confused about feed %

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Tuckat, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Tuckat

    Tuckat New Egg

    Jul 10, 2011
    New to chickens here. My chickens are just 15 weeks old and I'll probably have enough starter/grower to carry them until they are of laying age. here comes the confusion......I see 16% and 22% protien layer... mash,... crumble,... pellet...I think the grower stuff is I stay with that or the mash or pellett ?....and what percent ?...gosh this is difficult.......
  2. KenK

    KenK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    Quote:Doesn't have to be, most of the layer food I see is 16%. Crumbles or pellets is a matter of personal preference, either will be fine.
  3. KDK1

    KDK1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    Tennessee Plateau
    They'll get a better balance of nutients with pellets. It might take a day or two for them to get used to them but they'll be fine
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I don't recommend mash. It is just the millings left over at the bottom of the bags that most chickens won't eat. Crumbles can be fed thru out their entire lives, or pellets if you prefer. Go with a good layer feed, either crumbles or pellets when it comes time. My girls are coming close to laying age, and I have just switched over from chick starter to a Flock Raiser feed, pellet form. It can be fed to the entire flock if you have young ones, roosters or laying hens. But you would have to offer oyster shell for the girls on this feed.

    I started my girls on it because I am trying to convert them from crumbles to pellets. It has been one week and all but one girl has converted. It takes a while for them to learn how to eat them but there is less waste with pellets and is better for them over all because they can't pick and choose. Every pellet has the same nutrients in it. Good luck! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  5. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    I don't recommend mash. It is just the millings left over at the bottom of the bags that most chickens won't eat. Crumbles can be fed thru out their entire lives, or pellets if you prefer.

    I agree. There is less wasteage with pellets.​
  6. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:No it isn't!!!!! Where do you people get such misinformation?

    IF you purchase the same feed it will have the same nutrient profile regardless of whether it is a crumble, pellet, or a mash/ground feed.

    Feeding pellets or crumbles should reduce waste and will limit the picking of the feed which should provide a complete meal with every bite.

    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  7. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    Most commercial mash is ground so fine and mixed so well that they will not be able to pick and choose much. We fed it to ours and they ate it with little waste flying out of the feeder. The organic ground feed we use now has lightly cracked grains in it and they do swipe their beaks a bit to get the morsels they like but they eat all of what spills on the ground afterwards. They may not be getting all the exact same mix because of some picking and choosing, but I don't see any significant waste.

    Pellets are a way for chickens to get more feed in their crop every time they eat. We have used all three, pellets, crumbles and mash, and ours liked the pellets the least. Not saying either one is good or bad, just the experience we had.

    Try some of all three and use what is best for you, and what your chickens find enjoyable to eat. No need to make a science project out of it like I did.
  8. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Quote:Mash is not "left over millings" it is just a loose mix of milled grains. It is still a complete ration. To make pellets they take mash, mix it with a binder and extrude it into pellets. Crumbles are broken bits of pellets. We only feed mash here, 120 tons a year to our layer hens. They have no problem with it. I have also have 30 broiler chicks right now that have no problem with it.

    Quote:No so either. If you let them clean up the feeders once a day they get any of the finer materials that may have settled. They will clean the feeders out...

    Tuckat, the protein that a chicken needs is actually a fixed amount depending up their stage of growth and production level. How much protein they get each day depends upon how much they are eating. Layer rations are formulated to give the birds the approximate amount of protein they need when they are eating a certain amount each day, which is governed by the energy level (calories) in the feed. Your standard layer hen needs around 16% or 17% crude protein in the ration. Perhaps 17% when they are in peak production or when the weather is warmer and the hens are eating slightly less. Older birds past their peak or birds that are eating a lot because of colder weather require slightly less, perhaps, 16% feed (or a ration that is diluted with some scratch).

    Don't worry about it too much. If it says layer feed on the bag they'll pretty much do ok on it. If you have a choice, buy the 17% and make it their sole ration when the birds are coming into lay and during hotter weather, in colder weather some scratch on the side provides extra energy and dilutes their regular ration a bit.

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