Egg production way down with Purina Flock Raiser

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kamuelamom, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. kamuelamom

    kamuelamom Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2011
    Hello FCL (Fellow Chicken Lovers)

    I was looking for a feeding solution to having mixed ages of laying hens in my flock. I followed the advice of someone at the feed store which I purchase my feed at, and she said that Purina Flock Raiser was my answer to this dilemma.

    Almost immediately I began to notice a decrease in egg production from hens who had just begun laying, as well as in those who were already mature and laying well. The decrease continued to the point that some have stopped completely laying and have not resumed yet, others have stopped and slowly restarted again. They are not molting. I live in an area where extreme temperatures are not an issue. It's Hawaii, everyone and everything loves the weather here. [​IMG]

    I have further looked into this product and now realize that this may not have been a wise option, and I feel like I should have stuck with laying feed (for those already laying) and given the flock raiser only to the pullets. [​IMG] This means I would have had to keep them separate so the littles don't get the layer feed (for risk of too much calcium). I have been supplementing calcium with oyster shell and egg shells. My run is rather large but it is hard to keep them separate because the mature birds kept flying into the temporary pullet section so I really wanted to integrate them sooner than 18 weeks when they can all have the same feed and keep things easy.

    The excerpt below comes directly off the Purina website:

    Small/Medium Breeds/Egg Laying Chicks: Give Purina Mills® Start & Grow® SunFresh® Recipe until 18-20 weeks old and then switch to Layena® SunFresh® Recipe. For best egg production, use artificial light in laying house to create maximum 17-18 hour day. Do not decrease the length of lighting period when flocks are in production. Light and Layena® SunFresh® Recipe, not protein, are the keys to healthier eggs.

    Large Breeds/Broiler (meat chicks): Feed Purina Mills® Flock Raiser® SunFresh® Recipe from start to finish. Pullets being kept for egg production should be fed Layena® SunFresh® Recipe beginning at 18-20 weeks.
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    Any advice? I will be switching back to layer feed as the pullets are now 17-18 wks and ready for layer feed, but I will be in the same situation in about 6 wks when my new batch is ready for integration. What do folks do for the age between 6 wks (when they are weaned from chick starter) to 18 wks when it's time to begin layer feed? I don't know what to do.

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You can feed unmedicated chick starter/grower to everyone, including the layers (grower would be best if that is the age range of the younger chickens).

    Some people feed grower feed forever to their layers, with oyster shell on the side.

    I use organic chick starter (unmedicated) mixed with other things as my actual feed for my adults.

    Protein % of layer is usually 16%
    grower 17%
    starter 20%.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. kamuelamom

    kamuelamom Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2011
    Thank you so much. I will check with our feed store to see if we have the unmedicated variety. Just so I understand, in your opinion Flock Raiser (20% protein) is incorrect, right? Until today I did not even know that chick starter/grower (unmedicated) was an option. Checked the feed bag instructions and sure enough, there it was.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Oh and I just wanted to mention that for "teenage" chickens the 17% protein is better for them than 20% I have read. So grower is a very good option for you if you have some chicks older than 8 weeks growing out plus your adults. Up to 8 weeks they need the chick starter.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013

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