Best layer feed question?

RoosterML

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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.
I don’t feed a 100% layer feed, I do 2/3 layer and 1/3 Turkey/Gamebird due to having geese in my flock. If someone only has laying hens I would only use layer.
 

U_Stormcrow

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I don’t feed a 100% layer feed, I do 2/3 layer and 1/3 Turkey/Gamebird due to having geese in my flock. If someone only has laying hens I would only use layer.
yes and the typical BYC owner typically does not have exclusively production breed hens during their prime production period, with plans to "repurpose" those hens around 18-20 months of age. - that would result in differing feed recommend from me. But it is what layer is designed for, with a bias towards minimum cost.
 

RoosterML

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yes and the typical BYC owner typically does not have exclusively production breed hens during their prime production period, with plans to "repurpose" those hens around 18-20 months of age. - that would result in differing feed recommend from me. But it is what layer is designed for, with a bias towards minimum cost.
Not many if any at all BYC owners keep birds locked up in coop all day. Most if not all are out in pen and/or free range. When you take that into account that cuts back on the layer feed and the calcium itself. So yes I say stay with layer. We all have our own way of doing things. Which is great to hear what works from everyone.
 

Tervuren

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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.
Would you mind expanding on the Ca to P ratio further? And what's wrong with Nutrena? I feed my girls that brand, though I switch between the formulations based on what has the newest mill date. It's usually their all flock, but right now it's feather fixer. Thanks!
 

Folly's place

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I feed Flock raiser, with separate oyster shell, to my mixed breed, age, and sex flock. Last year my only brown Leghorn started laying thin shelled eggs, and I moved the oyster shell feeder from the back of the coop to right next to their door to outside. It made a difference! Apparently she wasn't eager to go to the back corner of the main coop section, but next to the door worked fine for her.
Layer feed, as mentioned, is meant for confined high egg laying hens, not for birds not actively laying, for whatever reasons.
Mary
 

U_Stormcrow

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Sorry for thw late reply. on my xell phobe, poor connection pasr couple days.

Anyhow, as calcium content goes up, the ability to digest/metabolise phytate phospherus decreases. Bone creation takes a ratio of 2:1 Ca:p. In fact, most organic processes use that ratio. Due to digestibilty issues, an actual ratio of about 1.6:1 has been found to be most effective for broilers being given a 1% calcium feeds. Which equates to a P of around 0.6%

Thats been confirmed by numerous recent studies.

Now egg shells "violate" the common ratio, they aren't bone, they are mostly calcium carbonate, which has no P at all. (actually egg shells contain about .3% P) So laying hens need a bunch of Ca for that, in addition to what they need for thwir own bones and other biological processes. But as Ca content increases, ability to metabolize P decreases - so when you see a ratio of 10:1, 12:1, etc its negatively affwcting the usefulness of the P in the diet. A good layer feed, in addition to increasing the Ca should increase the P content to compensate for the reduced digestibility. Very few do.

and to the other poster, Nutrena is fine, but Purina has better amino acid profiles, and often a better Ca:p ratio.

Further complicating? Not every source of Ca is the same - some is more digestible than others. and while feed labels often report digestible P (which is usually almost exclusively from inorganic sources), they don't generally report digestible Ca.
 

ElaynasChick

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Anyhow, as calcium content goes up, the ability to digest/metabolise phytate phospherus decreases. Bone creation takes a ratio of 2:1 Ca:p. In fact, most organic processes use that ratio. Due to digestibilty issues, an actual ratio of about 1.6:1 has been found to be most effective for broilers being given a 1% calcium feeds. Which equates to a P of around 0.6%

Thats been confirmed by numerous recent studies.

Now egg shells "violate" the common ratio, they aren't bone, they are mostly calcium carbonate, which has no P at all. (actually egg shells contain about .3% P) So laying hens need a bunch of Ca for that, in addition to what they need for thwir own bones and other biological processes. But as Ca content increases, ability to metabolize P decreases - so when you see a ratio of 10:1, 12:1, etc its negatively affwcting the usefulness of the P in the diet. A good layer feed, in addition to increasing the Ca should increase the P content to compensate for the reduced digestibility. Very few do.

and to the other poster, Nutrena is fine, but Purina has better amino acid profiles, and often a better Ca:p ratio.

Further complicating? Not every source of Ca is the same - some is more digestible than others. and while feed labels often report digestible P (which is usually almost exclusively from inorganic sources), they don't generally report digestible Ca.
So would purina layena be a good one?
 

Kiki

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So would purina layena be a good one?
Purina Layena feed is just fine.

If you have laying hens please feed them a layer type feed.


Everyone should spend time reading all of the emergency threads and pay close attention to the ones that involve shellless eggs, reproductive type disorders, and stuck eggs.
Pay attention to what that person feeds their bird.

What you feed matters.

My birds are five and a half years old and they eat layer feed. I have never had an eggshell issue of any kind.
 

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