Mixed flock feeding (chicken/duck for eggs only)

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 3eggeaters, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. 3eggeaters

    3eggeaters Out Of The Brooder

    I have a mixed flock of a few hens that are a year and a half, a hen and a roo that are 5 months, as well as 5 ducks that are 5 months. I switched them to flock raiser food when the newbies were old enough but now that they are about ready to lay I am unsure what to give them... Can I feed them all the same Chicken layer food I was using before or do the ducks need anything special?
    Thanks! :)[​IMG]
     
  2. KuroKitsune

    KuroKitsune Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you can give them all the same layer feed or keep feeding the FlockRaiser and just a a seperate feeder of oyster shell for your layers


    i feed Nutrena's All Flock pellets which are just like flock raiser but a bit less protein(FR has 20%, AF has 18%) and offer oyster shell in seperate feeder free choice for the layers that way my roos and drake dont get the unneeded extra calcium that layer has.


    either way is fine for you birds though just depends on what you wanna do
     
  3. J at Yoti Farms

    J at Yoti Farms Out Of The Brooder

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    I do not think that you want to give a mixed flock layer feed
     
  4. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would bet that the vast majority of mixed flocks are fed layer feed, and that almost none of them have problems.


    I've seen people state that the excess calcium is bad for the rooster's kidneys, but I've never seen anyone actually reference any cited material, or any studies, which makes me think it's the typical internet wisdom - IE someone said "it might do this" and it's been repeated so many times that people think it's fact.
     
  5. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Only study I could find on roosters and additional dietary calcium:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20434855
    Additional dietary calcium fed to Barred Plymouth Rock roosters reduces blood cholesterol, elevates seminal calcium, and enhances sperm motility, thermo-tolerance and cryosurvivability.
     
  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    A lot of the studies that are done on poultry are done by a company that raises chickens for either egg or meat and those studies don't get published to often.

    Quote:
    Heres a link to Hyline poultry on Avian Urlithiasis and kidney damage.

    http://www.hyline.com/aspx/redbook/redbook.aspx?s=5&p=36

    Ever some feed Mfg's don't recommend feeding a high calcium layer feed to non-laying stock.

    Quote: Do not feed Gold Standard Laying Crumbles to none laying hens or young growing birds for extended periods of time because the higher levels of calcium incorporated into the feed for egg shell formation may cause harm to the birds.

    Most if not all of the people that I know and talk to that raise poultry for exhibition or gamefowl don't feed a laying type feed at all, what they feed is a high protein grower or a game bird feed and cut the protein to a desired level with good quality grains with a calcium supplement. Hens that are laying get a calcium supplement.

    Some breeders will put there birds that are in a breeding pen on a breeder feed which has a lower calcium level than a layer feed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
  7. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's interesting, but it's not really what I'm looking for. It's a description of a host of poultry disorders with a number of possible causes.


    What I'm looking for is actual evidence - IE a controlled study of roosters or drakes being fed layer feed. A study that's strong enough to indicate causality.


    I did some more searching for hypercalcaemia in livestock, and I couldn't find any case studies on it being caused by feed - a lot on ingesting plants that screw with the calcium regulation processes in the body, but none with feed as a problem.

    I just don't hold a lot of stock in this sort of stuff. People do all sorts of things believing they help - often things that are directly at odds with what they're trying to do. Our brains are designed to find and recognize patterns, and we often find them where they don't exist. Evidence is what is important here - I'll keep searching - they do a ton of nutrition research on these birds in the industry.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
  8. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Calcium issue aside - using a non-layer ration is advantageous, imo, as it offers a more protein rich diet.
     
  9. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Quote: Well, like I said a lot of the studies done on poultry/livestock nutrition is going to be hard to come by just because there done by the big name companies and the studies are "top secret". [​IMG]
    Also these companies also replace there breeding stock every year or two so the long term affect of calcium is not a concern to them.

    Quote: Hypocalcemia can be brought on by a number of thing including insufficient dietary calcium, phosphorus, or vitamin D3 in high producing animals that are in production (hens, cows, goats etc).
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
  10. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was talking Hypercalcemia - but yeah, there can be a lot of causes - but it's most typically regulatory issues - thyroid related problems, vitamin B/D toxicity, etc - not diet that causes it. Most healthy animals can take a ton of calcium before they start having problems - it's usually animals with underlying issues already where we see hypercalcemia. There are some pretty robust pathways in the body to regulate this stuff.

    My issue with the stuff from Hyline is that all their data is on young pullets - on feeding them layer before their kidneys and liver are fully developed - which isn't really relevant to feeding an adult rooster - who will have fully developed kidneys (and larger kidneys than a laying hen).


    As to Ole Grey Mare's comment about protein - protein at too high levels can cause kidney problems also - everything is a matter of dose.
     

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