Best layer ration?

Inharmony

Chirping
11 Years
Jul 14, 2011
30
9
79
I have two options for layer ration in my area. I'm not sure which is better? They do have some slight differences between them. Can someone offer guidance on what to look for in quality feed?
 

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U_Stormcrow

Crossing the Road
Jun 7, 2020
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I'm not in Ontario Canada, not sure what feeds are available to you, but the general recommend is an "All Flock/Flock Raiser" type feed with oyster shell on the side to provide calcium support to your layers in whatever quantity they decide.

Now, to your question. The second feed has substantially higher protein, and will be generally better for your birds health, wieght gain/maintenance, and speeding thru molt. It will also have statistically significant and measurable (but so small to be unnoticeable in the typical backyard flock) benefits to frequency of lay, egg size, and quality (contents). However! Its also 4.3% calcium, which is a high ration for any bird - possibly appropriate for a first or second year hybrid layer like an RSL, BSL or even an improved leghorn - but its above the levels studies found necessary to support leghorn battery egg production in the 60s and 70s.

If you have heavy, winter hearty breeds which infrequently lay medium to medium large eggs (i.e. Australorp, Brahma, Cochin, Orpington, Sussex, etc), that's definitely more calcium than they need, which will promote long term health problems. Its definitely an issue long term for any roosters you might have - and I'd not feed it to pullets before start of lay, particularly if they are slow to lay, like a Brahma or Cochin.

Also, I see your labels aren't as complete as the US equivalent. I would love to know what the ingredients were, to make some guess at the amino acid levels underneath those protein numbers.

But if those are your only available, reasonably priced, fresh alternatives? Go with the second, get an ingredients list and suppliment with a bulk (treat) - I can't believe I'm saying this - to address any assumed weakness in the amino acids and get the calcium content of your bird's daily rations down. Particularly if your flock has any of the birds I mentioned, or similar breeds. and if I'm not mistaken, you have some older birds, as well - so they are already beyond peak lay period...
 

BrooksHatlen

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jun 2, 2020
7,160
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Near Devil's Millhopper
I'm not in Ontario Canada, not sure what feeds are available to you, but the general recommend is an "All Flock/Flock Raiser" type feed with oyster shell on the side to provide calcium support to your layers in whatever quantity they decide.

Now, to your question. The second feed has substantially higher protein, and will be generally better for your birds health, wieght gain/maintenance, and speeding thru molt. It will also have statistically significant and measurable (but so small to be unnoticeable in the typical backyard flock) benefits to frequency of lay, egg size, and quality (contents). However! Its also 4.3% calcium, which is a high ration for any bird - possibly appropriate for a first or second year hybrid layer like an RSL, BSL or even an improved leghorn - but its above the levels studies found necessary to support leghorn battery egg production in the 60s and 70s.

If you have heavy, winter hearty breeds which infrequently lay medium to medium large eggs (i.e. Australorp, Brahma, Cochin, Orpington, Sussex, etc), that's definitely more calcium than they need, which will promote long term health problems. Its definitely an issue long term for any roosters you might have - and I'd not feed it to pullets before start of lay, particularly if they are slow to lay, like a Brahma or Cochin.

Also, I see your labels aren't as complete as the US equivalent. I would love to know what the ingredients were, to make some guess at the amino acid levels underneath those protein numbers.

But if those are your only available, reasonably priced, fresh alternatives? Go with the second, get an ingredients list and suppliment with a bulk (treat) - I can't believe I'm saying this - to address any assumed weakness in the amino acids and get the calcium content of your bird's daily rations down. Particularly if your flock has any of the birds I mentioned, or similar breeds. and if I'm not mistaken, you have some older birds, as well - so they are already beyond peak lay period...
While the protein was much better, I felt the fat was too high in the second.
 

U_Stormcrow

Crossing the Road
Jun 7, 2020
8,189
28,647
776
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
While the protein was much better, I felt the fat was too high in the second.
The fat content is a reasonable reason for concern. If the two feeds were otherwise equal, I'd reject over fat, even though I have ducks, which benefit from a somewhat higher fat diet. (and my birds free range, which can also help with fat levels)

My suspicion is that BOSS is used in the ingredients of the second feed to bump up the protein content cheaply - with the consequence of higher fat levels.

We are on the same page. Just easier to bring calcium down and sacrifice some protein than to bring protein up without adding fat.


I am, however, curious as to why @DaisyG2317 recommended a no soy feed??? At least its Nutrena's "Hearty Hen", rather than a generic recommend, so we know they have added Lysine from some source to compensate for the lack of soy.
 

U_Stormcrow

Crossing the Road
Jun 7, 2020
8,189
28,647
776
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Because my husband has gout and soy is bad for it:cool:

Also I just thought maybe if OP couldn't find an all flock it would be a good alternative because the higher protein.
Is this a "we avoid it because we can and its not particularly expensive to do so" situation?

I wasn't aware that chickens consuming soy resulted in chickens containing high purine levels. and there have been some studies lately (Singapore , Japan, and the UK) casting some doubt on the very common low purine diet recommendation as well, suggesting it may be somewhat more complicated than avoiding all high purine foods. There's another (small) study showing raised urates following consumption of raw soy and soy milk, but not plenty of processed soy options, like soy cakes...

In any event, thank you for sharing, and hopes you can find the answers you need.
 

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