Do you feed your roos layer feed?

U_Stormcrow

Crowing
Jun 7, 2020
1,597
3,418
286
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
My current ons are quite young, but we have had much older ones previously and they were fine.

So, have your actually had kidney damage from layers?

BYT experts seem against layers feed in general! I would agree with them, but no one gives me any evidence to do so.


Sulky, one study of many. Poultry Science - Note that this was NOT testing whether excess Calcium in non-laying birds was damaging to the kidneys - as that is accepted science - rather it sought to determine if acidification of the feed (similar to the ACV recommends we see on this forum with frequency) would remedy the damage. tl;dr: "in part".

Here's the Abstract:

Abstract
Experiments were designed to evaluate the effect of dietary acidification on the development of kidney lesions induced by excess dietary calcium (Ca) and Gray strain infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). Specific pathogen-free (SPF) chicks and SPF chicks inoculated with Gray strain IBV were fed one of three diets: a commercial pullet grower ration (1% Ca); a commercial layer ration (3.25% Ca); or layer ration plus .5% ammonium chloride (acidified layer ration). Gray strain IBV significantly reduced total kidney weights in males, reduced total kidney weight as a percentage of body weight in males, increased the number of gross kidney lesions, and decreased the number of filtering nephrons when compared with uninoculated birds when both groups were fed the grower ration. The layer ration induced a 60% incidence of kidney lesions, caused a significant increase in kidney weight asymmetry ratios, and caused a 25% reduction in the number of filtering nephrons. Acidifying the layer ration significantly reduced the incidence of gross kidney lesions and reduced kidney weight asymmetry ratios, but did not prevent Ca-induced reductions in filtering nephrons.

More readings?

1
2
3
4

Evidence is trivially located, and free for your reading. These are not extraordinary claims requiring incredible proofs, rather they are well established facts of known pathology and disease progression, against which you would set your anecdotes.

Those of us using All Flock/Flock Raiser with free choice oyster shell have no need to repeat this experiments to establish for ourselves their veracity in order to satisfy your curiosity. I hope this sates your appetite for the issue, as well.
 

ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
4,776
15,102
536
Atlanta GA
If only the extra calcium went to building strong bones! silly roosters. lol.

this is really my first year with a real amount of chickens, so I'm glad for all the info and I will look into what my feed store sells.

I have all cockrells, maybe a couple that are over the year mark, and one rooster who is... old. I dont know how old but 5 at the minimum. Crazy long spurs. Hes been through everything, but has always been free range as far as I know. So hes currently given layer pellets, but previously he was just getting horse feed for awhile. He mostly forages I suppose. I'm just saying that I recognize him being alive and seemingly healthy is not evidence that layer pellets arent a problem, just that his foraging skills seem pretty great to manage despite it.
 
Jul 21, 2020
31
105
69
We made the switch to Flock Raiser and offering oyster shell. The birds seem to be doing great! We have chickens and ducks that include a rooster and drakes. I will say the ducks eat a lot oyster shell though.

I haven’t done any scientific research but I have read on here anecdotally that people find their chickens have easier molts on the flock raiser as well.
 

U_Stormcrow

Crowing
Jun 7, 2020
1,597
3,418
286
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
At the end of the day, its all risk management. There are no guarantees in life, and there's only one table to play at. At some point, you take your dice and roll.

Layer feed is cheap. and if you have a flock who are all laying, its convenient. If you also have a bunch of CornishX you plan to slaughter at 8 or 12 weeks, maybe you decide the lower feed cost and higher incidence of "underweight" (for the age) chicks at slaughter (due to lower protein content in the feed) offsets the expense and inconvenience of maintaining two feeds and the very very slim chance at higher mortality rates due to excess calcium... As with most "dosage matters" and progressive pathologies, time frame makes a huge difference in that consideration.

and yes, free ranging (my birds do it too!) adds a huge Uncertainty to the equation - but our little dinosaurs have millions of years behind them - given the choice, they won't poison themselves on excess calcium by seeking ("craving") alternative greens (if available). Of course, nothing is perfect - they will happily gorge themselves on easy foods like sunflower seeds if available, too - and that's not great either.

Variety is a wonderful spice.
 

ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
4,776
15,102
536
Atlanta GA
I do like the idea of a nutritionally complete food and then extras on the side that they will take as needed (oyster shell). I don't feed any treats/snacks, though my roommate gives bird seed to anyone who will come take it from her once a day. Its definitely made them more people friendly (especially the peafowl - who will now try to eat food from your plate if you eat outside grumble grumble but also adorable). I give my peachicks dried mealworms since they arent free range yet and need more protein than what's in chick starter.

To be honest, the main reason I might not switch would be cost. Since my birds are almost purely an expense and it sounds like all flock is more expensive. If it's just slightly more, I'll go for it, but like 2x the price is a no-go for me. I would consider switching everyone to chick starter though. Is having adults on medicated chick starter a problem?
 

Tycine1

Crowing
11 Years
May 26, 2009
2,310
5,258
451
David, Chiriquí, Panama
Your feed store will often offer chick starter medicated and non-medicated versions, usually at the same price. You can always add amprolium to the feed or all sources of available water if you find a need for it, like when you have chicks in the flock.
 

U_Stormcrow

Crowing
Jun 7, 2020
1,597
3,418
286
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
To be honest, the main reason I might not switch would be cost. Since my birds are almost purely an expense and it sounds like all flock is more expensive. If it's just slightly more, I'll go for it, but like 2x the price is a no-go for me. I would consider switching everyone to chick starter though. Is having adults on medicated chick starter a problem?

Not knowing what you choose to feed your birds, but seeing that you were in Atlanta, GA, I did a quick search at Tractor Supply (a typical, and popular, farm store) on Purina Poultry feeds (one of the most popular "big brands" for backyard flocks - and because I know TSC keeps a broader selection of it than some of the more specialized offerings).

As of the internet, today:

Purina "Layena" Layer Crumble/Pellet, 50# bag: $16.79 / $16.79
Purina Medicated "Start & Grow" Crumble, 50#: $19.49
Purina"Start & Grow" No Meds Crumble, 50#: $19.99
Purina "Flock Raiser" Crumble/Pellet, 50# Bag: $18.99 / $19.99

Obviously, other Brands are differing price points - DuMor is Cheaper, Nutrena "Naturewise" is about the same, but 40# bags, so more $/lb, smaller bag quantities are more /lb, and anything labeled "Organic" is probably 50% more expensive than the non Organic equivalent.

Hope that helps!
 

ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
4,776
15,102
536
Atlanta GA
Not knowing what you choose to feed your birds, but seeing that you were in Atlanta, GA, I did a quick search at Tractor Supply (a typical, and popular, farm store) on Purina Poultry feeds (one of the most popular "big brands" for backyard flocks - and because I know TSC keeps a broader selection of it than some of the more specialized offerings).

As of the internet, today:

Purina "Layena" Layer Crumble/Pellet, 50# bag: $16.79 / $16.79
Purina Medicated "Start & Grow" Crumble, 50#: $19.49
Purina"Start & Grow" No Meds Crumble, 50#: $19.99
Purina "Flock Raiser" Crumble/Pellet, 50# Bag: $18.99 / $19.99

Obviously, other Brands are differing price points - DuMor is Cheaper, Nutrena "Naturewise" is about the same, but 40# bags, so more $/lb, smaller bag quantities are more /lb, and anything labeled "Organic" is probably 50% more expensive than the non Organic equivalent.

Hope that helps!
Yeah I go to Turner Feed & Seed which is family run and I'm not sure I'd be willing to switch to a large chain tbh. I know they have med and non-med chick starter and non-med game starter, so I'm sure they have something for adults that isnt layer. Their feed is either 11 & 12 dollars or 12 & 13 dollars for med chick starter and layer pellets (I cant remember which one is more expensive but I'd guess its the starter). Layer is a 50lb bag. I assume chick starter is the same but it could be 40-45 maybe.
 

U_Stormcrow

Crowing
Jun 7, 2020
1,597
3,418
286
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Yeah I go to Turner Feed & Seed which is family run and I'm not sure I'd be willing to switch to a large chain tbh. I know they have med and non-med chick starter and non-med game starter, so I'm sure they have something for adults that isnt layer. Their feed is either 11 & 12 dollars or 12 & 13 dollars for med chick starter and layer pellets (I cant remember which one is more expensive but I'd guess its the starter). Layer is a 50lb bag. I assume chick starter is the same but it could be 40-45 maybe.

All good, I use a local mill now too - just trying to answer your question as to relative price differences between "Layer" and "All-Flock" type feeds. Across Brands, its been my experience that All Flock/Flock Raiser is usually close in price to Starter/Grower (which makes sense, both are higher protein relative to Layer, and protein from plant sources is more expensive than calcium supplements), but that the differential isn't extreme - 15-25%, typically.

And of course pellet is often a little more expensive than crumble, for extra processing and equipment required.
 

ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
4,776
15,102
536
Atlanta GA
I super appreciate you doing the research.

I would have answers but Turners is not quite caught up to the 21st century so ... they do HAVE a website which in itself is surprising, but it just has general pics of the store so it's not an indicator of product selection by any means... and I hate making phone calls. LOL.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom