Feed question, so confused!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kathrynmodra, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Kathrynmodra

    Kathrynmodra Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 10, 2013
    I am hoping someone can help. I have a mixed flock:

    7 hens already laying

    4 hens that are 4-5months old and not laying, they are austraian Araucanas with tails similar to American Easter egger I think. I was told they will not lay until 7-8momths.

    1 rooster

    I was feeding them a mixed grain with lots of seeds and corn in it, also
    An oyster shell supplement for the hens. Then the man at the fodder shop
    Said a layer pellet was better for them. He said even with rooster and youndee hens that is ok to feed them all layer pellets. So for 3 weeks I have feed them that. They love the pellets and I have not noticed anything adverse. But is this ok? Could it be bad for the non laying hens or the rooster. I am pretty crazy about my chickens and don't want to do the wrong thing. Thank you.
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Your birds are old enough for what most commercial Layer feeds say, feed it to pullets after 18 weeks. Mainly the you don't want to feed it to young chicks because the extra calcium can damage their kidneys, cause bone problems and various other problems in birds who don't need it. Do you know why he thought the Layer was better than the mixed grain? Was the mixed grain food you were feeding a balanced formulation for chickens? A lot of people have fed Layer to roosters for years and they have done fine, so I wouldn't obsess over it if that feed is the simplest thing for you to do... But I personally don't like feeding Layer to roosters or non-laying hens either, since they don't need the calcium and am trying to avoid possible kidney etc trouble down the road. I've figured that if I can do something that maybe helps avoid health issues for about the same price, I might as well do it. I offer free choice oyster shell and feed a 20% starter food to all ages and mix with grain if I want to lower the protein %.
     
  3. Kathrynmodra

    Kathrynmodra Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 10, 2013
    Thanks for that! I had a feeling that the grain mix was better for them just because it's was more natural. The pellets had some soy products and proteins in them that did not seem as natural. But I followed his advice as I didn't know much about the pellets. I think I'll go back to my grain mix, I really like my rooster and don't want any issues to happen to him. Plus it only costs about $2 more per 3 weeks to feed them grain mix, so no big deal.
     

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