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Feed for Laying and Non-Laying Mixed Flock

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Demosthine, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Demosthine

    Demosthine Songster

    Jun 26, 2012
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Hey All.

    I just got my first two eggs yesterday from my older Barred Rocks. My other five are too young to start laying. I've searched all over and haven't found anything good saying how to feed a mixed flock like this. They all share the same coop and free range at the same time.

    Currently, I have Purina Start and Grow for them. It's fermented and they get a couple of cups every morning. It's put out in the yard for them to eat as they like and to free range. The two layers seem to free range far more than the younger ones, so I'm not even entirely sure how much of it they are eating.

    I know I need to supplement calcium, so I'll start putting the crushed egg shells out there today for them. Do I need to put out a separate dish for the Purina Layena Plus Omega-3 for them and separate their free-range time? Should I give them the fermented feed in the evening so they all free range more? I'm not sure what to do with this mixed flock.


  2. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Layer feed is just feed with extra calcium and generally slightly lower protein. Because the calcium is mixed in it is best for your young birds NOT to eat layer (if it is out they will eat it so I would not put it out at all). However, the start and grow you are feeding the younger birds is great for all. I would feed the whole flock the grow food and have a bowl of calcium (I used oyster shell) on the side, available at all times. Because the calcium is separate the birds will only eat it when they need it and everyone will be getting what they need and not what they don't.

    When everyone is laying you can then decide if you want to switch to a layer feed or not. I don't but some people prefer that.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  3. Demosthine

    Demosthine Songster

    Jun 26, 2012
    Phoenix, Arizona
  4. Demosthine

    Demosthine Songster

    Jun 26, 2012
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Thanks for the reply. That's what I was thinking and what the other articles basically said. That'll be the plan, then. I do have two bags of the Layena already. They were on a great sale, so they were about $11.99 with the coupon, instead of $19.99. I knew of the calcium issues from feeding the younger ones the layer feed, but I wasn't sure about the other way around.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana

    This is a good post.

    Some people really get hung up on feed when its really simple. I think part of the confusion comes from it being so simple. Practically anything works. The only rule is do not feed Layer to growing chicks. The excess calcium can damage internal organs of growing chicks. Offer a calcium source like oyster shell on the side so the ones that need it for egg shells can get it.

    I see you posted while I was typing. I'll hit submit anyway.

    And congratulations on those eggs.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Just repeating what they said, I guess!

    I feed my mixed age/gender flock an all-in-one, like flock raiser I guess. I supplement calcium (oyster shell), just scatter a handful or so in the run. It's funny to watch the rooster call the hens for it, he's not at all interested in it himself but he knows the girls like it, so he gets all excited! He picks some up and bobs his head up and down, puts it down for them to eat, and is SO disapointed if they don't want any [​IMG]

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