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Is it ok for laying hen to eat maintenance feed as long as she has oyster shell?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by shiningeyes, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. shiningeyes

    shiningeyes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a pair (a male Pekin and a female KC). There isn't a way to keep their food seperate so is it ok for her to keep eating her maintenance fees as long as she has the oyster shell (which she does eat). Her eggs have been fine so far but it's only been two weeks and I don't want any health problems down the road. We do have hard water with a high calcium level which is one of the reasons I was worried about my drake eating lay food. Has anyone done this long term? Or have any suggestions about feed?
     
  2. shiningeyes

    shiningeyes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone? Sorry this has been weighing heavily on my mind. I have only the two and I want each of them to be as healthy as possible and I'm. Just not sure how to do that when it comes to feed. Thanks for any help anyone can give!
     
  3. AustralorpsAU

    AustralorpsAU Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How much protein does the maintenance feed have. Im guessing it should be ok because you are giving her oyster shell but i hope somebody with more experience can help :)
     
  4. shiningeyes

    shiningeyes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's 19% protein I believe. Actually a little higher than I'd like but it's the only waterfowl food I can get locally other than Mazuri and for some reason my ducks won't touch the stuff. I think the calcium is .07 to 1.0 but I'm hoping they absorb some from the water and that the oyster shell will be enough.
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    It's perfectly fine. The big difference is that layer feed has less protein and a lot more calcium. That high level of calcium isn't exactly great for male birds and birds that aren't laying, for whatever reason. And if you feed too many treats while feeding layer there is a big risk of upsetting the nutritional balance.
    I have never even bothered with purchasing layer feed. It is for actively laying birds only. I've got too many chicks and cockerels, broodies, and molting hens for me to ever even consider it as an option. As long as there is oyster shell out for those that need it, there is no reason to ever feed layer.
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    This is what I feed....Up to you to follow?
    I feed a mix of Basic flock grower, oat and barley crumble, scratch grains and free range..Once young Duck hen Gets bred for about two or three weeks I then introduce oyster shell...
    Only when hen lays first egg do I introduce layer pellets..Once Ducklings hatch they are fed starter, scratch, oat and barley crumble...

    I was taught this so It seams to work great...Never got a Sick bird yet....
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I also feed all veggies and fruit too...Plus Alfalfa cubes soaked in water with raisins and apple sauce in the winter...
     
  8. shiningeyes

    shiningeyes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So do you have males that eat the layer pellets? Or are you able to keep feed seperate or have an all female flock?

    Also do you chop up the fruits and veggies or are they able to take pieces off whole?

    Thanks for the info!
     
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    The Drakes eat the layer pellets...I mix all my feeds so has not been an issue...I keep the oyster shell in another bowl and the drakes never touch it.
    The fruits and veggies I cut up and put into a large tub of water so the ducks soak their heads and eat the mix....They love it...The Lettuce I sort of break up and throw it in the pen...They can handle that....
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Watermelon I throw in too...Soft enough for them to eat...
     

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