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Feeding a Mixed Age Flock

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TarMac, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. TarMac

    TarMac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2013
    Idaho Falls, ID
    I'm new to chickens and I went a little crazy this spring. I have a flock that age ranges from 3-6 months. My Older pullets have started laying and I'm wondering how to give them the nutrition they need to help them lay eggs? I'm worried about putting lay blend out there cause I have heard that it could kill my younger pullets and cockerels, is this true? I have free choice oyster shells out for them and they are on Grower Blend, Scratch, and I throw down crumbled corn in the mornings. They are also free range so they eat grass and bugs and stuff haha, not to mention anything out of my kitchen. Does this sound like enough for them or should I be doing something else?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Virtually all feed companies make feeds for an "All Flock" situation. Flock Raiser, All Flock, even a standard Grower feed is just fine to feed everyone.

    Layer isn't.

    Layer contains too much calcium for non laying birds, thus the name. Only a laying bird can expel the calcium through egg laying.

    Just provide your hens a calcium source, such as crushed oyster shells on the side. Only their bodies are craving the additional calcium supplement so only they will normally consumer much of it. Easy. Done.
     
  3. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    What you are going right now is perfect for everyone - grower + oyster shell.

    Layer feed is really just chicken feed with extra calcium (and generally, depending on the brand a little less protein) -- it does not have anything special, but it is for regularly laying birds only. So, if you are providing the oyster shell free choice then your layers are already getting all the calcium they need. The good thing about feeding this way is that when chickens are given the calcium separate they will only eat it as needed, where as with the layer it is mixed it and they have to eat it even if they don't need it.

    Grower/all flock/flock raiser + Oyster is a great option for mixed age flocks, flocks with roos, molting birds and flocks that have breeds that lay less frequently. If you end up with all laying hens and want to switch to a layer you can or you can just stick with grower + calcium. Because you are feeding both scratch and corn as snacks which both have low protein, the higher protein grower could actually be good depending on how much scratch/corn you give - either way its not an excessive amount of protein.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  4. TarMac

    TarMac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2013
    Idaho Falls, ID
    That's great thanks! I just wanted to make sure I wasn't starving my laying hens of the nutrition they need [​IMG]
     

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