Feed for my roosters

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Skylercarr, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. Skylercarr

    Skylercarr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2015
    I'm not sure what to feed my roosters they are almost full grown. I have my hens on layer feed that I get from tractor supply. But I can't find food for my roosters at tractor supply so what should I feed them?
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Roosters should be fed a layer feed, just like hens, unless they are for meat, in which case a non-medicated grower works well.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Peeps are a-peeping Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You can also feed everyone an all flock ration, always providing a separate bowl of oyster shells.
  4. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Roosters (as well as non-laying hens/pullets/chicks) should not be fed a high calcium supplemented layer feed, as it can lead to kidney failure and other issues...

    The best option for a mixed flock is an 'all feed' or 'meat bird' that has a calcium level below 2% with a side of oyster shells for the laying hens to supplement their calcium...
  5. barneveldrerman

    barneveldrerman Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would feed your rooster an 18% protein grower feed.
  6. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    While it's true that young birds of any sex should not have a layer feed, I have never once had an issue feeding roosters a layer ration. And in fact I don't think I've ever heard it stated before that layer feed is inappropriate for cocks or cockerels. I'll double-check with my "mentor" (boss with 35 years chicken experience) tomorrow when I'm back at work, but I really can't think of a single time I've ever heard of health issues resulting from feeding a cock layer feed, or heard of anyone even attempting to feed a different feed.

    That said, everyone is entirely entitled to their own opinon, and for anyone who does not wish to feed their cockerels or cocks a layer feed, I agree that an 18% grower or all-purpose ration supplemented with oyster shell is an excellent substitute.
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  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have you ever performed, blood test and necropsies on your birds to confirm your findings that it was not causing any damage?

    As you anecdotal evidence isn't supported by empirical/scientific evidence and studies...

    I have read it state more times then I care to count on just this forum, as well as by many other sources...

    Again many people on this forum avoid layer feed for mixed flocks with roosters and/or other birds, it's quite common...

    As for a 'mentor' that is would be a and ad verecundiam fallacy, and doesn't dismiss the scientific data that might contradict their opinions just based on their proclaimed authority...

    There are multiple scientific studies showing the damage to the kidneys that excess calcium can have in non-laying poultry...

    Just Google it up...


    The Merck Vet Manual even considers excess calcium to be a poison...

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  8. barneveldrerman

    barneveldrerman Chillin' With My Peeps

  9. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    I always perform necropsies on my birds. I have never seen any calcium growths or kidney issues of any kind in any of my cocks or cockerels, including those of several years of age.

    I would be deferring to my bosses' opinion as he has raised birds much, much longer than I have, although I would say where I lack his real-world experience, I do have more book and studious knowledge than him. However, because of his time raising birds, he's got a many birds much older than mine, including some into 9 and 10 years old. The oldest I have at the moment is about 4. I imagine this would give him insight into issues that might plague birds long-term.

    Only 1 of the linked studies mentioned or was specifically done on cocks. The other three regard feeding excess calcium to young birds, mostly pullets, which, once again, I agree is certainly detrimental to any type of growing bird - their body is too busy growing to make up for things like excess calcium.

    The single study done on cocks was done using broiler breeder cocks - birds notorious for having huge health issues and a high mortality rate. It specified that the study was done while feeding a breeder ration for a course of 41 weeks, but did not mention if the study began when the birds were chicks, juveniles, or adults (and of course if the diet was started when they were chicks kidney damage would be unsurprising). It should also be noted that only 7% of the birds displayed actual kidney stones or other physical calcium blockages. 77% or so are said to have "significantly asymmetrical kidneys" but the study notes that this indicates general damage to the kidneys (and not specifically damage done by calcium) which, once again, would not be surprising to see in broilers or broiler breeders due to their many health problems. Even in humans, obesity has been linked to renal issues, and I wouldn't doubt the same issue can be had for poultry.
    2 people like this.
  10. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Nice retort. Well done.

    I was disturbed by the dismissal of a poultry man of 35 years experience opinion but everyone's opinions here on BYC is right as long as it coincides with what someone wants to hear. And somehow not anecdotal.

    "Again many people on this forum avoid layer feed for mixed flocks with roosters and/or other birds, it's quite common..."

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