Layer feed for rooster...?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by wornoutmomto3, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. wornoutmomto3

    wornoutmomto3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been feeding my birds Nutrena All Flock. I keep oyster shell and grit readily available. The All Flock has been working great, but I noticed a couple of the egg shells were a bit thin. My hens have only been laying for less than a month and this is their first season. I was thinking about switching to a layer mix. My concern is for the roosters. I know that roosters don't need the added calcium, but will it be harmful to them if I switched everybody over?

    *The hens and roos coop together. There are also a couple ducks (male and female) that coop in the same area. They usually eat together as well.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    He shouldn't have all that calcium, you are correct.

    A simple option is to feed both All Flock and Layer. Alternate days, perhaps. That way, he'd get 1/2 the calcium overload, at least that's better than being forced to ingest Layer all the time.

    The females would have access on alternating days, to the Layer and even with every other day, you'd likely see the egg shell quality improve. Calcium is odd. The birds need to have the right sized particle of it, it seems. In any case, I thought I'd just toss out an option. It's one I personally use during breeding season which is the only time the cockbirds are held captive to being with the hens/pullets and forced into this similar situation.

    Hope the option give you food for thought.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I don't use layer, but an all-in-one. With new layers, I'd be far more inclined to chalk shell abnormalities up to them simply being new, not a nutritional issue. I'd just monitor for an ongoing issue before I made any changes.
     
  4. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We use All flock alternated with Flock Raiser added (in the evenings only) for our roosters. They love it. Originally, we used layer feed, and over time realized the cockerels seemed to be not as spry as they should be. After the switch, the males acted more energetic, put more muscle weight on, and their feathers seemed to appear glossier. Actually, all the flock loves Flock raiser, and will choose to eat it rather than anything else offered, other than scrambled eggs and oatmeal treats.

    The only thing about Flock raiser is that you can smell the hops in it? and it smells really pleasant. So, we had hordes of hungry, wild, winterizing honeybees luxuriating and rolling around in it in the mornings and afternoons- as if it were a delicacy. So, if we get honeybees again for this spring, we are definitely going to feed them Flock Raiser to up the level of their winter protein. (There is a protein patty you feed them over winter to help them winterize.)

    [​IMG]
     
  5. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's the yeast,Nutrena has that smell also.Almost smells like a beer.
     
  6. nayeli

    nayeli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just found out that is a no no too. I have 6 birds 3 are chicks, one 50 lb bag of layer, one 50 lb bag of bird seed, and tomorrow I'm off to buy a all flock food =/
     
  7. wornoutmomto3

    wornoutmomto3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone. The girls were avoiding the shells and grit. I put out some fresh oyster shell and grit. The girls wouldn't touch it. So, tossed some meal worms in and the girls went to town. Within a couple days the egg shell quality improved dramatically.
     
  8. Nupe

    Nupe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Understand that the oyster shell is a supplement and the girls are good at knowing when they need it. You won't see any kind of "feeding frenzy" with oyster shell but they're using it. I go through about 2 cups a month for 16 young hens and get about a dozen eggs a day. As the days warm up, I'm sure I'll go through more.
     
  9. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't toss your layer feed. You can mix it in with your new All Flock feed. Not sure on the ratio's, just mix in a little at a time until you've used it up, perhaps 10-20%. Yes, the roos will get a bit more calcium than they should this way, but it will be short lived and far less calcium than they've been getting from a 100% layer diet.
     
  10. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wish our girls were as thrifty as yours! Our 20 hens go through about 2 cups of oyster shells a WEEK. Right now were getting 9-11 eggs a day. If I give them crushed eggs shells instead, they go through about 2 cups of that every other day. Perhaps they are wasting some of it, but I haven't noticed it yet. We feed a grower feed, no layer.
     

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