Feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SilkiesRcool, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. SilkiesRcool

    SilkiesRcool Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When do I I put my chicks on all flock? My older two chickens are on it already and they are around four months old- four and a half months and my young ones are nine weeks. They look to be growing well and are very active. They live with my silkies so it's harder to separate the food whenever the chicks are about as tall as my hen. Also I wasn't sure if my hen was small/undernourished because I planned on showing her. Chicks in the back are EE's.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    You will hear: Not until they lay. Not until they are 4 months old. I'll say, that no harm will be done by doing so now. And I'll ignite a fire storm of criticism for saying so. The reason I say so is that chickens who free range consume more calcium from their forage than they ever would from layer ration. And many roos live on layer ration and are the healthiest birds in the flock, living to a ripe old age unless they meet a predator. That being said, many people keep their flocks on a 18 - 20% multi flock year round because of calcium concern for youngsters and roos in their flocks. If you use MF, you need to supply supplemental calcium. Your choice.
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Amen to that. I've been feeding all ages and sexes on layer feed for many years now and have seen no ill effects, though my flocks are free range all the time so that may be a factor. As LG states, my flock gets FAR more calcium from green leafy plants than is in the average layer ration, from their first week of life onward...and that's about the time they start on layer ration too. My birds are healthy, highly productive and live and lay long on that diet.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:
    How do the 2 of you figure that foraging on green plants provides calcium anywhere near that in layer feed?
    Collard greens contain the highest concentration of calcium of all vegetative sources. Approximately 285mg per 100 grams. That is 0.28% calcium if I'm doing my math correctly.
    Eating bugs with exoskeletons also provides very little calcium in comparison to the approximately 4% contained in layer feed.

    As opposed to the anecdotal evidence, research shows kidney damage from excessive calcium for non-layers. A bird with diminished renal function will continue to lay and appear healthy till they are down to 1 of the 6 kidney segments still functioning. Then they die within 24 hours with no other symptoms.
    If one doesn't get a necropsy with lab work when a bird dies, they never know the true cause.


    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/2337/urolithiasis-in-male-broiler-breeders/

    http://nhjy.hzau.edu.cn/kech/synkx/dong/2bao/UrolithiasisChina.pdf
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    http://www.feedipedia.org/node/245

    Two of the most commonly found legumes in most yards in temperate climates in the US. I intentionally overseed my meadow with WDC just for the nutritional aspects of it, so my yard has even MORE of this type of forage.

    White clover (Trifolium repens), hay

    Red clover (Trifolium pratense), aerial part, fresh

    [​IMG]
    Main analysis​
    Unit​
    Avg​
    SD​
    Min​
    Max​
    Nb​
    % as fed​
    19.0​
    5.8​
    12.7​
    34.7​
    33​
    % DM​
    19.7​
    2.9​
    15.2​
    27.7​
    57​
    % DM​
    22.4​
    6.6​
    10.0​
    36.5​
    14​
    NDF
    % DM​
    36.4​
    5.9​
    25.7​
    48.3​
    39​
    ADF
    % DM​
    26.6​
    4.0​
    16.2​
    34.5​
    26​
    % DM​
    4.1​
    1.6​
    2.0​
    8.0​
    17​
    % DM​
    3.5​
    1.0​
    1.8​
    5.3​
    9​
    Ash
    % DM​
    10.4​
    1.6​
    7.7​
    13.3​
    22​
    % DM​
    8.3​
    2.1​
    4.4​
    11.3​
    15​
    MJ/kg DM​
    18.4​
    *

    Minerals​
    Unit​
    Avg​
    SD​
    Min​
    Max​
    Nb​
    g/kg DM​
    14.4​
    0.2​
    14.2​
    14.6​
    3​
    g/kg DM​
    3.4​
    0.2​
    3.2​
    3.6​
    3​
    g/kg DM​
    27.1​
    27.0​
    27.3​
    2​
    g/kg DM​
    1.9​
    1.0​
    2.8​
    2​

    Amino acids​
    Unit​
    Avg​
    SD​
    Min​
    Max​
    Nb​
    % protein​
    3.3​
    3.2​
    3.4​
    2​
    % protein​
    2.9​
    0.3​
    2.6​
    3.2​
    3​
    % protein​
    10.0​
    9.7​
    10.3​
    2​
    % protein​
    6.8​
    6.6​
    7.0​
    2​
    % protein​
    3.2​
    0.7​
    2.6​
    4.0​
    3​
    % protein​
    1.8​
    1.7​
    1.9​
    2​
    % protein​
    2.7​
    2.5​
    2.8​
    2​
    % protein​
    5.1​
    4.9​
    5.3​
    2​
    % protein​
    3.8​
    0.7​
    3.1​
    4.4​
    3​
    % protein​
    0.7​
    0.6​
    0.7​
    2​
    % protein​
    2.7​
    1.0​
    1.5​
    3.4​
    3​
    % protein​
    2.9​
    2.9​
    3.0​
    2​
    % protein​
    3.4​
    3.3​
    3.4​
    2​
    % protein​
    3.1​
    0.2​
    2.9​
    3.2​
    3​
    % protein​
    1.8​
    0.2​
    1.6​
    2.0​
    3​
    % protein​
    3.8​
    0.7​
    3.2​
    4.5​
    3​

    Ruminant nutritive values​
    Unit​
    Avg​
    SD​
    Min​
    Max​
    Nb​
    %​
    74.1​
    5.1​
    61.6​
    76.2​
    9​
    *
    %​
    70.9​
    *
    MJ/kg DM​
    13.1​
    *
    MJ/kg DM​
    10.4​
    *
    %​
    73.3​
    0.6​
    73.0​
    74.0​
    3​
    %​
    34.8​
    8.3​
    23.8​
    42.4​
    6​
    %​
    51.1​
    5.0​
    44.4​
    59.3​
    6​
    h-1​
    0.176​
    0.123​
    0.080​
    0.355​
    6​
    %​
    76​
    1​
    73​
    76​
    6​
    *
    %​
    73​
    7​
    69​
    86​
    19​
    *
    The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.
    References

    Aufrère et al., 2002; Aufrère, 1982; Brink et al., 1988; Dewhurst et al., 2003; Djouvinov et al., 1998; Emile et al., 1991; Fulkerson et al., 2007; Hoffman et al., 1993; Holm, 1971; Komprda et al., 1996; Kuoppala et al., 2009; Le Goffe, 1991; Lee et al., 2009; Marichal et al., 2010; Marley et al., 2005; Moharrery et al., 2009; Pelletier et al., 2010; Schneider, 1957; Tomme, 1964; Van Dorland et al., 2007; Van Dorland et al., 2008; Vargas et al., 1965

    What you also fail to factor in, and these studies do as well, are the genetics of commercial poultry and their activity levels. Calcium is utilized best when a creature exercises, when it's taken from the blood and utilized in the muscle and stored into the bone....when this does not happen, the excess calcium us filtered by the kidneys into the waste product of urine. When too much calcium is filtered through the kidneys or the kidneys are already genetically poor, they tend to form lithiasis in the kidney.

    Commercial poultry don't exercise to utilize excess calcium...they barely walk from feeder to water and the layer hens can't move at all but to shuffle past each other in a tight cage. Consequently, any dietary calcium consumed by the broiler birds may or may not be utilized in the bones and muscle tissue, which results in increased lameness and heart failure of these birds....which is the usual cause of death in broiler birds all over the world, even in a backyard setting where they are raised in pens and tractors.

    Commercial layers are utilizing their calcium somewhat in the form of shell formation but the males of these types of birds fed on the same level of calcium and not being able to exercise to utilize those calcium levels are and can be prone to lithiasis. Both their poor genetics, rapid growth factor and early sexuality, and the lack of exercise to utilize calcium properly are all factors in these studies that are never mentioned because they have no interest in changing either the genetics or the living conditions of the commercial poultry.

    In a backyard setting, however, and with birds that are not genetically predisposed for a rapid growth, reproduction and an early death, and with freedom to move about, breed, run, chase, scratch, perch, etc. the dietary calcium is more easily utilized within the body and is not being constantly excreted as waste, therefor not taxing the kidneys into forming lithiasis.

    When you can produce studies done on backyard flocks of mostly heritage breed type birds in regular settings of free range, occasional free range, coop and run situations, come on back to us with those studies. Until then you are comparing two very separate creatures.
     
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  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The calcium content listed for legumes is g/kg, not percentage. It is about 1%.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    If that works for you.

    Until people that have birds die unexpectedly get necropsies each time and report the cause of death, I'll stick with the currently available scientific data.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Agreed.
     
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    It works extremely well for me and did for my parents before me as well. You stick with vague, unapplicable scientific data and I'll stick with real life situations and my extremely healthy flocks on this one. [​IMG] Since it works so well for me, I don't mind advocating it to others also.
     
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  10. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi. [​IMG]

    My birds all get all flock (or flock raiser) crumbles from day 1. Like you say it is hard to keep feed separate. And for my mixed age and gender flock, with the "studies" as well as personal experience with humans.... I prefer my oyster shell on the side instead of mixed in... and I prefer the higher protein content over layer as it gives me more room to budge since they are indeed eating whatever they want to on range. I always have growing chicks, cockerels or roosters and layers. And NO WAY is 16% protein enough for chicks, IMO...

    Of course I understand all these ladies are discussing and think it's great information on both sides.
    This is the kind of stuff you figure out only if you are paying close attention. Sometimes requires reading and rereading to get a full comprehension!

    It why I pay attention, I am here to learn and a stickler for details. [​IMG]

    Everybody must do what will work for them. No matter what you choose, it should be better than the life of a battery hen!
     

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