Mixed flock, what to feed?

Tycine1

Crowing
10 Years
May 26, 2009
1,679
3,918
371
David, Chiriquí, Panama
I have three young production red pullets that have just started laying, well... two of the three have started laying, still waiting on the third to lay, they live on my quarter-acre, fully chain-link fenced yard with a dedicated block-built storage shed with a 1/2" hardware wire covered door that has been converted to a coop for shelter. I also have nine coturnix quail, currently in two hutches, and think I'll need to make a third as I think I've got two boys in one, and another boy in the other hutch, along with some girls in each. I bought four kikiriki chicks today, one male, three females and they're being housed in a very large dog crate, my intention is to have the kikiriki's brood the quail.

I'm totally new to the kikiriki chickens, they're the tiny little ones, and am wondering if I should feed them normal chick starter, or go ahead and feed them the coturnix feed (game bird). Currently feeding the production reds 'engordo' (fattening) feed with calcium supplement on the side, as they're about skin and feathers, but was feeding them layer feed last week. I'm feeding the quail 'game feed', and give them a treat of cracked split peas and rice once a week to ensure lysine/methionine amino acids for their feathers. I erred on the side of caution with the kikiriki's (just got them today), by serving them the quail feed with grit on the side and a separate dish of quail feed with a heaping tablespoon of unsweetened greek yogurt with probiotics. I only intend to give them the yogurt today as I don't know their previous living conditions (they were delivered in a shoe box today, with holes cut in the sides). While I'm asking questions about feeding, would it hurt my production reds to switch them to the quail feed, both the 'engordo' and the 'ponedor' (layer) have about 16% protein, the layer feed having a bit more calcium... only difference. I'm not happy with the percentage of protein, but am feeding the BEST available in the city and have been supplementing by treating with seeds, nuts, table scraps, various meats, rice & split peas. The quail feed has slightly higher protein at 20% and calcium equivalent to the 'ponedor' chicken feed. I wouldn't mind spending the extra for the game feed for them, if you think the girls would benefit from it or at least wouldn't be harmed by it.

Thanks in advance for your feedback
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
17,849
20,871
912
Colorado Rockies
Many of us old timers have figured out that layer feed is overrated. Most of it is low in protein and too high in calcium for non-layers, so we've simply stopped bothering with it. The solution is to feed either chick starter, game bird or all flock feed to layers, pre-layers, retired layers, roosters, and chicks all the time.

I've been feeding Purina Flock Raiser for the past ten years to my mixed flock with oyster shell offered free choice and it's been extremely efficient.
 

Tycine1

Crowing
10 Years
May 26, 2009
1,679
3,918
371
David, Chiriquí, Panama
Thank you so very much @azygous for pretty much confirming what my gut instinct was telling me. Game bird with free choice calcium on the side all around! I live in Panama, we don't have the options on feed like they have in the States; I can't even order a custom blend. We get whatever they happen to have at the feed store, and sometimes we're forced to go to a different store because they're out of feed. Imagine that. A feed store that's out of feed. Fortunately for me, a fifty-pound bag goes a long way, and if it starts to go 'buggy', I just donate it to my neighbor's flock that normally suffers with whatever they can catch...
Your advice saves me from being forced to donate feed out of three different bags :p hahaha!
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,060
18,404
867
St. Louis, MO
I have a friend in Puerto Rico with kikiriki chickens.
The thing to remember is that they are still chickens. The chick starter would be appropriate. When young, they don't need as high of a protein % that young game birds need. Just as mature game birds, not in production, don't need high protein either. Feeding ultra high protein to adult chickens is a waste and possibly damaging to the liver. You can judge if you are feeding excessive protein by how quickly ammonia develops in the bedding.
You can probably use the same feed as the quail if that is all that is available but in that case, I would add a lot more grain to the chickens' diet to lower the overall crude protein level.

I'd like to visit David. I've spent a lot of time in Costa Rica. They affectionately call me a Tingo (combination of a tico and gringo).
 
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Tycine1

Crowing
10 Years
May 26, 2009
1,679
3,918
371
David, Chiriquí, Panama
@ChickenCanoe hahaha, Thanks Tingo! Adding extra gains is easy to do, but getting a 'complete' feed that's actually satisfactory can be challenging. I can also add in 'extras' like tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, apples etc to pull the protein down a little if needed.

I'm gonna guess and say you're near San Jose? Lived there for about a year before I moved to Panama, but I was in the city and didn't have space for birds. David isn't that far of a hike if you use one of the overnight buses, and take a good blanket if you do that as you can pack meat on those buses; they keep them THAT cold. If you decide to visit, the hotel Occidental at parque central is reasonably priced, clean, and walking distance to groceries, restaurants and banks and shopping of all varieties. Don't bother paying extra for 'hot water' at the hotel though, as it's a myth (an outright lie), and ask for a room that doesn't face the street as it's heavily traveled.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,060
18,404
867
St. Louis, MO
I was in Rio Segundo adjacent to Alajuela - so yes - near San Jose. I also spent a lot of time in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca as well as de Sarapiqui, Santa Elena, Cartago, Quepos, et. al. I've never been there but I have my heart set on spending time around San Vito. I ran the Rio Pacuare but want to canoe both sides of the Talamancas.
I'm a big fan of volcanos and fast clear mountain streams.

Heated water for showers in your region is a mystery and a shock - figuratively and literally.
We had a very tall Kiwi biologist who regularly got shocked on his head while taking showers. He didn't shower a lot.
As an electrition, I was amazed at the shower head wiring. Bare wires in a wet location in close proximity with grounded naked bodies! :eek:
 
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Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
5 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,451
14,545
751
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
Many of us old timers have figured out that layer feed is overrated. Most of it is low in protein and too high in calcium for non-layers, so we've simply stopped bothering with it. The solution is to feed either chick starter, game bird or all flock feed to layers, pre-layers, retired layers, roosters, and chicks all the time.

I've been feeding Purina Flock Raiser for the past ten years to my mixed flock with oyster shell offered free choice and it's been extremely efficient.
X2
 

Tycine1

Crowing
10 Years
May 26, 2009
1,679
3,918
371
David, Chiriquí, Panama
My biggest complaint about the local feed is that I can't even get a protein supplement from the feed store; they look at me as if I am from Mars or something, and when they have calcium supplement, I need to buy a year's worth at a time, as chances are that they won't have it for many many months afterward. Had to research on how to boost their protein after my first hens (years ago) took a beating after their first molt and never seemed to get their feathers back... insufficient protein, negligible lysine, and if methionine was in the feed at all, it was also of an insufficient amount. Peas and Rice fixed THAT problem. Typical Panamanians do not keep their flock year to year, they process them for meat before they're a year old... the hens having given eggs for only a few months, before the meat gets tough; The roosters typically go to the dinner table at first crow. The feed company, keeping that in mind, doesn't even offer a feed suitable for birds with a life expectancy over a year. It's been a challenge to learn how to overcome their unwillingness to provide feed that will keep my girls healthy for the long run. I'm so thankful to everyone at backyardchickens for their advice. I'm sure to be leaning heavily on the group as I learn more about my quail and kikirikis.
 
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