Feeding mixed ages

ironsightfarm

Songster
Apr 4, 2019
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New Hampshire
Hi all!

Lots of info out there about this one, so just seeing what everyone with a mixed age flock feeds for both pullets and pullets that are already laying. My plan is to feed grower with free choice calcium until the youngest reaches POL, but I know a lot of people choose to feed All Flock instead.

Is there a benefit to one over the other? My concern is everyone getting what they need nutritionally for growing or laying.

Thanks!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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Hi all!

Lots of info out there about this one, so just seeing what everyone with a mixed age flock feeds for both pullets and pullets that are already laying. My plan is to feed grower with free choice calcium until the youngest reaches POL, but I know a lot of people choose to feed All Flock instead.

Is there a benefit to one over the other? My concern is everyone getting what they need nutritionally for growing or laying.

Thanks!

The benefit of not feeding layer feed is higher protein content instead of providing the bare minimum needed and not giving excess calcium to birds that do not require it.

I have a flock consisting of 1 rooster, 10 hens, 14 pullets (not laying yet), 1 cockerel (not laying yet either! :lol:) and three 22-day old broody hen raised chicks.

I feed a fermented mix I make using whole grain triticale, field peas, BOSS, flax seed, fish meal, Fertrell poultry nutri-balancer and Purina Flock Raiser crumbles. My mix runs around 19% protein, 1% calcium. Now that my hens have started molting, I bumped up the fish meal content to get the mix to 20% protein. And the Flock Raiser runs 20% on it's own.
I feed oyster shell on the side, right next to the feeder troughs, and occasionally toss some in the run with a handful of Flock Raiser. I also feed back whatever egg shells I have in another container but they only last about 2 days.

I don't have issues with soft-shelled eggs with the exception of one Lakeshore egger who seems prone to dropping softies when she is stressed.
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
5 Years
Jul 26, 2016
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My plan is to feed grower with free choice calcium until the youngest reaches POL, but I know a lot of people choose to feed All Flock instead.
What is the Protein % in your Grower feed?
I like a feed with 18/20% Protein from day old throughout Adulthood.
I feed either a Non-Medicated Starter-Grower 18% or a All-Flock/Flock Raiser crumble 20% after 10 weeks old, (I feed Medicated the first 10 weeks).
I buy either Starter Grower or Flock Raiser crumbles, whatever is available or fresher when I'm at TSC, with a separate container of Oyster Shells. 20181214_095753.jpg . GC
 

ironsightfarm

Songster
Apr 4, 2019
132
258
136
New Hampshire
What is the Protein % in your Grower feed?
I like a feed with 18/20% Protein from day old throughout Adulthood.
I feed either a Non-Medicated Starter-Grower 18% or a All-Flock/Flock Raiser crumble 20% after 10 weeks old, (I feed Medicated the first 10 weeks).
I buy either Starter Grower or Flock Raiser crumbles, whatever is available or fresher when I'm at TSC, with a separate container of Oyster Shells. View attachment 1880372 . GC
I fed medicated crumble through 8 weeks (Purina...20%?) then switched to non-medicated crumbles. I feed Nutrena (from TSC) Starter/Grower with 18% protein. I had begun to switch the girls over to Nutrena Layer at 16% but have since run into an issue with that due to new age differences in my flock. I put out free choice oyster shell when the oldest girls hit 18 weeks and began approaching POL.
 

ironsightfarm

Songster
Apr 4, 2019
132
258
136
New Hampshire
The benefit of not feeding layer feed is higher protein content instead of providing the bare minimum needed and not giving excess calcium to birds that do not require it.

I've seen a layer feed or 2 with 18% protein, so I've always wondered why commercial feed guidelines say to drop your layers down to 16% - it does seem like they're getting the bare minimum, but I haven't heard the why yet!
 

DobieLover

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Jul 23, 2018
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I've seen a layer feed or 2 with 18% protein, so I've always wondered why commercial feed guidelines say to drop your layers down to 16% - it does seem like they're getting the bare minimum, but I haven't heard the why yet!
Why? Money!
The industry standards were set to maximize profits with a minimum of cost. Protein cost the most. That is one of the reasons I mix up a little over half of my own feed using fish meal, not soy protein.
All the research into feeding layers and meat birds was conducted by the commercial industries. Take what you will from that.
 

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