Feeding my rooster?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mmktdox, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. mmktdox

    mmktdox Chirping

    I have four pullets and a cockerel that are approx 18 weeks old, all barred rocks. The little roo is crowing now and mounting a couple of my older hens so I'm expecting eggs from the pullets soon. I just used the last of the chick starter up and will be feeding them the same layer feed that the older girls eat. Is it okay to let the rooster live on the laying feed? I do supplement with BOSS and lots of food scraps from the kitchen. Just want to make sure he doesn't need anything special. Thanks!

  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I don't think the rooster will experience any ill effects from eating the layer feed. Particularly with the additional things he eats. My rooster gets what my girls get - no way for me to keep them out of each other's food without it being a hassle so they eat the same stuff at my place. Good luck to you!
  3. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Crowing

    Mar 30, 2012
    River Valley, AR
    I asked the same question a while back and was told that the extra calcium in the Layer feed was bad for the boys as they have no way to expell the excess. I too have no way of keeping my boys seperate from the feed and we do suplement with scraps and freerange as well. My solution has been to alternate between a bag of layer feed and a bag of "flight developer" (lower calcium, higher protein). They always have access to oyster grit and we refeed egg shells to them as well. I tried just going to the flight developer only but my girls had a few thin shelled eggs when I did that so I decided that this was what would work for us.
  4. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    Everyone gets layer food. The rooster seems to be fine. You could use flock raiser and put oyster shell in a bowl. Only the hens will eat that due to need. I did that for a while, but it was more trouble than just feeding layer food.


  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    Mine just eats layer food and he's fine. Going to be 4 years old in a couple months. I tried feeding a flock raiser type feed and I always have oyster shell available all the time but the hens shells started getting thin. Put them back on layer and all is well again.

    Last fall my rooster came down with a respiratory bug and had labs done trying to find out what he had, checked his liver/kidney function and he passed with flying colors, so the layer can't be doing him that much harm in my opinion.
  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Layer feed is one of the worst feeds you can feed a rooster or any other non-laying fowl, they don't need all the extra calcium that is in the layer feeds..
    You would be far better off just feeding everyone a good starter/grower, or a all flock feed.

  7. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    I'm with Chris on this one.

    I feed all of my birds from age 0 and up grower (18% protein) with oyster shell available in the coop (not the brooder of course).

    If you are getting soft shelled eggs there may be something else going on rather than lack of calcium. I never get them. The one time I did, it was from a pullet that had reproductive issues. Just my two cents.

  8. canesisters

    canesisters Songster

    Aug 18, 2011
    I also asked this a while back and also got mixed answers. I decided to err on the side of caution and go with a 'flock raiser' pelleted feed in the feeder with a flower pot full of oyster shell/crushed egg shells on the side. I've not had any problems with weak shells - in fact sometimes I have to give the little buggers a good smack to crack them!
    1 person likes this.
  9. HouseCat

    HouseCat Songster

    +1 Chris. I feed All-Flock/Flockraiser w/oyster shell on the side. It seems to keep my boys big and beautiful.

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