Feed question

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
5,181
15,592
606
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Excess Protein is more a concern for commercial growers, due to additional Nitrogen in the droppings, which must be disposed of, Ammonia in the air, and of course cost cost cost cost.

Greater than 24% protein, particularly early in life, is associated with higher incidence of "Angel Wing" in ducks, which you don't have.

People concerned with massive early weight gain in CX will sometimes use even higher protein%, up to 28% or so for those - but those are table birds, not intended for long life, not much study re: long term health effects. Of course, the rapid growth of CX has its own long term health consequences, so sorting the two out poses challenges of its own.

My preference is 1% calcium +/-, supplimented by free choice oyster shell for the typical backyard owner of the typical backyard flock with typical backyard management, and protein in the 18-20% range. i.e. the typical All Flock/Flock Raiser type feed.

That said, I don't feed my own birds that - but I have neither the typical flock, nor the typical management. Since my main egg buyer is slowing for the season, and doesn't want to pay the premium for 18% non-GMO feed when he isn't buying, I'm returning to my prior, more cost effective (GMO?) feed strategy. I feed a 24% Protein / 1% Calcium feed the first 9 weeks+/- in life which helps ensure robust birds with early weight gain. I'm also culling hard to reduce numbers (flock in Sig, below)

Then they join the main flock, getting a mix 50/50 of the aforementioned 24% and a 16% "layer" of around 4% calcium. Gives me a 20% final protein, and an average calcium around 2.6% (due to the ranges offered by the feed labels). That's more calcium than I want for my males, but most are culled for table before week 20, so there's little time for the calcium to cause problems, and I don't keep any beyond a year (to help ensure fresh genetics) so its low risk. My pullets become hens only get one molt too (often less), and as I'm culling my way towards somewhat to moderately early layers, again, the excess calcium before start of lay is expected to pose very limited risk - maybe I lose a bird or two already predisposed to issues, but I don't want those genetics in my flock anyways...

In short, different strategies for different goals, and some educated risk taking for those willing to do the research - but the easy, no muss, no fuss, off the shelf solution for small numbers of mixed breed, mixed age, and/or mixed gender birds you intend to keep for more than thier most productive (first) season is All Flock/Flock Raiser with free choice oyster shell. Apart from a slight increase in cost, its all benefit (albeit many of those benefits are small), with no downsides (apart from cost - which for a small flock is minimal over the course of a year).

...and on that happy note, I need to go buy another 600# of feed, to get me thru the next month.
 
Last edited:

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
5,181
15,592
606
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
No All Flock nor Flock Raiser avaiable here.
Thatā€™s why I asked about continued use of grower/layer mix.
Thanks for the detailed explanation @U_Stormcrow
Of course - why we answer as we do is, I think, a critical part of any good answer, particular when times force us to be flexible. Helps the reader to weigh opinions, consider what's best for their situation.

I don't know price or availability, but if you need to sub in that Mfg's 20% Duck and Goose starter, you can. Or their 18% Duck and Goose pellets. The extra niacin won't hurt your chicks, the extra selenium may be beneficial (not knowing what the base selenium is, I can't give hard numbers, but its definitely not dangerous levels, which are far higher). But if its more expensive, don't - unless its your only non-layer option.
 
Jan 25, 2020
309
951
216
Manitoba, Canada
Of course - why we answer as we do is, I think, a critical part of any good answer, particular when times force us to be flexible. Helps the reader to weigh opinions, consider what's best for their situation.

I don't know price or availability, but if you need to sub in that Mfg's 20% Duck and Goose starter, you can. Or their 18% Duck and Goose pellets. The extra niacin won't hurt your chicks, the extra selenium may be beneficial (not knowing what the base selenium is, I can't give hard numbers, but its definitely not dangerous levels, which are far higher). But if its more expensive, don't - unless its your only non-layer option.
For Manitoba they just have the options I copied in the first post. (The disadvantage of living in a sparsely populated place is fewer opetions of everything. The advantage, cheaper housing and less traffic, no crowds... ) But thanks anyway!
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
5,181
15,592
606
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
For Manitoba they just have the options I copied in the first post. (The disadvantage of living in a sparsely populated place is fewer opetions of everything. The advantage, cheaper housing and less traffic, no crowds... ) But thanks anyway!
I feel your pain. The county where I now live has fewer people living in it then my college had as students roughly thirty years ago. No I am at least blessed with a good feed store. No grocery, Hardware, or much of anything else. I get gas in the next County, but I do appreciate the attraction of living in remote locations with few neighbors.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom