Best feed for Orpingtons & Australorps?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by siroiszoo, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. siroiszoo

    siroiszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Waller, TX
    I"m used to raising egg layers but have switched to dual purpose birds. I've always free-ranged my egg layers and I keep a mix of hen scratch/layer crumbles available in feeders. (Well, I used to free range. Right now, I'm having some trouble with hawks so everyone is staying in the run these days.)

    My Orps & Australorps are 5 months old. Their grower crumbles aren't keeping them happy and they love it when I mix the hen scratch in with their feed. And of course, since the layer crumble is mixed in with the scratch, they are getting that mix along with their grower crumbles. They also get the leftover grains, vegetables, & breads from the kitchen. I've searched through the forum and can't find the answer I need so I wanted to ask you guys what I should be feeding these birds. So far, they are happy & healthy and are already as big as my red stars & black stars who are 4 years old. But as I was sitting with them yesterday, I wondered if I was feeding them properly since they are a larger bird.
     
  2. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    I start mine on 28% Turkey starter/grower
    I finish them up on 20% Flock Raiser
    After adulthood I supplement occasionally with animal protein when there are no bugs to eat.

    After all the other combinations I've tried, I sincerely feel this is what is best for my Aussies & Orps.

    Lovely breeds [​IMG]
    My favorites!!!
     
  3. bonnylass79

    bonnylass79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 5, 2009
    Central Florida
    I already had mine on layer mash by 5 months. I also mix in some scratch and let them free range. The only thing I've noticed is they tend to need extra calcium. I get eggs from each of my hens almost every day. I imagine they use up the calcium in the feed pretty quickly.
     
  4. siroiszoo

    siroiszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Waller, TX
    Quote:Layer mash? I know what layer pellets are and layer crumbles but what do you mean by 'mash'?
     
  5. siroiszoo

    siroiszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Waller, TX
    Quote:I think I will go Monday and look for some flock raiser or do you think I should still have them on 28% starter grower at 5 months of age? I was wondering if I wasn't cheating them from important nutrients.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  6. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mash.. as far as I know is like crumbles, often served "dampened" but not always

    I switch from 28% protein in the turkey starter at around 6 weeks... sometimes 4 weeks if I'm running out and don't have any more babies to buy a bag for.
    So.. no, I would go straight into the Flock Raiser at that age. You'll want to consider adding Oyster shell on the side for them, or if your me, you'll just dump a handfull into every feeder with the flock raiser and only add more when they run out of oyster.

    Also, I do not ALWAYS add the extra oyster shell.. I get fine sturdy eggs without it.. as I recall the calcium in Flock Raiser is right in line with the calcium in the Layena, so I do not see a reason to ALWAYS add the oyster shell, but it's cheap & easy to do.
     
  7. cthrash1

    cthrash1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Somerset, KY
    Most of the grains in layer mash is ground or milled including the corn so it is a more fine consistency.... Most feed mills do their feed this way. Then you have the layer crumbles that look like crumbled pellets, and then you have the pellets. I was buying layer mash for a while but this year it looks like the mill I was getting it from has started adding more corn for filler and less of the other ingredients so started buying the crumbles instead, they aren't as crazy about them but they eat them.
     
  8. bonnylass79

    bonnylass79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Florida
    Quote:Layer mash? I know what layer pellets are and layer crumbles but what do you mean by 'mash'?

    My feed mill makes it. 15% protein. Ground corn, soybean meal, alfalfa meal, minerals and calcium. My guys love it.
     
  9. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    best coast
    Quote:Layer mash? I know what layer pellets are and layer crumbles but what do you mean by 'mash'?

    Mash is ground feed.
     
  10. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Flockraiser is not recommended for laying birds. It really should only be used for grow out stage up to 20 weeks or during non-laying seasons. It does not have the calcium level of Layena required for laying hens.

    Flockraiser has .8 to 1.3% calcium compared to Layena which has 3.25 to 4.25%.

    http://poultry.purinamills.com/OURPRODUCTS/Products/FlockRaiser/default.aspx

    http://poultry.purinamills.com/OURPRODUCTS/Products/Layena/default.aspx

    I personally would never use a high protein turkey ration for growing chickens, especially heavy breeds. They do not demand the high level of proteins that wild game birds do and in my opinion they do not grow out properly.
     

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