Mash or pellets

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tav1, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. tav1

    tav1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 4, 2014
    Been useing layer pellets for some time then I noticed a mash food from ( from blue???) Can you change in mid stream and is it any better from one to another?
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You can switch to whatever you want, just mix the two kinds together than faze out the old. I like pellets for less waste, mash is mostly just a powder. Chickens get used to one type and don't always like change so again mixing works well for any new feed changes.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    When they make mash, they gather all the ingredients for that feed and grind it up. You have a powder called mash. To make pellets you wet that mash with water to make a paste, extrude that paste through a dye, and flash dry it. To make crumble they partially crush the pellets. Nutritionally whether it is mash, pellets, or crumble makes no difference.

    This assumes the analysis is the same, that they use the same ingredients for all forms. Different brand names will use different ingredients for Layer or Starter. The same brand name will use different ingredients for Starter than they do for Layer or Grower. While form doesn’t make a difference the ingredients will. You need to compare the labels for ingredients and analysis to see if one is better nutritionally for what you want.

    The main reason they make different forms is that different automatic equipment handles different forms better. Some machinery does better feeding mash, different machinery does better with pellets.

    Different ingredients in chicken feed have different densities. Some are heavier than others and will sink to the bottom. In a powder like mash, the ingredients can sort themselves out so maybe the chickens aren’t eating as balanced a diet as you would think unless it is mixed before you feed it and stays mixed long enough for them to eat it. That’s an advantage of pellets and crumble, it’s mixed when they make that paste and it stays mixed when it dries. Usually when commercial operations feed mash they mix and wet it so the chickens eat it as a paste.

    Another reason commercial operations often feed mash is that they sometimes de-beak their chickens. They cut off part of the upper beak so they cannot eat each other or grab each other. These de-beaked chickens can eat a damp mash a lot better than picking up individual pellets.

    When you ask which one is better, I think you are asking about nutrition. You’ll have to look at the label for that. But I’m partial to crumble or pellets because I’m not going to wet my feed to keep it mixed up.
  4. Molpet

    Molpet Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 7, 2015
    N. Illinois
    I have used both and there was a lot less waste with the pellets.
    I have switched to fermented feed which uses either with water and allowed to ferment for a few days. Fermenting creates new vitamins; specifically B vitamins, and new nutrients. Some of those nutrients are amino acids. The soaking and fermenting also breaks down the anti-nutrients and toxins in the grains that prevent the digestion of available nutrients.
    I am using the same amount of feed as when they were free ranging for part of the day. (edit to add:Now it has been snow covered and below 0 f ) They do not need as much water either,
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016

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