How do you care for your breeding birds?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by CovenantCreek, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    I've read where there are different requirements, mostly nutritional, between hens that are laying eggs just for eating and hens that are laying eggs for hatching. What are the differences in the care and feeding of a breeding flock vs a non-breeding flock?
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I think that breeding birds need a slightly higher protein and there are some vitamins that are different in a breeding feed, for optimal hatchability. I have used Game Bird Breeder and I've used Southern States Super Breeder Crumble, though the SS brand breeder has veg protein only. I prefer the Game Bird breeder feeds with animal protein for my Blue Orpingtons and on occasion, I'll get a 22% layer pellet containing animal protein. I dont have them on it constantly, but alternate a bag of regular layer pellets with one of the breeder feeds, just to save money.

    Forgot to mention that they get yogurt and on occasion oatmeal with olive oil, buttermilk and pumpkin seed. When I remember, I get them some greens like mustard greens or kale.
     
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I use a gamebird feed with a higher protein. They also get BOSS, scratch, meat, green vegetation, yogurt, kefir, whey and other good for you supplements occassionally. My dh also delights in catching barn mice and lizards and letting the hens fight over them. (shiver) When the 22% layer ration is on sale I buy several bags and mix it with the gamebird feed to give the hens a little bump in egg laying.
     
  4. scgamecock

    scgamecock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Conway SC
    TSC has a 24% feed for Turkey's and Quail.I've never bought any but I've thought about.
     
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Quote:The TSC gamecock feed is $19.98 a bag here!
     
  6. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    All my birds are on layer crumbles.
    ETA; because I cant spell tonight.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2009
  7. scgamecock

    scgamecock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Conway SC
    Ouch!! I think it's around $15 or so here but their 16% layer is down to 11.99 a bag.
     
  8. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    Quote:Whoa, 16% layer crumbles are $9.60 tax included here. (thats what I feed) I thought that was high.
     
  9. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    When producing hatching eggs. The main thing is to keep healthy breeders, feed a good 20% to 24% feed and make sure they are wormed. For the strongest chicks.

    Not just good to get eggs, but breeders need to be in peak health. for strong chicks
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  10. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    I usually keep fish meal available for the girls, and have started mixing it in with their feed to increase the amount of protein. They have free access to kelp meal, which they've hardly touched in a year and a half. They also have flax seed available free choice and roughly 12 hours to roam the property eating greens and bugs. Oh yeah, they also get fruits and vegetables frequently.

    Is this enough or is there more I should provide when I get serious about hatching egg production?
     

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