Flock Raiser? Please help an Aussie out!

chooki3s

Hatching
Oct 29, 2020
9
6
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As per the title - I'm in Australia!

After lurking through the forums for a long time, I've recently learned that feeding the girls with layer feed continuously can be bad for them!

I see a lot of people continuously recommending Purina Flock Raiser, but they're unavailable in Australia. I have the option of getting them from Amazon, but they are apparently unavailable. All of my local pet stores, and even the local chicken farmer in my area, told me feeding them layer pellets continuously would be just fine. Any ideas for this stuck Aussie?

The best one I've found has 1% Ca, but only 15% protein... It's a pullet grower so I'm not too sure if it'll be helpful for older girls. I have also found a feed with 20% protein, but 4% Ca. It seems like most feed here has a Ca range of 3% to 4%. And is there any consequences if the feed is medicated? Some of the feed I've found are also anti-coccidial (mainly in grower feeds), but there is no withholding period. So would that be alright?

Also, thoughts on poultry mix? It's all free choice, but I've heard providing a mix isn't the best idea as your chickens may not get all the nutrition they actually need.

My girls are only 3 years old (going into 4 this year) and are still laying, but I'd like them to get their Ca only if they need it. Also, their laying has slowed down considerably, from every day to maybe once every few days or weeks.
 

Chookchicken

Songster
Dec 4, 2020
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To give them CA and can give them yogurt or as most people recommend giving them aside of oyster shells along with there normal seed. As for seed I use a free range seed that has all the nutrients they need (including shells for CA). Hope this help :)
 

rosemarythyme

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The best one I've found has 1% Ca, but only 15% protein... It's a pullet grower so I'm not too sure if it'll be helpful for older girls. I have also found a feed with 20% protein, but 4% Ca. It seems like most feed here has a Ca range of 3% to 4%. And is there any consequences if the feed is medicated? Some of the feed I've found are also anti-coccidial (mainly in grower feeds), but there is no withholding period. So would that be alright?

Also, thoughts on poultry mix? It's all free choice, but I've heard providing a mix isn't the best idea as your chickens may not get all the nutrition they actually need.

Weird to see a grower with lower protein, generally they have higher protein.

I would not feed medicated over a long period of time - generally medicated feed works by inhibiting thiamine, and that affects both the chickens and the coccidiosis.

What's in the poultry mix? Is that a blend of different feeds, or...?

Given your circumstance, I'd either try feeding a mix (half grower, half 20% layer) to reduce the calcium but increase the protein higher than what's in the grower - this is actually what I do - OR... do you have non-medicated chick feeds available, and if so, what's the protein % on those?
 

chooki3s

Hatching
Oct 29, 2020
9
6
8
Weird to see a grower with lower protein, generally they have higher protein.

I would not feed medicated over a long period of time - generally medicated feed works by inhibiting thiamine, and that affects both the chickens and the coccidiosis.

What's in the poultry mix? Is that a blend of different feeds, or...?

Given your circumstance, I'd either try feeding a mix (half grower, half 20% layer) to reduce the calcium but increase the protein higher than what's in the grower - this is actually what I do - OR... do you have non-medicated chick feeds available, and if so, what's the protein % on those?

Thanks for your input!

The poultry mix is a blend of different seeds in addition to shell grit!
Ingredient list: Wheat, Sorghum, Crushed maize, Crushed lupins and peas, Black sunflower seed, Shell grit, Lucerne chaff, Salt, Linoleic acid, Dicalcium phosphate, Vitamin and mineral pre-mix (containing vitamin A, D3, E, K3, riboflavin (B2), pantothenic acid, niacin, folic acid, B12, manganese, zinc, iron, copper, iodine, selenium and anti-oxidant).

I've had a few chicken acquaintances using this mix but I'm still not sure about it because as I said, they may only select for what they want and not necessarily what they need (although I'm sure they'll still go for what they need nutritionally, I'm just worried).

I was thinking of mixing the grower and the layer feed too! The only thing is that most grower feed here is medicated. I have found grower feed that isn't medicated, but they're interstate and shipping is VERY expensive. Worse comes to worst, I'll do just that, but would like to hear some cost-effective ideas.
 

RoosterML

Make Ameraucanas Great Again
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My recommendation would be to mix the 2 together, the 15% grower with1% calcium
Along with the 20% 4% calcium.
That will give you a really nice mixture.
That is what I do.
Just finished reading other of your post. I would not travel for non medicated grower. Use a starter feed to mix in which will also lower your calcium.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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I've had a few chicken acquaintances using this mix but I'm still not sure about it because as I said, they may only select for what they want and not necessarily what they need (although I'm sure they'll still go for what they need nutritionally, I'm just worried).

I was thinking of mixing the grower and the layer feed too! The only thing is that most grower feed here is medicated. I have found grower feed that isn't medicated, but they're interstate and shipping is VERY expensive. Worse comes to worst, I'll do just that, but would like to hear some cost-effective ideas.

Problem with the poultry mix is that sounds like a layer type feed as well, and to get full use out of the mineral mix you'd need to ferment or at least wet the feed, to get everything to clump together to force the birds to eat it all. Otherwise, a mix like that... I can guarantee my birds would pick out the BOSS and kick most of the rest out of the feeder.

Is there not chick starter available at all? Or is that all medicated too?
 

chooki3s

Hatching
Oct 29, 2020
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Problem with the poultry mix is that sounds like a layer type feed as well, and to get full use out of the mineral mix you'd need to ferment or at least wet the feed, to get everything to clump together to force the birds to eat it all. Otherwise, a mix like that... I can guarantee my birds would pick out the BOSS and kick most of the rest out of the feeder.

Is there not chick starter available at all? Or is that all medicated too?

Unfortunately, most of the available chick starter brands here are also medicated with anti-coccidial. BUT in saying that...

My recommendation would be to mix the 2 together, the 15% grower with1% calcium
Along with the 20% 4% calcium.
That will give you a really nice mixture.
That is what I do.
Just finished reading other of your post. I would not travel for non medicated grower. Use a starter feed to mix in which will also lower your calcium.

I might do just this! I've finally found an organic chick starter - non medicated with 18% protein and 1% Ca. So I'll most likely mix my current layer feed with this starter feed.

Thanks for all the suggestions!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
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Feb 2, 2009
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People really like to make things complicated. Let's see if I can simplify things a bit.

If the medicine in that medicated feed is Amprolium, the USDA says it will not affect the chickens, there is no withdrawal period. But if they have been in the ground where they can peck at the ground for more than 3 weeks, they no longer need it. If any of the protozoa that causes Coccidiosis is in your soil they have already developed an immunity to it. If it is any drug other than Amprolium then this doesn't apply.

As far as calcium, let your eggs tell you how you are doing. If the egg shells are hard, they are getting enough calcium from some source. That may be from your feed, from plants they forage on, from creepy crawlies they catch and eat, or if you native soil is limestone they can get it form that. It doesn't matter where it comes from.

I do not like to mix a calcium supplement (Egg shells or oyster shell or crushed limestone) to their feed. I offer oyster shell on the side. If mien need it they seem to know it, my egg shells are fine. If they don't need it they don't eat enough to harm themselves.

The amount if protein in one bite doesn't matter, just like the amount of calcium in one bite doesn't matter. It's how many total grams they get in a day that counts, and even that is averaged over a few days. This is opinion. Some people seem to believe you are abusing you chickens if you don't feed them a lot of protein. I'm a lot more relaxed about that. If I have baby chicks in the flock they all eat an 18% protein starter/Grower. One they are out of that baby chick phase I feed them all a 15% Developer/Finisher. It is designed to bridge the gap between chick starter and adult food when they start to lay. Mine forage for a lot of what they eat so I can't micromanage every bite they eat anyway. My eggs are fine and the chickens are healthy.

I've finally found an organic chick starter - non medicated with 18% protein and 1% Ca. So I'll most likely mix my current layer feed with this starter feed.

Excellent. You could just feed this by itself but with a calcium supplement on the side. If you mix it with that Layer I'd suggest 2 parts of this with 1 part of the Layer. That should reduce the total grams of calcium down to where it will not harm your non-laying flock. Offer a calcium supplement on the side and the ones laying should produce hard shelled eggs. They will not get enough calcium from that feed mix for good egg shells unless they get a lot of calcium from foraging.

Instead of getting hung up on what a feed is called I look at the label for the analysis. If you are feeding some type of whole grain feed that is not ground up and formed into mash, crumbles or, pellets this doesn't apply but in general the only significant differences in feed is percent calcium and percent protein. You can find minor differences in the other nutrients such as fiber, fats, and other stuff but I don't consider any of them significant.
 

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