Frustration With My Local Feed Stores

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by HHandbasket, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Now, it's a given that if you ask anyone who keeps chickens about what to feed them, you're likely to get a number of different answers of varying correctness.

    When I got my pullets, which I were told were 2-1/2 months old (I know now they were no where near that old when I bought them), I went to my local feed shop. Told him I was getting 5 pullets and that they would not be laying for another 4-6 weeks (I know now it won't be until September-ish, except for the EE who's about to lay in the next month, but she's another story). Anyway, asked what I needed to buy, and he sold me a 50-pound sack of layer crumbles with the oyster shell already included.

    So I came home and commenced to feeding my little flock. They liked the food & did well, but I found out from reading this site that they really need to be on flock raiser until we start seeing eggs. So, I sent hubby out to another feed store, this time one very close to my house, and asked for a bag of flock raiser. He was given some food, brought it home, and the girls eat it but had not been as rigorous and seemed kinda... I dunno, lazy/sluggish. I thought it was related to the heat that finally showed up here in the valley, but then I find out that the feed store sold my husband something called "meat builder", which is basically for meat birds, and told him it's the exact same thing as flock raiser.

    Now, I know people who raise meat birds, and I know it's NOT the same thing! I've also seen their birds... they lay around and are sluggish, kinda the way my girls were acting the last week.

    So today, we go back to this same feed store, and I ask for flock raiser... they direct me again to the meat builder. I said, "That's for meat chickens. I have pullets but they won't lay for another 2 months, so I need flock raiser." Again, dork boy tried to tell me that flock raiser and meat builder are the same.

    Is it the same?

    I ended up buying a product they called "layena crumble". It is layer food without the oyster shell or sunflower seeds. I supplement their diet withi TONS of protein, lots of fresh/live foods (worms, flies, bugs, dinner/food leftovers, etc.), so I think their protein needs are being met. I mean, these chickens get live worms almost every day! And they are constantly getting bugs.

    I am not going back to the feed store again. I may very well be sitting here on 50 pounds of chicken feed that isn't appropriate for my birds because no matter what feed store I go to (I've been to 3 all total now), I get told something different every time.

    Are flock raiser and meat builder the same? Do you think feeding my birds the meat builder is why they were acting sluggish/lazy?
  2. LadyinRed

    LadyinRed Songster

    Sep 22, 2009
  3. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    They should be on either a- (what age do you think they are)

    Stater Grower,
    or a Game Bird feed

    What name brand feed can you get where you are at?

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  4. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Oh, they did offer me chick starter--starter/grower feed, they called it, but said pullets my birds' age should be on the meat builder.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2010
  5. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    I do know what to feed them. We do know what to ask for. That's what we asked for! But we were given something else (meat builder) and told it was the same thing as flock raiser and it's NOT.

    That's my complaint. It's not that I don't know what to feed them... I know what to feed them... my complaint is that the idiots at the feed store sold us the wrong crap even though we asked for the right feed!

    Now our feed budget for this month is spent & we're gonna have to make do with the 50 pounds of feed we have.

    My complaint is that the guys at the feed store on 34th street in Sacramento are numbskulls & should get out of the chicken feed business if they are going to continue to ill-advise their clients.

    I mainly was venting my frustration about the idiot jerks at the feed store.

    Oh, and BTW, thank you for the link to TSC. I grew up in an agricultural area (Merced, California), and there was a TSC there. Loved that store my whole life! FISCO, too.

    I will probably order from them in the future. Budget for this month is spent, though, so they're gonna have to eat what they've got for right now.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2010
  6. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Songster

    Dec 14, 2009
    The best suggestion that I can make is one you have already figured out. Don't necessarily go by what people working in feed stores tell you. Some of them know a bit about poultry, but many do not, and really don't want to be bothered. It doesn't seem to bother a lot of them to give out false information, and they really don't want to be educated as to what is right. If you have a local library, they probably have books on chicken care. I have checked a lot out from our library, and some of it is pretty interesting reading. There are stories here and there on this forum about people who got exactly the wrong information from feed store employees. It pays to just do research on your own, and this is a good place to get A LOT of information. Using the search tab you can find just about anything you need to know, or find people with practical experience who can direct you the right way, or to the right person who can answer your questions with some degree of expertise.
    I have never used anything called meat builder, but I've never even seen anything labeled as such on store shelves. For my own flocks, I start with medicated feed, and then start mixing it with layena crumbles or pellets when they get around 16-17 weeks old. Some people use flock raiser, but it's not a requirement for healthy birds. If your birds are free-ranging, they will probably pick up enough little rocks and sand, etc. to help grind up their food, but if they are not free-range, and eat anything other than crumble/pellets, you may want to buy some coarse sand, or chicken grit to supplement with. Other than that, some oyster shell, or save egg shells from eggs you have used, dry them out, and when you have enough to fill a baking pan, bake them on low heat for 20 or 30 minutes, and once cool, crush them up to feed to your birds. That will suffice for calcium supplement.
  7. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
  8. I'm lucky, the ones at my southern states here know chickens, most own chickens or livestock and know their stuff, if the person I ask doesn't, they will call for someone else in the store to come there and assist me and talk with me. Also the locally ran feedstore (who carries layena and flockraiser - which SS doesn't) they are very knowledgable, but I just don't like them cause they are very blaise about the whole thing and they don't contribute to the comfort of their chickens that they sale, to them chickens are just a way to make some money and sell birds in good or bad health (usually just mites or feather plucked bad - but still)

    So my business goes to Southern States even if they are a dollar or two more than the local feed store, I do use them to order a flockraiser now that I've learned I can [​IMG] they charge me 10$ for ordering fee but I order 4 bags the other day and got it yesterday - so it was worth it. They are going to start stocking it in fall for me and some other customers they have who have shown interest in it, so I am glad. [​IMG]
  9. jarcoo0153

    jarcoo0153 Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    Levelland, Texas
    According to the sack of Purina Start and grow in my garage, Chicks should be on it until they are 18 weeks old. Then put on Layena.
  10. schellie69

    schellie69 Songster

    Oct 8, 2009
    Sorry to hear you are having the trouble getting the right food. here the tractor supply is the ones that don't know what they are talking about while the other farm store seems to know what they are doing. Hopefully you can get things straighten out for your girls, I just buy a game bird feed 22% protein and mix with a flock raiser 16% protein. since I have a mixed flock right now and since they free range it helps with their protein level.

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