Best feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by williez, Oct 7, 2014.

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  1. williez

    williez New Egg

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    What is the best feed for laying hens? Currently I'm feeding them commercial layer crumble from tiz whiz,I'm keeping their feeder full and they eat as they wish and throwing some cracked corn out with some oyster shells once a day (maybe a 2 cups of that mixture) am I doing it right or should I cut the cracked corn out?
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Sounds like you're doing a great job. I'm not sure what kind of climate you're in, but cracked corn is great during the colder temps because it raises body temps during digestion. You're right in not giving them too much because it's like candy to them.

    A commercial layer feed should have the right nurition for laying hens. I buy Dumore layer pellets. My TSC farm store carries it for $13 to $15 dollars for a 50 lb bag. I switched from the crumbles because they were literally just throwing the crumbles all over the floor of the coop, and it was soooo wasteful. I even use hanging feeders. Once I switched to the pellets, I noticed there was very little waste.

    I also keep their feeders full at all times. That way, they never go hungry. The only thing I do differently than you, is that I don't supply the oyster shell. I've found that the layer feed supplies the right amount of calcium for them, so that's one thing I don't need to buy. The girls seem to have nice strong egg shells without it. (It sure doesn't hurt to offer it--nothing wrong with that.)

    My flock does get to free range for a few hours daily, and I do offer garden left overs when I have them.
     
  3. chickenlover09

    chickenlover09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine aren't laying yet (a few more months! So excided!!!!), but they are eating the Star Milling All Purpose Mash (I keep it available in the coop all day, when they start laying i'm going to switch to the Star Milling/Ace-Hi layer pellets.) Sometimes i'll give them a boiled egg or some mealworms as a treat.
     
  4. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is silly "common knowledge" that needs to stop being repeated.


    Corn is the basis for all reputable chicken feeds. It's a vital ingredient. It's not candy.


    That being said, like anything else, feeding them nothing but corn is not going to go well.
     
  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Corn does not and will not raise there body temperature, if this was remotely true then chickens would be over heating by just eating there regular poultry feed. If you want to "heat" bird up over feed them protein.

    If you look heat stress/strokes in chickens during hot weather one thing you do is drop the protein content in there feed....


    I don't know which Wives Tale is more over used, corn heating chickens up in the winter or corn is like candy...
     
  6. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    There is truly a fine line between being rude and informative. Whether you agree with my opinion on the cracked corn or not, I think my general comment was informative in regards to how I feed my flock.

    Calling someone's opinion silly and berating them for telling wive's tales is just hurtful. There are better ways to inform people. More polite ways.

    BYC should be enjoyable, to all.
     
  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    The comment in regards to "corn being like candy" refers to the way the chickens like the cracked corn. It doesn't refer to the nutritional value. I believe the original poster stated she/he was giving the corn as a treat, which was very appropriate.

    Also, I maybe I should say that the cracked corn is good for winter because it provides energy. Not heat. Here's a few quotes:


    4. Feed them corn in the evening to keep them warm all night.
    Giving your chickens a nice feeding of cracked corn before bed gives them something to digest during the night, keeping them warmer. And they love it, and who doesn't deserve a little extra niceness during a long, cold winter?

    The above was a tip from smallfarm.about.com. It was an article written by a small farms expert. So my thinking might not be what you want to hear, but it's what I've learned throughout my chicken keeping.

    Share your opinions. You should feel OK with sharing your opinions. This is a happy site. Not a place to talk down to people.
     
  8. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nobody criticized how you feed your flock, or what your opinion was.

    What both Chris_09 and I commented on were areas where you were factually incorrect, and promoting misinformation that hurt people's animals. Silly old wives tales should be pointed out as such, as they are harmful. Tip-toeing around them instead of stomping them out just lends them credibility and leads to them continuing to be repeated over and over and over again.
     
  9. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm having a tough time with food...

    When I inherited my chickens/coup I received a bag of Purina pellets. I wish I would've kept them on Purina. I know everyone here hates Purina, but the chickens always ate that stuff up. I couldn't keep the feeder full.

    So I looked for less expensive food, and found TSC's Dumore crumbles. It was only a couple dollars less, but it made the same claims on the bag, so I thought it would be fine. The chickens just dumped it all over the floor of the coup and would never eat the dusty bits, even if they were starving. (One of my chickens even got sick and died, and I assume the poor diet may have had something to do with it).

    So now I've switched to Nature's Choice pellets with probiotics in an attempt to provide superior food at any cost, but they don't seem thrilled with this either. I never see them eating it. I think I'm gonna put some medicated chick starter in with it just to see if that helps them get their appetite back. Long term, I think I will go back to Purina.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  10. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickmom, the problem is that the word candy has very negative health connotations. You may mean it as a reference to how they eat it, but almost nobody reads it that way. Everybody reads it as you saying Corn is bad for the birds.


    As to sharing your opinion, there are places where opinions are warranted, and there are places where there's copious amounts of relevant data. This is one of those cases - corn is a basic building block of chicken feeds. Chicken feeds are typically 60+% corn. Chicken feeds that don't contain corn are generally inferior to those that do. Corn isn't like candy, and people continuing to repeat that canard just spreads misinformation. That canard gets people to buy poor "No Corn!" feeds that are inferior for their birds.


    As to the smallfarm.about.com - she's basically saying that giving them anything to digest will keep them warm - which is a bit silly. Chickens are homeothermic - they can regulate their body temperatures as long as they have the energy necessary to do so (and the temperatures aren't too extreme) - they'll eat more doing it - but there's nothing magic about corn here.
     
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