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How do you feed your rooster?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Spanishchick, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. Spanishchick

    Spanishchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband is very concerned that our rooster is eating layer feed. Granted they're outside quite a bit and get a lot of worms and greens.
    I'm not so worried as I don't see how to seperate them when they live together. But I promised I would ask you guys/gals here so I am.
    Many times he's right :) He's from a cattle ranch where the chickens roam free and eat everyone elses food and they're last on anyones mind.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  2. carlsaSC

    carlsaSC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my second year with chickens, but I have a roo that hatched in April. He has always eaten the same feed as the chicks from the time he hatched.
     
  3. rubyredder

    rubyredder Out Of The Brooder

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    If you're referring to the layer mash that the hens eat, that's ok. It's made for chickens, male and female, alike. [​IMG]
     
  4. Spanishchick

    Spanishchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We thought the calcium would hurt them. Thanks for the answers.
     
  5. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The calcium in layer feed is four percent at that level it can cause damage to the kidneys of non layers. Young growing birds should never have a layer feed for that reason. Adults who get other foods lower the calcium levels. While the damage to adults take a longer time to developer any problems. It could take a rooster its whole live to show anything, if at all. That is why there is wiggle room in the calcium levels. It all depends on what your setup is and feeding of your birds. And that is why there is some debate on whether extra calcium. But the majority here tends to want a lower level for their rooster. If I confined my chickens and only feed them one thing, no scratch or scraps, then I would have a concern and only feed them a grower or other low calcium feed.
     
  6. Spanishchick

    Spanishchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That was very informative den. They do forage, get scraps, some corn and when I'm feeling wealthy and crazy :) I buy them apples and kale or some other green. Looks like he's fine then. Thanks!
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I make it simple and put the whole flock on the same feed. So when chicks are growing out the entire flock gets grower feed and the layer hens have available oyster shells in a side dish they eat for added calcium.

    When the chicks are grown enough I put the entire flock on game bird finisher pellets (16% protein) as I can't get grower feed in pellet form. And again the layer hens have oyster shell available to them for the added calcium.
     
  8. Spanishchick

    Spanishchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great idea! I'm going to harvest worms because of their high need for protein which is obvious when you watch the amount of insects they eat. I like this way much better. I don't even think they like the pellets with calcium. Next tractor run!!!!!
    Thanks for that. We're adding 5~10 more chickens soon. I haven't decided yet. Not sure I am ready for 15 chickens with a goat on the way and a puppy we just added to the dog pack.
     
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    I use a grower, since i have roosters and drakes i prefer not to use a layer, i know the issue is highly debated but frankly, it makes sense that a bird that does not lay, does not need nor should have such high levels of calcium.

    To be honest, i am unsure as to whether hens should either, anyways, i use a grower and give free choice oyster shell for my ladies. There is always all flocks/flock raiser, multi purpose feeds that suit too.
     
  10. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    All my adult birds eat layer, including my rooster. He is going on 6 years old and going strong. He does forage in the pasture with the flock so he's not eating solely layer feed.

    I do agree that if a person is concerned an all flock or flock raiser type feed is a good option to try. I had issues with a few hens starting to have thin shelled eggs after a while when I tried doing that. They apparently were just not consuming enough of the oyster shell. Put them back on layer feed and problem solved. Just something to think about and watch for. It works fine for many people.

    I do agree with den that it would likely take a normal, healthy rooster many years to show any adverse effects of consuming the extra calcium in layer feed.
     

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