Best feed for show/breeding flock? Think I'm doing it wrong

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by gabbyscritters, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. gabbyscritters

    gabbyscritters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I need your educated chicken knowledge.I am the mom of Gabby who raises and shows bamtams. My daughter is really into her banties but she is young so I help out and try to educate myself so she can have happy, healthy and pretty little chickens.

    Her chickies have been on a worming and mite/lice program, have access to pens outside and over all are treated like royalty. She has small breeds, of various ages, seperated into small groups in breeder and growout pens. She has Dutch, Ameracaunas, Pyncheons and a few odd ball pet girls.

    We had them on a local mill made layer mash, stopped feeding that about 6 month ago, learned it had way too much corn.
    Switched to Home Grown layer brand, 18% protein. Still not convinced it was all that good but our local mill had it
    Recently switched to Purina Layena, 16% protein, as it seemed to have some vitamins that the Home Grown did not. I thought it was Purina, it must be good, now thinking maybe not.
    Youngsters do get starter and grower.

    The more I keep reading on this site the more confused I am getting. I am thinking I'm going backwards, the protein is going down?

    I think some of her birds are too thin, you can really feel their keel bone? Tried boss as a treat, they won't touch it.

    I am not just looking for pretty, shiney chickens I want to keep them as healthy as possible to keep their immune sytems up and live longer than commercial egg layers.
    I'm feeding tiny bantams not commercial layers and yet it seems all the commercial chicken feed is aimed at broilers or layes.

    I'm sure there are better feed choices, enlighten me!
    Thanks
     
  2. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    People have different views on corn. In most feeds it is the number one ingredient.

    I have been raising chickens all my life and I'm a lot older than you are. lol. I have been showing chickens for a long time too. Personally, I use 14% Mill feed. I mix in pond cat-floater (45%) at a rate to bring the protein up to 16%. A month before show season and all thru the winter I also mix in Alfalfa Meal (for greens) and Whole Oats. My chickens are healthy, do what they are suppose to do, and I win (sometimes: lol).

    If the mill feed was working and I assume it was then you need to stick with that: regardless of what others say or tell you.

    Always ask the following question:

    1. Is what I'm doing working?


    If it ain't broke don't fix it. That's what I'd recommend.
     
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    No two breeders seem to do exactly the same thing. First, why are you concerned that the feeds you've used are not good? There is more to a good feed than just protein content. Most US poultry feeds are predominantly corn and soy. I really don't care for either, but unless I want to spend huge amounts ($28 per 50 lb bag plus shipping) there aren't many alternatives.

    You can add vitamins separately to feed or to water, or add in supplements such as calf manna. Try mixing the sunflower seeds into the feed rather than giving separately.

    I use Manna Pro feed, which I feel is one of the best.
     
  4. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There you have it. SS and I agree; so, it must be right! lol.

    You will also find that some feeds are regional (excepting corn and soy: I don't like the soy).
    For example, I don't use Sunflower Seeds as SS mentioned because we don't grow them alot (other than dove fields). Instead, we grow lots of peanuts and cotton. So, I usually get the corn/peanut based feed from the mill. At times I've also used the corn/cotton-seed meal too. Both the peanuts and cotton seed meal have a good oil content. (Note: to much cotton seed meal is not good for animals).

    The point we are trying to make is that you do what works best for you in your region.
     
  5. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    I've bred, raised & shown bantams for almost 50 years now. In the course of that time I've tried a number of different feeds/feeding programs.
    For the last 15 years or so I've settled on something that is working well for me. I feed a 22% protein Game Bird Grower. It's the only feed I use from the day they hatch. No starter, no layer, just the Game Bird Grower. Results have been very good in terms of how well birds develop; how quickly they feather & how well they maintain condition.
    Another advantage is simplicity. No deciding when to switch feeds. No remembering which pen gets what. My wife really appreciates this when she does chores for me if I'm away at a show. No confusion, there's just one feed.
    In addition I do use some scratch which consists of roughly equal parts corn & wheat. This is fed rarely in the warm months & more frequently in winter. I also provide green food: grass trimmings, garden weeds & surplus etc.
     
  6. sutillman

    sutillman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The only game bird grower I have been able to find is medicated. Is this what you use?
     
  7. punky rooster

    punky rooster Awesome

    Jul 21, 2010
    Quote:The only game bird grower I have been able to find is medicated. Is this what you use?

    Mine is not medicated, and I use Blue Seal. It's all I fed my birds for the first 8 weeks or so, then I switched to turkey grower.
     
  8. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:The only game bird grower I have been able to find is medicated. Is this what you use?

    No. Blue Seal has a Game Bird Grower that's not medicated. I currently feed Penfield which also is not medicated.
     
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Seems like all the gamebird and turkey feeds here are combined as a gamebird/turkey feed; I have seen gamecock feeds which are various mixtures of grains and seeds. I use Manna Pro gamebird/turkey grower for non-babies; they get chick starter as I want them on medicated feed. I don't use scratch, but do mix in sunflower and safflower seeds as well as calf manna, wheat and oats. I've thought about just mixing in some of my pigeon feed as it is already mixed in a nice ratio, and it would save me purchasing as many bags of different add-ins. As is I occasionally give them pigeon feed, but not very often--it's too expensive for them to have as a regular diet, plus it isn't really formulated to be chicken feed, lol.
     
  10. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

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    As of now I'm feeding 22% "meatbird" feed. I'm happy with it and my birds are laying very well. The only thing I'm not happy about is that there is WAY too much corn in it.
     

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