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Limestone As Chicken Feed?!? WTH???

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by suzettex5, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    California
    I recently was looking at ingredients on the bags of feed I buy my flock, and was comparing brands since prices have gone so high. I came across the 'Farmers Best' brand awhile ago, and had decided to try it. Right away I noticed their 'flock raiser' was a grey color, (versus Purina, which is yellow) and I noticed the occasional corn kernel in it. I started to feed it (slowly switching brands in a mixture at first) and quite quickly noticed my hens started dropping off ALOT in the laying dept. I switched back to Purina real quick and they started laying again.

    Back to my point.... I recently saw Limestone listed as the 3rd ingredient on the 'Farmers Best' brand!! I dont know if feed labels are the same as human food labels, (where the first 5 ingredients are what there is the most of in something), but I just cant imagine feeding ROCKS (albeit in 'crumble' form) to my flock. How can that be considered food? Is there some kind of nutrition in Limestone that I dont know about? Wouldnt it be almost 1/3 of what the feed is made of?

    Am I missing something? The Purina brand does not have limestone listed as an ingredient anywhere on its list of ingredients. Seems weird to me. Is it actually common and accepted in feed for chicknes?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm not familiar with that specific brand. The limestone is in there for the calcium. There should be an analysis on there for nutrients, not ingredients. That analysis should show calcium somewhere around 4.5% to 5%. That's from the limestone. It should not be 1/3 of the volume.
     
  3. chickenman2k3

    chickenman2k3 Out Of The Brooder

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    limestone itself would not harm the chicken in low levels like another writer said 4-5% is ok. 30% would not only tax the kidneys it would take the place of other nutrition.
     
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I looked at their pellets and the limestone was the 4th ingredient, after corn, soy and wheat. I think the other ingredients after that are just minor amounts and then the supplements to balance it, like vitamins. It just means the corn, soy and wheat are what the feed has as main ingredients. Then the calcium and other minor additives.
     
  5. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

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    The change in laying pattern is probably associated with the CHANGE in feed brand, not the feed itself. Some companies will list ingredients exactly as they are (as in the case of "limestone") while others will just list it as "calcium."

    Try giving them some ACV and some vitamins and electrolytes in their water to help with the stress of changing feed and they should pick back up again.
     
  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Quote:Feed grade Limestone (calcium carbonate) is used in most Layer Type feed and is used like Oyster Shells as a calcium sores.
    Not knowing the ingredients of Farmers Best or Purina I can not give you a answer on the difference in color but I have found that companies that use a lot of corn and soy and little to no animal protein will tend to be more Yellow than a company that uses animal protein.

    I use Buckeye nutrition (Layer/Breeder) and it is no where as Yellow as Purina brand feeds.

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  7. animalscience

    animalscience New Egg

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    There is about 2 grams of calcium in each egg your chickens lay. Limestone is the same name for the mineral calcium carbonate, which is found in most human vitamin pills. You're not feeding your chickens "rocks", you're feeding them the calcium they need to keep producing eggs!
     
  8. federalingred

    federalingred New Egg

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    Anyone would do well to take charge of their animals' nutrition by formulating their own chicken feed. Buy the raw material in whole or granular recognizable form (so you know what you are getting). Then grind it using a grain mill, hammer mill, or feed grinder. Small batches of a single ingredient can be ground in a rocket blender or coffee grinder. Blend the powders using a whisk or your Kitchen Aid mixer with a whisk attachment. If desired, you can sift the ground material to separate fine powder from chunky bits (regrind the chunky bits). A person could use a fine or coarse flour sifter or screen sieve (40 mesh is coarse powder, 100 mesh is fine powder). You can make a better chicken feed yourself than any feed company will sell you. The sky is the limit with powdered ingredients! If you want the girls to have greens, add powdered dried spinach leaves. Add anything that they might naturally eat, include plant-based proteins (chick peas, legumes, cranberry seed are good non-soy sources of protein).

    (Federal Ingredients manufactures powdered ingredients for the heath food industry in Buffalo, NY).
     

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