Feeding game bird feed to laying hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mpgo4th, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. mpgo4th

    mpgo4th Chillin' With My Peeps

    303
    16
    108
    Apr 8, 2013
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I've started feeding this to my flock of rir that are 15 weeks old. They really seem to like the textured feed better and eat it all, not just the grain pieces. The pellets are fortified with vitamins and minerals and they look great. I was planning to continue feeding this and just adding oyster shell at time of lay. The tag says for game bird and mature cockerels and hens not for breeding. Is this a bad option for a laying flock. Mine just don't really do well on crumbles.
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,829
    4,022
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    It's a good maintenance feed, but it's too low in protein content for growing, developing birds. It's more appropriate for a flock of mature adults.
     
  3. mpgo4th

    mpgo4th Chillin' With My Peeps

    303
    16
    108
    Apr 8, 2013
    The grower crumble they were on was 16% also.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,829
    4,022
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    They need a minimum of 18%.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,708
    2,337
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I am doing similar although using a game bird grower instead. Diet is diluted with intact grains to get protein down where i want it. Oystershell is provided free choice. Have been trying to using a game bird starter for younger birds so I can get away from medications but not happy so far with chick / young bird performance.
     
  6. mpgo4th

    mpgo4th Chillin' With My Peeps

    303
    16
    108
    Apr 8, 2013
    I was under the impression that you lowered protein after the starter feed to maintain steady growth without putting meat and weight on a frame that wasn't ready for it. All of the grower I've seen is 15-16%. The starter/grower all in one is usually 18-20%
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,829
    4,022
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    That's how you feed meat birds, not normal breeds. Too little protein can seriously delay the rate of development. Meat birds need to have a controlled growth rate because all they do is eat. Normal chickens do not overeat, and should be kept on a higher protein feed till they are fully matured.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  8. woody1

    woody1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    5
    101
    Dec 8, 2010
    Just North of the PRK
    In my opinion if your chickens are at 15 wks. they will be fine but they may start laying slightly later although I doubt it. Just make sure they've got grit and don't dilute the feed with scratch or table scraps. IMO if they need a little more protein, they'll just eat a little more but prob'ly not enough to make 'em too fat. My pullets get an 18% feed at that age but it's diluted to prob'ly 15-16% by the amount of scratch I give them. Their scratch contains about 1/4 oats, the rest is corn and wheat and sometimes a little milo and millet. WHY? Because that's the way I do it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I would not play with feed.....To many health risks if yours are layers......

    Balanced nutrition is a must with layers......Grower until laying......I then mix grower with Layer after first egg until my Pullets are 1 year.......oyster shell after first egg.....


    Cheers!
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,708
    2,337
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri


    Your typical layer ration is not what would be called over fortified with any nutrient with the possible exception of calcium and phosphate. That is done to control ingredient cost for the mill keeping feed cost as low as possible enabling least-cost formulations. We have a very good handle on what the birds require under very controlled environmental conditions where parasites and the like are not an issue. Hens outside the layer production environment have a lot more worries and the least-cost formulations may not be optimal in a more varied environment. When someone uses flock-raiser and game bird formulations they are much more likely to be using diets that higher in vitamins as well as protein making for more expensive feed bill. I am pretty certain that higher level of nutrients enables some dilution with energy rich grains / scratch while still providing more nutrient intake than promoted by a layer diet. Where the game bird mixed with grains to bring protein down relative to energy comes up short on calcium, you can step in with free-choice access to something like oyster shell.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by