I feed a 19% poultry feed to all of my birds with oyster shell available free choice. They of course get scraps and whatever they scrounge up while ranging (spilled grain and alfalfa from larger livestock, mushrooms, insects, greens, etc.).
Protein primarily goes to feathers, muscle, and also into the eggs. I feel that it's good for all breeding stock to be on a slightly higher protein feed than just a backyard layer flock which does just fine on the 14-16% layer rations. Breeding ability will be most greatly affected by too much fat. Some breeds are more prone to "obesity" than others and I see it much more in backyard flocks where the birds get lots of high energy treats (scratch grains, cracked corn, sunflower seeds, etc) and are limited in space. Most backyard owners don't realize that they're participating in the good old fashioned method of finishing livestock for butchering and just think they're spoiling their pets.
Very helpful. I do have some laying pullets (Cream Legbars) on Layena Plus - but they are weird picky birds about their feed (OMG, don't get me started!), and actually prefer it. If I breed them, I may try to mix in the Flock Raiser. But regardless, after trying a number of things (fancy schmancy non-GMO organic blah, blah, blah), I've been very pleased with Flock Raiser, would love to keep it long term as the main feed for (almost) everyone. But there's some good experience here, so I thought I'd check. Also, there's some scary stuff about how "horrible" it is to feed higher protein to pullets that I've read - not sure I buy that for a meat flock or breeders - non-hatching eggs from them will just be bonuses.
- Ant Farm
Edited by Fire Ant Farm - 11/9/15 at 7:32pm