grower food + oyster shell, or laying pellets?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by lablover, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there anything wrong with keeping my hens and rooster on grower food as long as I provide oyster shells, or should I really switch to laying pellets?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Many, many people never buy Layer, especially if they have mixed flock. Layer isn't magical in any way. It is merely Grower with the calcium added and mixed into the feed for the owners convenience, that's all it is.
     
  3. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience, when in doubt, mix em together and let the chickens decide... They know what they need
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member


    Layer feed, high in "hidden" calcium, cannot be sorted out by birds. Only layers should be fed the high calcium of Layer Feed. Non laying birds, such birds moulting, adolescents, chicks, roosters, etc have no way to expel the high calcium of Layer feed, only active egg layers can expel this calcium via the egg shell. High calcium causes grout and renal system damage in non-laying birds. This is why Layer Feed is not fed by many experienced breeders and flock keepers.
     
  5. I always feed layer feed, even when mine molt, because 1) they don't molt at the same time, and 2) I've always been told they needed the extra calcium to help the feathers grow in.
     
  6. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I always feed a grower with oyster on the side. If the birds need more calcium for some reason, they can eat more freely - if they need less they have the option to not. I see no reason to use layer.
     
  7. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    My Coop
     
  8. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    My Coop
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  9. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to know... What we do... Oats, cracked corn, layer, and next shopping day sunflower seeds... 50 lbs of each, mixed together... Plus they spend their days free range and are givin a "treat" of some sort everyday... I found a sheet of plywood set off to the side of the yard easily flips up to expose a good mornings worth of worms for my ladies... My problem with no layer feed is wont my chickens laying their daily eggs run low on calcium??? I have to assume this is as bad as too much???
     
  10. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you if you have oyster shells available for them on the side they will get all the calcium they need. The options are really do you want the calcium mixed in so that all the birds are getting the same amount regardless of individual needs or do you let the birds regulate calcium themselves. Either way you need to provide calcium - in the food or separate.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012

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