Best Feed for Mixed Flock? PLEASE READ!

ldrchickens

Songster
Jul 1, 2018
588
1,078
221
Oklahoma
My Coop
My Coop
I have a flock of 8 birds, 4 roosters and 4 hens. My flock is made of 2 silkies, 1 sizzle, 1 polish top hat, 1 showgirl, 2 lavender orpingtons, and 1 mystery cross. They are all aprox. 4 to 5 months old varying only buy a few days to a few weeks apart. Ihave read so many articles and comments regarding what kind of feed to feed and the dangers of layer, calcium, protien, etc. on birds. my birds have been on purina flock raiser and recently a mix of chick feed and laying pellets. i am scared this is wrong. Can somebody please help me out on what to feed as of now and what to feed throughout their lives? Im so confused! Edit: No eggs as of yet but they have started singing their eggs song so i believe soon.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
26,442
18,919
781
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I give my birds grower feed. I do order it in pellets from our local feed store. Once in awhile when they haven't ordered I have fed them Game Bird grower. My birds are very healthy. Every year I have them tested by the state and the tester has remarked on how well the birds are. When they are old enough and I'm getting ready for breeding I feed them breeder feed. These feeds are higher in protein than regular layer. My chick feed is 26% my grower is 21% and my breeder is 20%. There are times especially in the heat of the summer months when I feed the older birds Layer 16%. Here are some of the young males in a bachelor coop and pen.
2014-10-07 11.26.20.jpg
 

Sneebsey

Songster
Apr 7, 2017
803
1,433
236
Shropshire, UK
Mine get grower, too, with oyster shell and mixed grit in separate containers. I wouldn't feed layer feed for the reasons you already stated; the excess calcium can be harmful to cockerels and hens not in lay. I get a lot of compliments regarding shell-strength and general egg quality from my customers and the birds are happy and healthy; I agree with @oldhenlikesdogs regarding the benefits over layer; it's better to let the hens decide their own calcium needs, as even with laying hens, there is variation as to just how much they need.
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
4,154
20,246
962
Edgewood, KY
Really at this point because over 18 weeks they should be on %16 layer feed if all your flock is this age. Poultry grit and oyster shell should be free choice. This is ok for roosters and hens. The hens will eat the free choice oyster shell calcium and the roosters will not therefore the rooster should not get too much calcium. Flockraiser is only for flocks of mixed ages. So if you have young and old still together. If not the layer feed is better for them.
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
4,154
20,246
962
Edgewood, KY
Grower feed is ok too if hens not laying yet then most assuredly should be on layer feed once laying. Grower feed should be fed to roosters if are kept separate from the hens.
 

HenOnAJuneBug

Crowing
May 20, 2015
2,720
5,757
392
Flock Raiser is the best if you have a mixed flock of hens, roos and chicks. That's what I used to use when I had chicks mixed with the flock. But I changed to layer pellet after they were grown due to the fact that I like pellet feed better than crumble feed. It's not as good for the roos long term (due to the 3.5% calcium, compared to the 1% calcium of FR), but that's a tradeoff I'm willing to make.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
26,442
18,919
781
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
My males get the same feed as my females. I do provide some oyster shells and granite grit in their feeders because when I go out to collect the eggs in the evening I usually give them a grain/seed mix for a treat and occasionally some vegies. Years ago I gave the oyster shells and grit in separate containers but they would get it out by either billing or scratching it out and then they didn't touch it. Now I put it in their feeders but not on a regular basis. When I notice it's pretty much gone I add more. I actually lasts quite awhile. I don't think they need a lot and they will take what they want. Most people probably won't agree with this method but it has worked for me for years but my flock is a little larger than most. I have a dozen coops.
 

Aceoky

Songster
Aug 19, 2018
200
362
227
W. KY
I agree that for most of us here, there is no need for layer feed at all, it's meant for light high production like white leghorns in cages (as a MIN protein even for them) with our larger "dual purpose" birds 16% is not enough IMHO , plus there is the calcium thing(which some clearly don't agree with) for the roos and non laying hens, not laying yet pullets etc. etc.

With free choice oyster shell, grit on the side also free choice the chickens can self regulate their needs, they're likely better at that than any of us here are anyway
 

ldrchickens

Songster
Jul 1, 2018
588
1,078
221
Oklahoma
My Coop
My Coop
Leave them on the flock raiser. Put out a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs. I wouldn't be feeding a layer. Mine have been on an All Flock for years and in my opinion are much healthier.
Leave them on the flock raiser. Put out a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs. I wouldn't be feeding a layer. Mine have been on an All Flock for years and in my opinion are much healthier.
thank you! that is what i have decided to do. as of right now they are getting a mix of chick feed since i have a bag and flock raiser. thanks for your advice!
 

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom