Chicken feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cwall, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. cwall

    cwall New Egg

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    Sep 18, 2013
    Minnesota
    Hello, im new to BYC. happy to be a part of it. Can anyone help?? I have 3 hens and one rooster all 5 months old. My rooster just started crowing a couple weeks ago. I have not had any eggs out of my hens yet. I recently ran out of my chick starter feed and switched them over to a layer feed. After doing some research I have read they can get egg bound if they are on a layer feed and not laying yet. Is this tue?? Also is a layer feed ok for my rooster to eat. He seems to have no problem with it. This is my first flock so I'm learning as I go. They are very healthy and good looking birds, I would hate for soothing to happen by switching feeds.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    At five months they should be fine on Layer feed since they should be laying soon, but you don't need to feed it until they are laying (or offer shell on the side at that point). You don't want to feed Layer feed to chicks because the extra calcium is bad for their kidneys. Egg binding can be due to a calcium imbalance, but usually low calcium. With roosters, a lot of people just let their mature roosters eat Layer food and they seem to do fine on it. Another option is to use an All-Ages or Flock Raiser type food and offer extra calcium on the side for the layers, the layers will eat what they need and the other birds tend to leave it alone. If you are planning to add more hens later to up the hen:rooster ratio, that might be the easiest option for you. And: :welcome http://www.keepingchickensnewsletter.com/site/egg-bound-chicken-symptoms-and-treatment
     
  3. cwall

    cwall New Egg

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    Sep 18, 2013
    Minnesota
    Thank you for the response, very helpful. Could I just keep them all on chick grower and offer the oyster shell on the side instead of using any layer feed?
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Yes, that's fine. Most chicken feeds, except for Layer with the extra calcium, are very similar, just have different protein %. Most people with mixed flocks seem to feed a starter/grower, all ages, flock raiser type food (whatever the brand in question calls it) of around 18% protein.... and have shell on the side for the layers.
     

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