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For all of us newbies on here, what are the different kinds of feed?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gumpsgirl, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    For all of us new chicken owners on here, what are all of the different kinds of feed, what is the purpose of that feed, and what age do you start giving the feed? AND, how much do you give them?!?!

    I keep hearing about different kinds of feeds, but am unsure as to what is the best to feed my chickens and at what age to feed it to them.

    Also, do roosters get the laying feed like the hens do? See! I'm confused!!! [​IMG]
     
  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    This is from my Blue Seal Pamphlet I've had since tom and Jerry...oy...

    First is Chick Starter. That you can use until 6 weeks of age...Most of the time it's medicated so you don't have the chicks get cocci.

    Next is Grower. Use from 6 weeks to 20 weeks.
    This comes in Medicated and Non-Medicated. This is more for your layer birds than your meat birds.
    Sometimes there's a developer that you can use for 14 weeks to 20 weeks...that's specifically for layers...I didn't use it...

    The last is Layer Pellets. And that's for 20 weeks and up...

    Blue Seal also makes an Egg Maker Crumble, but I've never used it...it's for small commercial producer with lots of birds.

    The Storey's Guide says to feed roos Layer food and scratch, but I think that most of us differ with that...
    You could probably get away with Game bird food for roos.
     
  3. CathyB

    CathyB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks SpottedCrow! You answered the question.

    Maybe more detail, like when to add scratch? What time of year fro scratch?

    I heard that oyster shell is added when they start to lay, is that correct? You would think you would give that to them a little before they start to lay for the benefit of the egg....
     
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Scratch is just a treat, but you can use it to keep the birds warm in the winter.

    I didn't add Oyster Shell until after they started laying.
    The calcium for the egg shells comes from their bones, so they've got plenty to start with.

    And, you're welcome.
     
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Too much calcium in the diet before they begin to utilize it for egg making can cause kidney damage. The same as human get kidney stones the hen/pullet can develop kidney blockages from the build up of too much calcium. This is why you need to offer a different feed for roosters. They do not need the calcium.

    The body only takes calcium from the bones when it is in dire need of it and can't get it from other food sources. Commercial feeds are formulated to be nutritionally complete. Often they need nothing more then the layer feed. It is usually another deficientcy that causes the calcium in the diet not to be absorbed and used for egg shell making.

    I keep oyster shell out at all times. My hens rarely touch it. I have not had to fill the oyster shell box since last summer.

    If you pay close attn you will see your hens will lay perfectly fine eggs without the extra oyster shells. It is when they are stressed or have been ill that they might need the extra. They will only eat what they need and won't over indulge.

    I do recommend having the feed, oyster shell and grit always avaiable for free choice.
     
  6. CathyB

    CathyB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks again! I was worried about calcium leeching from the bones if you wait until after they lay. Guess I was just overthinking and overworrying as usual........

    Also, if you know this I would love it. I had one chicken in college. My father used to go and buy the feed. He used to come home with something he called mash. He said that is what they called it at the feed store. Anyway, it looked like a pellet, he then added warm water until it was all "mash" and the chicken went crazy for it. Any idea? Was it just mashed up layer pellets or is there really such a thing as a bag of mash you can buy!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    There is layer mash. It is mixed with warm water and fed to the chickens. It was at one time used mostly by old farmers in cold weather and for chicks. They would make a warm, moist 'mash' for the chickens to have a warm meal and for chicks that could benefit from being able to eat the softer food.
     
  8. CathyB

    CathyB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks MissPrissy! I understand now! I do plan on feeding free choice, just wanted to know what to have as free choice and when!
     
  9. CathyB

    CathyB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Wow, so it is different!!! All I know is my chicken would go to town on this stuff! I know some people here feed cooked oatmeal in cold weather, I guess this is just like that!
     
  10. dogzrule5

    dogzrule5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yikes! the more I learn, the dumber I feel!!

    I've had chickens for a few years now and fed all the adults, including the roosters, laying pellets. I didn't realize it might hart the roos, although they are quite healthy and spunky!!

    If they're all together, how do you separate the food???[​IMG]
     

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