Feeding Flock Raiser

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by steve232, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. steve232

    steve232 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2015
    North Carolina
    I have noticed a lot of you talk about feeding flock raiser to your entire flock all the time. I would like to feed my chickens flock raiser all the time. I have attempted to switch a couple of times but both times I began getting soft shelled eggs. I give my chickens oyster shells in two locations. I worry that the soft shelled eggs will promote egg eating and even cause internal problems for my hens. So I would like to know for those that feed flock raiser all the time do you also get some soft shelled eggs or is that a way to avoid the soft shells and still feed flock raiser ?
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    When you choose to feed a ration that doesn't have all the calcium of layer, you must provide those that need it, a source of calcium. I have never fed layer feed. My flock always has access to a calcium source. Sometimes I use crushed eggshells. Sometimes it's oyster shell. Makes no difference, as long as they have enough. I do get the occasional pullet that will lay shell less eggs at first, but that is simply because their egg production system is not yet working in sync. Shell less eggs are fair game, and do not cause egg eating. There are quite a few reasons why a hen will lay an egg before the shell gets applied. It is not always a case of not enough calcium.
  3. BrandoMan

    BrandoMan Out Of The Brooder

    May 30, 2011
    Prewitt, NM USA
    I have never had a problem with soft shells. Never supplemented with oyster shell or anything. I do dry and crush egg shells once in awhile but haven't noticed the shell being thicker or thinner whether I do feed shells or not. Only thing I do notice is for two days after eating egg shell eggs tend to be lighter shade of brown. That's it. Only other thing I have ever noticed between feeding layer vs flock raiser is don't think flock raiser has much omega 3 because my yolks are not orange color but yellow like store eggs. Firmness of the white and everything seems the same just yolk color is different. Idk.
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    I am also a Flock Raiser feeder, and I haven't noticed any difference in egg shell quality. I keep oyster shell available for them at all times, and I also hard boil older eggs, smash 'em up, and feed those back to them. I just put the cooled eggs in a plastic grocery bag and tie it shut, then put that bag inside another and tie it closed too. I put it up on the counter and just start smashing until it's all broken into pieces. They all love that, and I like that they are getting a protein boost as well as the calcium from the shells. Now, I'm of the school that says there isn't that much calcium in egg shells, but I've never felt mega-doses of anything are good for any living critter anyway.
  5. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2015
    I have noticed more consistent she'll quality since switching to an all-flock and offering shell separately.

    They free range as well, so I don't know if my soft egg layer (or layers) were just not getting as much ration and foraging more, or what. May not even be related, as the soft eggs were early in their laying days, but I much prefer the higher protein ration anyway.
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I also feed Flock Raiser with oyster shell on the side, and it's best for my flock of adults and youngsters, and cocks. Molting hens need the extra goodies and less extra calcium, so great for them too. Mary
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    I'm like all the other posters, I feed Flock Raiser.
    Offer oyster shell and baked crushed egg shell as well.

    This is their main source of food, since I don't free range. They absolutely love Kale, so most days they get some of that - either a bundle hung in the run or chopped up in their "mash" that I give as a "treat" (wet flock raiser with some chopped kale, grapes, apple or whatever fruit/veggies I have). Also give just a small amount of Sunflower seeds usually daily - depending on what's on sale - could be sunflower/safflower mix or sunflower hearts. Most all their veggies come from what we grow, so they do get daily fresh/frozen corn, chopped green beans, pumpkin, squash, etc, etc.

    Shells are very hard.
  8. steve232

    steve232 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2015
    North Carolina
    Thanks to all you good folks for the replies. You have convinced me that when the new bag of layer pellets I have are gone I'm gonna give flock raiser one more try. I really do like the idea of higher protein and with several of my chickens now molting I'm sure it would be great for them if I can just keep my egg shells from being soft and I have always offered oyster shells even while I am feeding layer pellets. Y'all are the best source for chicken information.
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    And bear in mind, too, that when molting is involved those shells can sometimes get soft no matter what we try to stick down their gullets. Silly chickens!
    1 person likes this.
  10. OKVet

    OKVet Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 6, 2017
    Central Oklahoma
    I headed the advice of a chicken friend several months ago and started my flocks on Flock Raiser. I was using a local feed mill's product. I have notice a slight increase in my production hens laying.

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