Feed questions for "mixed" aged flock.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by GardenJen77, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. GardenJen77

    GardenJen77 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2017
    Central Michigan, USA
    I just combined my older hens with the 9 week old hens. The question is, now that I have a mixed flock, what feed do I use for all? I have heard some people switch to grower feed, for all, until the young ones reach layer age. I have heard some people switch just right to layer feed from the starter.

    I want to hear your thoughts and opinions as a group here, as to what to feed, and why, based on your expertise and experience.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    You don't want the growing birds on a layer feed. To supplement calcium supply oyster shell in separate container or toss a few handfuls on the ground each week. The birds that need it (laying hens) will eat it and others just peck at it. In this way life is easy. One feed for entire flock. If your inclined to use layer feed don't use it until your youngest are point of lay and squatting or have laid the first egg.

    I think you'll find supplying oyster shell is really easy and will stay with that. Once my chicks are 10 or so weeks of age our flock all move over to a pellet feed. Turkey/gamebird finisher is an all flock type feed that comes in pellet form. We try to get off crumbles (non medicated) as soon as we can as there is more waste/wildlife theft of the smaller feed type and use less feed when on pellet. Your milage may vary.

    In the long run your birds will do better on the higher protein. Layer feed is over priced for what you get. It's usually only 16% protein so your paying a premium just to have calcium added. If you like to give treats to your birds it diminishes their total protein intake making 16% in adequate.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oyster shell is sold in bulk. Don't buy the overpriced prepackaged bags off the shelf. Your feed store will have a bulk bin for 25-30 cents a pound, might even be in back storage room so ask a sales person. I buy 8 to 10 pounds at a time and it lasts 4? months for 10 layers. Basically it's dirt cheap. I toss on the ground and wil forget to do so for extended periods. You'll notice the egg shells getting thin and it reminds me to get back on a regiment.
     
  4. GardenJen77

    GardenJen77 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2017
    Central Michigan, USA
    I don't use oyster shell for my hens, as we do not consume any type of seafood product. I typically use ground up egg shells, and the calcium tablets for heartburn together. But I will definitely change feed to the grower for the whole flock.
     

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