Feed for different ages??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ccrow, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. ccrow

    ccrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was pretty sure that young birds shouldn't be eating layer feed; a guy at my LFS told me I should just feed layer crumbles so 'they would all be able to eat it'. I have hens, a roo, and 6 week pullets. I just told him, ok, then I don't need anything today. After a little surfing BYC, my question is should I just give everyone grower feed, or a mixed flock feed? And what is the difference? I always offer calcium supplement anyway.
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use Alflock, which is a mixed flock feed. The reason for me is that I have assorted chickens. Some are Seasoned Chickens.(10 years old) some less. Many no longer lay . Also some juveniles that have not started yet. Some do lay eggs when they feel like. [​IMG]
    The difference in feed is mainly in protein percentage, and calcium content. The protein content is most important if you want to optimize egg production, or grow out your broilers quickly. Also helps them with higher content when they molt.
    The calcium content is the more important one as to your chickens health. Layer feed has 4% calcium. It is sufficient for egg producing hens. It is too much calcium for all others. Young, old, or roosters. It is said to cause liver and kidney issues leading to possibly shorter lifespan.
    Alflock is at 2% calcium. It is correct amount for most chickens. The laying hens can supplement their calcium intake with cracked oyster shell free choice. Also remember that free ranging chickens also get additional calcium from plants and other ground sources.
    WISHING YOU BEST [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. BrickCoop15

    BrickCoop15 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a similar flock. I have some that should begin laying anytime and some seasoned hens that no longer lay. It was suggested that I feed Purina Flock Raiser to the entire flock, but I am concerned about the 20% protein level. Is 20% too much protein? I am currently feeding everyone Purina Start and Grow (18%) with oyster shell in a separate dish. I would appreciate any advice on the best feed to provide for my mixed age flock on a regular basis.
     
  4. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @BrickCoop15

    I do not think the 2% extra in protein is going to be such an issue. You can naturally reduce that by giving your chickens some more scratch, or cracked corn. The way it works, is it dilutes the quantity of the overall feed intake because scratch and cracked corn are quite low in protein. I think your 18% start and grow formula is just fine.
    I am not an expert on protein, but have read that too much protein can cause runny poop. I also think it needs to be more than a 2% difference.
    Do your chickens free range, and do you give then any greens?
     
  5. BrickCoop15

    BrickCoop15 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for taking the time to answer my question! I do not free range and offer greens occassionally. I do give them scratch as a treat. I have just been confused lately on what is best for my mixed age flock. I also have a hard time getting fresh bags of Start and Grow this time of year. It is getting hard to find a bag not crawling with grain mites. I am trying to find another feed option that will best meet the dietary needs of my mixed aged flock.
     
  6. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say 20 percent protein should be fine for a layers breed of chicken. I would not feed above 20 percent protein and I would not feed extra protein treats like meal worms, at that level.[​IMG] I feed 18 percent layers pellets to my flock of 5 girls with excellent results. No protein treats, just scratch grains, what they consume in 10 to 15 minutes twice a day and chopped grass once a day. With oyster shell and granite grit on the side.GC
     
  7. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Yup, all flock feed. I've got 200 birds or thereabouts any given time of the year, and I feed nothing but a 20% flock ration supplemented with oyster shell. I've got eight species, males and females, everything from 6 year old hens to two week old chicks. It's the best and safest option.
     
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I also feed Purina Flock Raiser, 20% protein, with oyster shell on the side, to all my birds. Young, old cocks, hens, everyone. They get a little scratch, and free range for goodies, and do fine. Mary
     

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