is it simply protein?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Noodlynoo, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Noodlynoo

    Noodlynoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Could anyone tell me what it is in layer pellets that make them the standard feed for chickens?
    Is it simply because its high protein or is there something else in them that they are in need of?

    If its simply protein, there are so many other sources that makes me wonder if I need pellets at all!
    I would love to hear opinions from those who are far more experienced than me.
     
  2. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Most feeds are balanced for the needs of a (production) chicken. Layer feed has added calcium in it, but regular feed with a source of calcium being offered on the side works just as well (egg shells and oyster shells crushed up being the main sources for this). Most people feed the commercial chicken feed, because on a smaller scale, it's impossible to beat the price, and it can be a bit difficult to balance out what you feed them in your own mix. If they're allowed to free range, they'll find other things to eat and that will cut down on feed consumption. Food scraps are well received usually too. The chickens should be given the opportunity to get grit too, and water at all times.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  3. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Chicken Obsessed

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    A complete layer feed is scientifically balanced . The main problem is that it only takes 2 months before the vitamin and mineral content in the feed starts to deteriorate. There are other minerals and vits of importance , lysine, phosphorus , vit E , selenium , just to name a few. Protein and calcium are important but too much of either can cause as many problems as a short fall. This label demonstrates the other goodies in a complete layer feed.

    http://poultry.purinamills.com/OURPRODUCTS/Products/FlockRaiser/default.aspx
    And these links demonstrate what can happen when there is a deficiency

    http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/pou..._poultry/mineral_deficiencies_in_poultry.html

    http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/pou..._poultry/vitamin_deficiencies_in_poultry.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  4. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Thank you Fancy, I was going to mention minerals and vitamins too, but the neighbors kids interrupted me and apparently I didn't finish my thought before posting.
     
  5. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Chicken Obsessed

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    No worries mate. ;)
     
  6. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

     
  7. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Chicken Obsessed

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    :lau
    No that would be ' now that's a knife '.
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Layer feed isn't the standard feed for chickens in general. It is the standard feed for chickens that are actively laying. Chickens that shouldn't be eating layer feed are young birds that haven't started laying yet, roosters, molters or any bird not producing egg shells.
    It isn't high in protein. In fact, it is lower in protein than starter or grower feed.
    Starter, grower, finisher, layer, etc.. are intended for a specific age bird in the commercial industry. We, as small holders, must work with those formulas.

    In general, the vitamin, mineral and fat content is pretty consistent among all the feeds. Also, in general, starter is the highest in protein (to build small bodies), grower a little lower protein, layer is lower yet and finisher about 15% protein (for the last couple weeks of broilers or a pre lay pullet diet and cockerels.

    All the feeds other than layer have about 1% calcium. Layer has about 4% calcium. The only thing other than the additional calcium is that the proportion of calcium/phosphorus/vitamin D needs to be appropriate to build strong shells.
     
  9. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    My favorite line from the movie.

    He has a knife!

    That's not a knife, that's a knife.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014

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