Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by alex, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. alex

    alex Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    I know these ?'s are kinda weird but i get mixed up a lot, so i'll just ask them. . . . .ok.
    What is layer feed?
    What are oyster shells for? (if using with a hen)
    What are other seed i need to give to hens, and possibly roosters?
    Thank you very much, for anyones help. I gladly appreciate it!

  2. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    Layer feed is what you'd feed your hens when they are 16-20+ weeks old. It has nutrients to help them lay better.
    Oyster shell is for added calcium and grit.
  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    "The only stupid question is the one not asked" We've all been there so just ask away!

    Layer feed is a feed formulated especially for laying hens, it gives them complete nutrition for laying eggs

    Oyster shells are just what they say, shells of oysters pulverized to the size chickens can swallow. They are fed to layers as a calcium supplement so they produce better, harder egg shells otherwise a hen will pull calcium from her own bones to produce eggs.

    Although it's not necessary for them to live, it's also good, imho, to feed BOSS (black oil sunflower seed) and some scratch or other grains, like oats, but only as occasional treats. I use these treats to call them into their run every evening training them to come when I call in case I need to put them up in a hurry. The BOSS has good oils that help prevent egg bound and it's good for their feathers.
  4. firetrie

    firetrie In the Brooder

    May 7, 2007
    Niles, MI
    Quote:I disagree, calcium is not to be confused with grit. Calcium breaks down in their digestive system and grit (usually granite or quartz) stays in their 'gizzard' and helps them to grind up their food (chickens don't have teeth ya know). I would recommend a feed dish containing grit on the side. They usually only eat it if they need it... Same with the oyster shells, dish on the side and they will only eat it if they need it...

    Since you say you have roosters? then I would recommend not feeding a 'layer' feed as he doesn't need all the extra calcium. When in doubt read the ingredients lists. Most good chicken feeds will tell you what in them. (I would never buy one that didn't)

    They also like oatmeal (cooked), cracked corn, wheat, soy (Cooked, raw soy has poisons which are deadly), sunflower, most melons and tree fruits, flax seed, ect.. The list goes on and on.

    Please note that I am NOT a expert of chicken feed, these are just things that I have learned and read. If you have a serious doubt don't feed it to them. Better safe than sorry.
  5. Wolfpacker

    Wolfpacker Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    Do you feed the black oil sunflower seeds shelled or unshelled? That's what I use in all my bird feeders. Didn't think the chickens would be able to shell it.
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yeah, provide oystershell and grit free choice on the side. But if your birds free range, the grit dish isn't necessary. I go ahead and feed layer to everybody in the flock and haven't had a problem yet.

    As for the sun flower seeds, my chickens swallow them whole. They pick up a seed, fiddle around with it, and if it is to their liking, gobble it down.

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