layer pellets vs breeder pellets

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by BarkerChickens, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    My flock needs more protein (broken feathers, pecking and feather eating). The layer pellets are 16% protein, but I can get breeder pellets with 20% protein. They seem to have comparable calcium percentage (4-ish percent). We hope to hatch some of the eggs, but not a large quantity. All 28 hens and 2 roosters are on the same feed and they get scratch every once in a while as a treat. Is there any reason why I can't switch the entire flock over to the 20% protein breeder pellets permanently?
  2. detali

    detali Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2009
    I don't see why not. I would check the list of ingredients and compare them before I would do it though.

    Also, do your chickens have enough space in their runs and enough things to occupy them, like running and scratching and pecking at greens and dust baths. If they are busy and have enough space they are not likely to peck at each other. Try hanging a turnip about 5" off the ground and watch them peck at it. My chickens love turnip greens, which I am growing especially for them. ( I live in Az) They get a couple of handfulls every day. My feed is the 16% layer crumbles. But all the other stuff I give them keep them occupied.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I use Game Bird Breeder/Layena with 20% protein sometimes, so if you hatch alot of chicks or mail out eggs, I'd use the breeder pellets. That protein is not excessive for them and helps with feather growth and condition.
  4. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    We feed 20% pellets as a standard for all layer and breeding groups.

    I use 'treats' of wetted 28% game bird crumbles and 31-35% dry catfood for molting chickens.
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I switched to a 20% pellet and started getting more eggs
  6. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Detali, oh yea! They have plenty of space! We have 28 hens and 2 roosters. Their coop is 8' x 12' (96 sq ft), which is 3.2 sq ft per chicken. Yes, that is lower than the 4 sq ft per chicken, but we live in Southern California and are outside during the day year 'round. They only go in the coop to sleep and lay eggs. In addition, their is a second coop that is used as the brooder coop or just a "getaway" during the non-winter months (too draft for winter so we close it). It is an additional 20 sq. ft. As for the run, it is 24 x 24 if we close up the brooder coop and run access (a little less than 20 sq ft per chicken). With the brooder run open (even with coop closed) it is an additional 8' x 24', which increases it almost 26 sq. ft per chicken. Not to mention, that if we are home (most every day since DH is unemployed), their run is opened and they free-range (we live in 0.41 acre).

    The ingredients are very similar aside from higher protein. We don't ship out eggs or chicks, but we do hatch our own. I will switch over to the breeder pellets then. Thanks all!!

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