Differences of feeds for my layers

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Dragonmamma, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Dragonmamma

    Dragonmamma Chirping

    Mar 29, 2013
    I know that meat-builders' feed has a higher protein % than layers' feed. I'm always hearing that I shouldn't give my layers too many treats (such as chicken scratch) because the protein content is too low. So, would it work out OK if I give them the meat-builders' feed with scratch, or is there other stuff in the layers' feed that would be lacking? I always have oyster shell available, so would anything other than protein or calcium be an issue for egg-laying chickens?

    Thanks, Naomi
  2. If you mix scratch into regular feed you are likely to find your feed container emptied out in short onto the floor with only the scratch eaten... From experience I only toss a few handfuls of the scratch on the ground as a treat and let them well 'scratch' for it...

    No need to use a higher protein feed if you are only using the scratch as a treat every so often or in small quantities...

    As for feed, if you have roosters or don't need the extra calcium see if you can get 'all flock' locally, it's what I use since I have multiple roos in with the hens...
  3. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    If "all flock" feed isn't available where you are, you can also just feed them grower feed and be sure to have oyster shell or other calcium source available on the side. I hear some chickens don't get enough calcium this way but we've not had a problem. So often we have such a mixed flock that feeding layer feed is not an option.

    From what I've read is that layer feeds are the lowest protein content (15-16%) of any feed because they aren't growing so much anymore. I think I've also read that you can give layers TOO much protein, but that the 17-19% grower feeds are just fine and will also give you some buffer if you like to feed lots of low protein treats.
  4. Dragonmamma

    Dragonmamma Chirping

    Mar 29, 2013
    I didn't see anything called all-flock, so I'm just going to keep bouncing back and forth between layer and meat-builder feed. They really attacked the meat-builder feed that I got them yesterday, so I figure that means they need it. Also gave them a swinging tinkly-bell filled with shredded cabbage; that was fun to watch!
  5. DanEP

    DanEP Songster

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    All flock is just one name given to a higher protein feed. It really doesn't matter what it's called as long as the protein content is around 18%. I've seen it called grower or finisher as well. Just check the label for the protein % and go from there
    I always have a mixed age flock so I just feed the all flock and give them oyster shell on the side so the girls can get some extra calcium when they need it and I don't have to worry about who's eating what. I feel like it helps the girls out when they molt as well getting the higher protein helps them to grow new feathers.

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