All Natural feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by GreenAcresChick, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. GreenAcresChick

    GreenAcresChick Out Of The Brooder

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    I want to feed my chicks organic feed, but in my area (south Alabama) the shipping costs are almost as high as the feed (combined cost of over $50/50lb bag) [​IMG]. My next choice would be all natural. I found an all natural by Purina with no animal by-products, no antibiotics, and no steroids. Does anyone out there have any experience with this feed (Purina Layena Plus)? What are your thoughts and would you recommend it?
     
  2. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Most if not all feeds that you get from a feed store will not have a antibiotics in it and not one will have a steroid.
    As for Animal By-products (animal proteins) I would never use a feed that does not contain at least one sours of animal protein.
    To me any company that is calling a Vegetarian Chicken Feed "natural" is just pulling your leg since, chickens are Omnivores and feeding them a Vegetarian type feed is more Unnatural than it is Natural.

    A much better choice of feed that is put out by Purina would be one of there game bird feeds or show feeds.


    Chris
     
  3. mdbtalon

    mdbtalon Out Of The Brooder

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    Generally I agree with Chris and do not believe a vegetarian diet is natural for chickens so disagree with the approach. However they are not my chickens [​IMG] so I will mention I do have a friend who only feeds her chickens vegetarian food and she is using Nutrena NatureWise food and seems to be having success.
     
  4. GreenAcresChick

    GreenAcresChick Out Of The Brooder

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    I was thinking of supplementing with fish meal. I'm not as interested in a vegetarian diet as I am in a good natural diet without unhealthy additives. I also have read that feed with flax seed makes healthier eggs. Any thoughts?
     
  5. mdbtalon

    mdbtalon Out Of The Brooder

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    No knowledge of flax seed as it relates to chickens so will not go there.

    When you mention supplementing with fish meal though I would question whether by supplement you mean give as an occasional treat or as add fish meal to their daily feedings. Pretty much any commercial feed you buy is going to be balanced for the correct ratios of protein/fiber/calcium/etc for the age/type of chicken you buy. Adding occasional treats or supplements I think is fine, but if intend to take a food that is already balanced and supplement with any significant portions of anything then you are likely going to really be throwing off the proper balance that you were trying to achieve. I fear maybe you will do harm in your attempt to do well for them?

    I know I have seen a number of threads on this board with "recipes" for creating chicken feed yourself and ending up with a good proper balanced diet. Not sure if maybe you have considered that, but it might be something to look into.
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    If you are wanting to go all natural then check into fish meal carefully before using it. A lot of pet food grade fish meal is preserved using ethoxyquin, a cancer causing agent. It is banned for use for human consumption. I came across this info a year or so ago, whether it is still in use I do not know but it's something to look into. Sometimes in trying to do what we think is the right thing we just trade one bad for another.

    I also agree with Chris, most of the brands available at your feed store are not going to contain antibiotics and certainly no steroids.

    My own birds have been fed plain ole' Purina layer crumbles and Purina Flock Raiser for years and they do just fine.

    Edited to add:

    I've heard the whole business about giving flax to make eggs healthier and to me it is just ridiculous. If the goal is to get an egg with higher levels of Omega 3's to benefit the humans consuming them then it's a whole lot easier for said humans to simply take an Omega 3 supplement themselves! If one is doing it to benefit the chickens themselves I guess that might be another story though I'm not sure how necessary that is for them!
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  7. byoder

    byoder New Egg

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    I saw your post about natural chicken feed earlier this year. If you are still looking for another option, I operate a small feed mill in south Alabama with a focus on non-gmo feeds. Custom or standard mixes. Send me a text if you are interested. 251-655-6462

    Thanks,

    Brent
     
  8. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    An old thread, but thought I'd add to it anyway

    I just started doing just this. Using a feed calculator, I am adding about 7% (by weight) of high quality fish meal to their commerical feed. I have read anywhere from 5-13% is what is recommended. Too much can cause bad digestive problems and/or make the eggs taste fishy. Flax can also make eggs taste fishy. I wouldn't use both, use one or the other. I haven't noticed a fishy flavor at 7%.

    I do this because I can get a vegetarian GMO-free (and claimed to be pesticide free) feed for way cheaper than the organic stuff that already has fish meal in it. I can then ferment my feed without the fish meal and feed them dry feed with the fish meal mixed in. I also add some corn, wheat and Nutri Balancer. A bit of work, but not as difficult as mixing a whole recipe from scratch.

    Yes, I've also ready about the toxicity of ethoxyquin as a preservative in fish meal. Some fish meals are preserved with Naturox, a rosemary (the herb) extract. Fertrell has a fish meal preserved with Naturox. Your feed store should be able to order it for you and you won't have to pay the crazy shipping fees. I think I paid about $80 for a 50lbs bag. High quality Menhaden fish meal from Mexico.
     

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