Dual purpose feed??

Cody brown

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
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What do you all feed your dual purpose pullets and rooster. I want to raise some roosters for meat. Is it possible to keep them with the hens as they will be killed at 4-5 months. Just before they start to mature. Is it okay for them to eat layers pellets if im going to eat them?
 

Meg-in-MT

Addict
Jan 29, 2018
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I keep hens and roosters, broodies with chicks and geese, so I have everyone on an all flock feed. While the layer feed isn't going to cause any problems with cockerels in that short of a time, I would think the higher protein of all flock would be better for growing them out anyway.

You can house them together, but by that age my cockerels are causing trouble with pullets and hens alike. You can always separate them later if/when they become a problem.
 

Cody brown

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
34
32
41
Just out of interest do you eat any of you cockerels? So an all flock feed wil be good for everyone? (as the nane suggests)
If you do eat you cockerels what is the best age to butcher them?
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
11 Years
Oct 16, 2010
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NEK, VT
People are stuck on butcher weight. Dual purpose birds take much longer to hit these weights. If using hatchery stock then even longer. 14 weeks with breeder stock on a 20 percent protein feed will easily get them 4 lbs live weight. At 14 weeks your at the better side of meat conversion and they are still broiler/grill cooking capable. Over that age they are fryers and over 18 weeks are roasters.

Turkey/gamebird finisher usually runs 20% protein and that's what I use as it's cheaper than purchasing some thing with "all flock" on the label. Same nutritional values but labeling means more money from the less educated masses. Check labels and prices in your area. All flock type feed doesn't have the added calcium for layers. You serve them oyster shell few times a week of have second small dispenser of oyster shell for the layers to consume as they need. Your feed store should offer the shell in bulk which is far cheaper than purchasing in small bags on the shelf.
 

Hermits Garden

Vintage American Featherless Biped
Premium Feather Member
Oct 8, 2018
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Lakeside, Arizona
All flock type feed doesn't have the added calcium for layers. You serve them oyster shell few times a week of have second small dispenser of oyster shell for the layers to consume as they need. Your feed store should offer the shell in bulk which is far cheaper than purchasing in small bags on the shelf.

What level of calcium should I be looking for in an "all flock type" at 20% protein? I'll feed oyster shell, but don't want to over-calcify the rest of the flock...
 

Meg-in-MT

Addict
Jan 29, 2018
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SW Montana
Just out of interest do you eat any of you cockerels? So an all flock feed wil be good for everyone? (as the nane suggests)
If you do eat you cockerels what is the best age to butcher them?
Yes, but I've only done one round of butchering. They were quite old, around 8-9 months, as I worked my way up to it. I think somewhere between 15-24 weeks is ideal? Someone else will know better than me. I let them rest 4-5 days in the fridge before packing and freezing.
 

FuzzyCritters

Crowing
Mar 13, 2020
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Kitsap county, WA
I currently have 4 dual purpose cockerels that are going to be processed this weekend. They are 5 months old and have been eating 18% protein grower food since they were about a month old. They are from a hatchery. The largest one is over 6 lbs and the smallest is just under 5 lbs.

I would feed yours grower feed, 18-20% protein. Grower is also called all flock feed or flock raiser, so you could get all flock feed or flock raiser if it has a high enough protein content. Grower will not hurt your pullets.
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
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North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Currently making my own "all flock" with a mix of 1 part layer (16% protein, 3.5% calcium) to 1 parts Game Bird Grower (24% Protein, 1% Calcium), with oyster shell on the side. As you can see from my sig, I have quite the variety in my flock - though I've now culled all but one rooster and several drakes (last duck incubation was 0%), but will be culling drakes regardless for the holidays.

/Edit Previously used the Nutrena Flock Raiser Pellets, and the Purina All Flock when I couldn't get that. Local mill is cheaper and fresher, which is why I changed - I buy 200# of feed at a time. Should probably buy 300# of feed each time, and further reduce my trips into what passes for civilization.

Also, my birds supplement by free ranging over about 3.5 acres set aside for them, with a mix of grains and forbs - though they largely keep to an area about 1/2 that size)

/edit and there is still more calcium in my "all flock" than I want - when the next batch of chicks are hatched, and most of the drakes are culled, I'm going to alter the mix again. Shoot for Protein at 22%, Calcium at about 1.5% - 3 bags GBG, 1 bag Layer, Free Choice Oyster, and watch how fast my male dual purpose bulk up. If it is cost effective on greater growth vs greater expense comparison, I'll stay at it, if not, not.
 
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