Do I need layer feed? and like 4 other questions lol

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by okiemamachick, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. okiemamachick

    okiemamachick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed my girls all our veggie scraps I also make them whole wheat fodder and I have a tray of oyster shell available at all times plus they have free range of field and wooded area I also throw scratch daily as a treat (mostly in the evenings to warm em up) I'm considering adding BOSS maybe even sprouting it first. Do I also need to be free feeding layers feed? I don't want them to be obese. I have such an array of hens (different sizes)it's hard to put out a specific poundage of feed a day going off of weight and I don't even know what that should be anyway.

    If I did do layer ration I think I will do the FF how much should be taken out daily per hen?

    Can I do FF and fodder?
     
  2. PirocaKeeper

    PirocaKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Layer feed is a balanced diet, engineered specifically for laying pullets/hens nutritional needs. It has the right amount of calcium, vitamins and minerals a laying pullet/hen needs. Everything you are feeding them is very good stuff and I bet they love it. The only concern I would have is when you give them the ingredients loose like veggies now and scraps later and treats after, there is no way to be certain that all of them are getting the right amount of all the nutrients they need. Chickens tend to eat a lot of what they like and not necessarily what is good for them (kind of like children). If you supply them with layer feed, possibly in addition to what you are already doing, you are kind of giving them a better chance, in my opinion, to get a balance diet. That said, no way you can force a chicken to eat something they don't want. I feed mine, layer feed, starter feed, cracked corn, scratch, mealworms, veggies and scraps. I think like any other animal, some of them are heavier than others, but I think in general, they have a good supply. They seem very happy. In my particular case, I have 3 feeders with plenty of mix, they can go at it all day, but they don't, over indulge, they still go scratching around and eating whatever they find. I don't worry too much about them overeating, I would say give it a try at giving them layer feed, if you feel comfortable with it. See how it goes. Good luck!
     
  3. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    I can only speak to my own experience but my girls (22 layers of assorted breeds) have access to layer feed, grit and oyster shell. However, given the opportunity, they will opt to free range and scratch around the yard instead of eating their feed. When I put them back in their run in the evening befor putting them in their coop for the night they will eat at their feed. So, my experience is that they will regulate what they eat and take pretty good care of themselves if they have an assortment of options.
     
  4. okiemamachick

    okiemamachick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok thanks guys I appreciate the answers!
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with the above. Another thing to consider is that it's winter and there's little in the line of forage or protein options. These aren't your great grandparent's chickens that could get sustenance from the barnyard and a couple handfuls of scratch.
    You'll get better production and healthier birds if you feed a complete ration. However, since you're providing oyster shell, you could feed a grower feed instead of layer.
     
  6. okiemamachick

    okiemamachick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I will do a grower because I just got a rooster today and I'm not sure if I'm am going to have him on with the girls or in his own bachelor pad.
     
  7. okiemamachick

    okiemamachick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Layer feed is not good for roosters right? Something about gout and calcium
     
  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Layer feed is not good for any chicken that is not laying eggs.
    So chicks, growing birds, roosters, and non-laying hens (hens not laying eggs do to season, health, age, molt, stress, etc.) shouldn't be fed a layer feed.
    With this in mind most people (myself included) will just feed a good non-layer type feed (non-medicated starter, a starter-grower, all flock, etc.) and offer oyster shells in a side feeder.
     

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