Lord help me!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bren1222, May 13, 2008.

  1. Bren1222

    Bren1222 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2008
    Iowa
    Ok I am in a situation and I have had tons of advice but I don't know which is right.

    I have 3 - 2 yr old laying hens in our coop with 30 - 2 month old Roos. The Roos we are raising as meat chickens. Sunday when we went out to clean the coop there were 2 dead roos and one that died when we are cleaning up. Then Monday there were 2 more dead Roos and one that was ill looking. I took the ill looking one to the Vet (take in account they don't really deal with poultry) That Roo died while it was at the vet. The vet did a post-mordem (sp?) The vet said the roo looked great other then he had a lot of food in his gizzard. He thought we were dealing with something bacterial and he gave me this liquid to put in the waterer 1 oz to every 2 gallons of water. I lost 2 more Roos today.

    Here is my question: What the heck am I suppose to be feeding these chickens? The roos we got as chicks and they were on medicated feed. When we put them in the coop about 3 weeks ago we put them on scratch. I was then told the hens and roos should not be on scratch. So on Sunday we started feeding them layer. My vet said that layer was good for the roos because they are all heavy breeds and this way they won't grow so fast and develop joint problems. Before I called my vet about all of this I called McMurray and they said it was fine to have the Roos on layer feed beings there were meat chickens. They also get oyster shells.

    Since all of this started I have been told no roos should be on a layer feed and they should be on grower, or they should be on medicated feed, or they should be on scratch. I am soooo confused and I also have the problem that I don't have way to seperate what I feed the hens verses the Roos. I might be able to feed the hens up higher where the roos can't get to it.

    I can't see it was the scratch feed that killed them beings they have been on it for 3 weeks but obviously, what do I know?

    If anyone could help me with the correct answer I would appreciate it. I am about ready to throw the towel in. I feel like I am doing nothing right at this point.
     
  2. lilcountry

    lilcountry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Benson, NC
    I have heard multiple times, chickens cant just be on scratch and that they need the oyster shell or grit to "digest" their food properly, other than that I am still learning too. Sorry to hear about your loss, the roos arent fighting?
     
  3. Acre of Blessings

    Acre of Blessings Canning/Sewing Addict

    Apr 3, 2008
    Axton, VA
    1st--ask yourself....Why should a roo be on layer feed?
    2nd--ask youself....Why does a roo need oyster shell? this is to harden an egg shell from a hen
    3rd--if they are 2 months old and you gave them scratch 3 weeks ago, that would have made them 5 weeks old and on scratch. O.K. There crops probably got to full and they could not digest it because I seen nowhere in your post of any grit given. Scrtatch is only to be used as a treat when they are outside and a little older. Layer feed is for hens at the age of 16 weeks or older.

    This may or may not be the reason the roos are dying but its what I see. Any others with advice?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2008
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Douglasville GA
    Scratch is like candy for chickens - they love it, but it have very little nutritional value.
    Its good to feed some scratch about an hour before roost time in winter because it takes alot of energy to diguest, thus it heats the chicken up internally.

    For the same reason you should cut way back on scratch in hot weather.

    Layer feed contains calcium, too much of it would be a problem for roo's in the long term, short term it won't hurt anything.
     
  5. Bren1222

    Bren1222 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2008
    Iowa
    It is the strangest thing I have ever seen. The roos don't fight they have a HUGE coop but they do huddle together at night. At first I thought they were getting squished but when they die right in front of you I doubt that is it. They are fine when I lock their little door at night, they all look healthy. It is in the morning when I let them out they are either dead or going to die. There is no blood, they aren't torn apart. Just dead!

    They get a pan of oyster shells a day. Maybe they need more?
     
  6. mudderhen

    mudderhen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2008
    Clarkesville, GA
    I don't know about feeding them layer feed, but I have heard you should only feed a small amount of scratch as a treat, because of the ?protein? I have 26 chickens, and they are on a mixture of layer/grower because of multiple ages, but every body gets the same thing, and I give them a mixture of two ahndfuls of scratch, two handfuls of wild bird seed, and two handfuls of blaack oil sunflower seeds all mixed together, and I spread it on the ground for them to "scratch"at.
     
  7. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Quote:Roo's do not need oyster shell at all.
     
  8. Bren1222

    Bren1222 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2008
    Iowa
    I was giving them oyster shells and layer feed because of the hens and they all eat from the same feeders so I thought beings these Roos were only meat chickens then it was fine. Am I wrong??????

    Do I need to give them grit? They have a huge run outside that has a ton of grass? Will grit hurt the hens?

    HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  9. Bren1222

    Bren1222 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2008
    Iowa
    Ok so what I get is that maybe I should feed them all a mixture of layer/grower??? That way everyone is getting what they need. Do they all need grit?

    Sorry to be a pain I am just so frustrated and confussed. Everything was going so well and now it is a disaster!
     
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    If the roos are eating a pan of oyster shell every day they may be dieing from kidney failure. A roo does not need oyster shell.

    If those roos are broilers - cornish crosses - you are not feeding them properly and those do die very easily.

    With 3 hens in your coop and all of these roos I have to ask - do you realize that in the next few weeks those roos will mate those poor hens to death? Gang style? Literally - to death.

    Put out layer feed for the hens and grower for the roos. They will know what to eat and a little cross eating won't hurt.
     

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