Best layer feed question?

ElaynasChick

Songster
Sep 30, 2019
147
147
118
Washington
Hello! BYC friends, I have been noticing some easily breakable egg shells for a while I was feeding EarthFirst Starter Grower with plenty of Oyster shells available at all times(I was recommended to just continue my chicks on grower feed even when they were layers/ adults by some BYC people) I started noticing some brittle eggs and switched to Purina Home Grown, i still have some brittle eggs.
So i want to switch my flock to either Purina Layena or Purina Layena + Free Range, because both those feeds have purinas Oyster Strong it should make the eggs less brittle. So now i need to decide between Purina Layena or Purina Layena + Free Range, So i need your help because i can't decide
Here are screenshots of the two,
Purina layena on LEFT Purina Layena + Free Range On RIGHT
Screen Shot 2021-11-10 at 5.43.27 PM.png Screen Shot 2021-11-10 at 5.43.38 PM.png Screen Shot 2021-11-10 at 5.43.50 PM.png Screen Shot 2021-11-10 at 5.43.58 PM.png
Purina Layena is $15 and Purina Layena + Free Range is $19
 

HumbleAmerican

Songster
Nov 3, 2021
338
1,271
138
I have fought feed issues for a bit before coming to the realization that I get better results from a meat bird ration (18-20% protein) and oyster shell on the side. It seemed like calcium in the feed was enough to curb them from seeking out sources, but not enough to give nice strong shells. I haven't had shell issues for years.
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
5 Years
Jul 26, 2016
5,684
11,718
671
Connecticut, USA
Been there, done that.
I switched back to a Layers feed with FLAX for the OMEGA 3s, up to 5 times a store bought egg.
I see no difference in egg production or feather plucking between 16 and 20% Protein in my 5 years of feeding different Protein levels.
My Hens (18 months old) in a soft molt are still laying 4 to 5 eggs each weekly. My Pullets 6 months old tomorrow are laying 6 eggs each weekly.
No soft Shells here.
So now i need to decide between Purina Layena or Purina Layena + Free Range,
I am feeding the Layena plus Omega 3s.
20211023_092343.jpg

A recent photo of what I feed on my deck. Scratch and birdseed are mixed and 2 TBSP are given daily each chicken of Laying age as a treat scattered in their pen, 1 Tbsp daily during summer season. GC
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
5,084
15,253
606
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Ca to P ratio is too high. As consequence, the hens can't use the calcium as effectively. Sadly, its even worse with some of the other feed brands. Sorry Nutrena.

I will respectfully disagree with GC and Rooster on this issue - I'm All Flock plus freechoice oyster shell for typical backyard owner, with typical backyard flock and typical backyard management - but readily acknowledge that the atudies show differences in egg size and frequency between typical 16% protein feed and 20% protein feed are quite small, too small for thw typical owner to notice. A couple eggs per quarter, and a gram or two in average egg weight.

and in the interest of full disclosure, i don't feed my own flock in the way i recommend for the typical, but i have neither a typical backyard flock nor typical backyard management, and feed according to my best opinion in balancing risk, cost, production (meat and eggs).

You are of course welcome to read the literature and make your own risk assessment in view of your own situation.
 

RoosterML

Making Marans Great Again !!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 5, 2018
5,786
47,047
982
Tolland County Connecticut, USA
Been there, done that.
I switched back to a Layers feed with FLAX for the OMEGA 3s, up to 5 times a store bought egg.
I see no difference in egg production or feather plucking between 16 and 20% Protein in my 5 years of feeding different Protein levels.
My Hens (18 months old) in a soft molt are still laying 4 to 5 eggs each weekly. My Pullets 6 months old tomorrow are laying 6 eggs each weekly.
No soft Shells here.

I am feeding the Layena plus Omega 3s. View attachment 2895627
A recent photo of what I feed on my deck. Scratch and birdseed are mixed and 2 TBSP are given daily each chicken of Laying age as a treat scattered in their pen, 1 Tbsp daily during summer season. GC
@GC-Raptor being from CT also you should really find your local dealer that carries Poulin Grain. Superior to any feeds available from TSC. Price is roughly $17.50 for a 50lb bag. Give it a test I think you would like it.
 

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