer feed has enough calcium added to it, you don't really need oyster shell. If you feed something other than layer, then you need to make sure that they have access to a source of calcium. 

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