Is it worth the extra $$

BDutch

Free Ranging
5 Years
May 19, 2015
2,316
7,871
567
the Netherlands
My Coop
My Coop
Somehow I didn't get notices on new comments. This is my respond after reading 4 pages.

Where I live all the non-organic soy and corn that goes into the chicken, pig and cattle feed comes from Brazil. It is not only the poison that is a problem imo, but also the destruction of the jungle/ large scale deforestation and the social impact for the original inhabitants that counts. The number of large scale soy and corn plantations is still increasing.

Another downside is the shipping from Brasil to Rotterdam. This is causing damage to the world too bc of the fossils and pollution with cheap oil they use in these large vessels.

Traders and banks in the Netherlands contribute to undermining our planets ecosystem/ health. And I rather don’t want to contribute in this sickening trade.

If chick feed comes from local arable farmers and mills its a good alternative for organic feed. It’s great if you can buy that where you live. I might do that too if I was able to do so.

The organic feed over here contains no soy but mainly peas to achieve a higher protein.

Ummmm.... not fair, some people don’t have a choice. Your privilege is showing.
For many people It’s all about choices. I see a lot of people where I live with a modest income that buy unhealthy but expensive food for themselves at the take away and all kind of rubbish in 1 dollar shops. Sometimes people with low income have lots of pets that cost them a fortune. If they would choose a more healthy lifestyle and leave out out the crap it is possible for most people to buy more organic food. I am sorry not everyone has enough means to do so.

Last remark for small scale BYC farmers who think organic is too expensive: Where I live BYC keepers who are not industrial farmers, who keep less then 250 chickens and sell eggs from home are allowed to do so without strict control. They can explain/show to customers the feed is without poison and the chickens are free ranging. These eggs will sell for a much better price then standard eggs. This makes it possible for them to buy the more costly organic feed.
 

oldhen2345

Crowing
5 Years
Jun 22, 2015
922
3,826
281
East Texas
Rosemary, another thing about the huge price eggs. When YOU raise them, you know exactly what is going into them, what they ate, or more importantly, did not eat, and that they ARE being well fed and kept happy etc. I let my birds free range a good part of the day, on the weeks that I am not working day shift, so they get an even bigger variety of food and it cuts down on my costs. When they are out eating bugs and scratching all day, I dont need to feed them as much.

One other thing, since we are talking food, in the summer, I leave a bug lamp in the cage, the one girl will stay up all night almost watching the thing, when it zaps, she taps it until the moth falls out and eats it!. I have 3 or 4 other lamps around the house with bowls under them catching the moths beetles and occasional gecko that gets into it. Empty these out every day or so and that is great feed as well for the chicken, and electric cost is maybe a penny or two a day for the lamp so it's cost efficient too.
Great idea- I am off to get bug catchers this morning.
 

Malamute1

Chirping
Oct 30, 2019
51
97
93
I have noticed that some lesser brands (don't know if Dumor plain type qualifies) don't include pre & probiotics that many feeds have added in the last few years. Some also don't have marigold extract or alfalfa that color yolks which appeal to some. Not sure if they matter or not. I have never paid more than 50% more for organic, but it varies.
My girls love marigolds. I bought seeds and they grow here mostly yr round. I give the blooms to my peeps as treats. Save the last few blooms &allow them to go to seed. Then I start a new pot.
 

U_Stormcrow

Crowing
Jun 7, 2020
1,571
3,357
286
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Pre and Pro biotics are largely buzz words. Not they are meaningless or unimportant to us humans, but I think we can all agree there is a big difference between humans and their casual and widespread antibiotic use and frequently low-fiber diets here in America, and chickens. Chicken feed, lots of fiber! Little to no antibiotics. And while we humans do not share from one another's plates, chickens do all the time, with all the other things today ahem contribute ahem to the soil. So there are already many things in a chicken's environment which contribute to good bacteria in the gut, and help to maintain that, even when one chicken maybe having some small issues. If you happen to ferment your feed, you are also contributing to the prees and pros.

. Same if you should periodically give them yogurt as a treat.

Now, if for some reason you put your flock on high dosage long-term antibiotics oh, you might want to consider something to help get their gut back in order. Particularly if you noticed Oddities about the consistency of their droppings, or see any indications in body shape and behavior that their diet is suffering from inability to process what you are feeding them. But that's just being a good owner of chickens. Nothing magical about it. That said, like oyster shell it can't hurt. If It Makes You Happy do it.

And yes, I'm planting marigolds too, just as soon as it warms up some. Because we do eat with our eyes, and while my chicks yolks are already quite yellow from their free-range environment, I am all for adding additional variety. Can't hurt. And marigolds are pretty. Stupid reason, I know, but there it is. Probably something you never expected to read in one of my post...
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
25,518
17,568
771
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
Most feeds are adequate and have the nutritional requirements for the birds. Some feeds do have some additional ingredients. Most layer feed is 15%/16% protein. Noting special but adequate and will maintain your birds. It also depends on what your birds are used for. If you are only interested in eggs, that's all you need. I raise my birds for exhibition/showing. Giving them other feed does make a difference. During breeding season I use a higher protein feed, also when they go through their molts since their feathers are made of mostly protein. For meat birds the feed is usually a higher protein but they are ready to process in weeks. There is no cut and dry on feed. It's personal preference. Good luck...
 

Malamute1

Chirping
Oct 30, 2019
51
97
93
Organic feed and organic scratch. I'm working on switching their fresh veggie snacks to organic and also buy a good filter to put on my sink for their water. I have less than 10 chickens so it's doable for me. They go through a 50 pound bag of feed I believe every 3 weeks or so.

My reason for organic is I once saw a guy who had raised chickens for 40 years say "they have such small bodies and organs that they are more sensitive to the effects of chemicals that is in standard feed". That made a lot of sense to me.

Now I need to figure out organic dog food. I have 3 dogs that eat 6 cups of food a day. $19 for 4 pounds of organic dog food is impossible for me. I do give them a really good grain free brand.
Icy_flames, Be careful with grain free. I use to think it better, but a lot of grain free dog foods are too rich, or higher fat. They are the craze these days but not as heart healthy. Go on line and check pros n cons on grain free.
 

Malamute1

Chirping
Oct 30, 2019
51
97
93
Pre and Pro biotics are largely buzz words. Not they are meaningless or unimportant to us humans, but I think we can all agree there is a big difference between humans and their casual and widespread antibiotic use and frequently low-fiber diets here in America, and chickens. Chicken feed, lots of fiber! Little to no antibiotics. And while we humans do not share from one another's plates, chickens do all the time, with all the other things today ahem contribute ahem to the soil. So there are already many things in a chicken's environment which contribute to good bacteria in the gut, and help to maintain that, even when one chicken maybe having some small issues. If you happen to ferment your feed, you are also contributing to the prees and pros.

. Same if you should periodically give them yogurt as a treat.

Now, if for some reason you put your flock on high dosage long-term antibiotics oh, you might want to consider something to help get their gut back in order. Particularly if you noticed Oddities about the consistency of their droppings, or see any indications in body shape and behavior that their diet is suffering from inability to process what you are feeding them. But that's just being a good owner of chickens. Nothing magical about it. That said, like oyster shell it can't hurt. If It Makes You Happy do it.

And yes, I'm planting marigolds too, just as soon as it warms up some. Because we do eat with our eyes, and while my chicks yolks are already quite yellow from their free-range environment, I am all for adding additional variety. Can't hurt. And marigolds are pretty. Stupid reason, I know, but there it is. Probably something you never expected to read in one of my post...
U_Stormcrow My girls love the marigolds blossoms. They crowd around the porch door in the afternoon in spring n summer waiting for me to bring them out to them. And yes I like the aesthetics bonus to the yolks. 😁
 

Apis mellifera

Songster
Mar 14, 2017
89
154
116
Adirondacks
Ditto for me. My girls get Layena Free Range made by Purina I think. When I have pullets and hens, I use the All Flock. Hens are all nice and healthy.
I contacted Purina and asked them what percentage of the protein was BSFL and they would not give me an answer. Since its listed after calcium I suspect very little.
 

Malamute1

Chirping
Oct 30, 2019
51
97
93
Newbie chicken owner here who just started her second bag of feed. I bought DuMore 16% layer feed for the first bag because the man at TSC recommended it, saying he'd done a project for (4H? FFA? Don't remember) and DuMore came out on top for nutrition, egg production, blah, blah, so I thought I was feeding top of the line stuff.

My birds were hatched last spring, and I was wondering why there were no eggs. Leghorns are supposed to be good layers. After about a week on the brand my local feed store recommended, I'm beginning to get eggs. Was it the feed? The age of the pullets? I don't know. But I switched from the 16% to all flock because my birds were not laying yet and one of them is a cockerel. Now that they're starting to lay, they'll get calcium on the side.

As far as organic, one of the things I remember from Organic Chem class is that organic, strictly speaking, simply means something contains carbon, and that applies to a whole lot of things on this planet. I also know that labeling for organic products can be deceptive. The stuff from the feed store is Ace Hi brand, and they said the local chicken people prefer it. At the same time, I bought a bag of Kelly's 16% layer feed. I'll use it up by mixing it with the all flock because of the rooster. Gotta keep him singing.

So I've been reading everything in this thread because want to know what is best for my flock. Not everything they eat comes out of a bag. Is there a list of table scraps/people food somewhere detailing what they can and can't eat? Some feeds are medicated and some are not. The man at TSC told me to only feed medicated pellets. The bag I'm feeding now is not medicated--someone told me to avoid that.
Gekolady, There are several articles on safe scraps n treats for chickens. Just Google it. I reference them periodically when my hubby decides a new leftover should go to the peeps. LOL!
 

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