Layer Feed for Breeding Hens...???

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by OG_SHAMOS, May 25, 2019.


    OG_SHAMOS In the Brooder

    Apr 13, 2018
    I know people will give layer feed to their egg producing hens specifically since the eggs will be for human consumption. But shouldn't you be giving layer feed to breeding/broody hens also since it would be beneficial for their eggs/chicks...?

    Reason I ask is...I breed oriental gamefowl breeds like Shamo, Thai, Asil and Burmese. They are not for egg production per se. They are mostly 'ornamental' type breeds.

    Should I be giving my breeding hens 'layer feed' because its beneficial for their eggs/shells even though they are not an egg laying breed specifically...?

    Or should I keep them on whatever feed I have them currently on and than supplement them with calcium/oyster shells 'free choice' since that is the most important mineral for hens to produce healthy eggs regardless if their an egg laying or ornamental breed...?
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  2. Timothy Menezes

    Timothy Menezes Songster

    Nov 27, 2017
    Monterey, California
    Layer feed is a good feed for production of lots of eggs. It's normal chicken feed with extra calcium for all the egg shells.

    This is a benefit to chickens that are bred for making lots of eggs in a short amount of time.

    Breeder feed is similar but with less emphasis on calcium and more emphasis one all the other vitamins and amino acids that make for a healthy body.

    There is less emphasis on calcium because it's assumed the chicken will be sitting on eggs and not need the extra calcium and / or that the chicken will lay a few less eggs and be concentrated on making those fewer eggs be as potent as they can be.

    It's kind of like adding a multi vitamin. You can just add a vitamin supplement to their water to get the same effect.

    Nothing wrong with either feed really, both are good nutrition. It's just like some people use daily vitamins and others don't bother, both can be healthy with or without the extra vitamins.

    So if your hens are high production hens that need the calcium, go for that. If they are not then the breeder will work very well adding extra vitamins and minerals that may or may not be of a significant difference.

    Either way you go, you can supplement to provide the best for your hens in your specific situation.
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  3. ButtonquailGirl14

    ButtonquailGirl14 Crossing the Road

    Jul 13, 2017
    Northport WA
    I would feed All Flock, with oystershell as an option on the side.
    Folly's place likes this.
  4. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I find that layer feed is not the best choice when hatching eggs.

    It is nice to increase the nutrition a bit more.

    I like to use 18% layer and add nutritional yeast, and stuff that is high in vitamins (chickweed, carrot trimmings, freezer burnt salmon)
    Timothy Menezes likes this.
  5. Timothy Menezes

    Timothy Menezes Songster

    Nov 27, 2017
    Monterey, California
    I apologise, I was tired when I first read the OP's original post.

    Breeder feed with Oyster shell on the side would be ideal. Purina Gamebird breeder is 20%ish percent if I remember right. That or something similar would do nicely.

    What brands and types of feed do you have available to you?
    sourland likes this.
  6. Trux

    Trux Crowing

    Mar 26, 2018
    My broody gets 18% and poultry cell in her water while she is sitting eggs. Broodies tend to not get off the nest that often to eat so the extra protein and vitamins helps. Sitting eggs can take a hen out of good condition, so every thing helps
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I use game bird breeder which is 20% protein . I start the breeders on it about a month before I start to collect the eggs for hatching.
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Layer feed is meant for laying hens who eat nothing else, and not for breeding birds, broody hens, or chicks. Feed a game bird, growth, or all flock feed, with separate oyster shell, suitable for everyone.
    123RedBeard likes this.
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Game bird breeder was always my 'go to' feed for my show birds.
  10. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    That isn't available where I live.... not even in the next town up.


    It sure would be the best and easiest choice though...where it is available.

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