Need help deciding which feed to get.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Vermont Poultry, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Our feed store kept telling us to get layer pellets for our chickens since they were 16 weeks old, which I learned is not a good idea. They are 19 weeks and I suspect they will not be laying for the next 4-5 weeks. Should I switch over to grower? And what is the specific name for Grower, cause the feed store always gets confused and we end up walking out with something we don't need. Last question, since I have a rooster can I just keep them on Grower, and have a bowl of oyster shell for the hens to eat? Thanks.
     
  2. newhenintown

    newhenintown Out Of The Brooder

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    I still have mine on starter/grower and mine are around the same age as yours. You could use a finisher if you don't want to use grower. And as far as your roosters go, when it is time for your ladies to start laying its ok if the roos eat layer also but if you don't want them to then you can use an all flock feed and put out oyster shell for the hens. Hope this helps.
     
  3. newhenintown

    newhenintown Out Of The Brooder

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    Hayden, Al
    Oh and as far as I know grower is just grower. It always says grower or starter/grower on the bag so I don't know of it being called anything else.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Read the labels carefully. For growing and developing birds, you want a protein content of at least 18%, and the calcium content should not exceed 1%. Any feed that fits those parameters will be just fine.
     
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi. [​IMG]

    I would switch. Yes you can permanently keep your flock on grower, raiser, or unmedicated starter, or all flock. Different brands call it different things and can get confusing. And many people working at feed stores just repeat what the industry standard is without having any working knowledge. They do their best but unfortunately spread plenty of misinformation. There are exceptions though, the owner often have SOME understanding and an occasional employee.

    I would not feed layer to any boy I was planning to keep for any period of time. The calcium is too high for birds not in lay including chicks, pullets, roosters, AND molting hens. It can cause kidney issues and even stunt growth.

    I have and will continue to maintain a mixed age and gender flock. I use Purina Flock Raiser crumbles with 20% protein and 1% calcium because that is what is available that I can afford . I offer OS free choice on the side. I feel like with a little higher protein it gives you a little fudge room when you feed treats, though I still would recommend less than 10% of daily ration in order to keep nutrient at the right level. Also it helps support feather growth since that is what feather are made of. Also some heavier breeds actually need higher protein to support health and laying. The 16% protein that is usually layer is the bare minimum to support a laying hen. And it will support egg making but possibly not as robust of chicks. Many breeders use higher protein feed. And one that get sold as "Feather Fixer" is 2% more protein than Layer, the only difference.
     
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  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I also feed Purina Flock Raiser to everyone, with oyster shell on the side. Easy, uncomplicated, and good for all the birds. Also fresh here, which is very important. Always look at the manufactured date on each bag you buy! Mary
     
  7. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Northern Vermont
    Awesome, thanks guys. Our local feed store have been quite the struggle. 50% of the time I end up getting the wrong feed or bedding, due too lack of communication between the feed section and the cashier, usually they are nice people but I may as well flip a coin to see if I get what I need.
     
  8. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    My Coop
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  9. Noreaster Egger

    Noreaster Egger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks like you're in VT so you could go "local"...

    I normally use Green Mountain Feeds (GMF) grower pellets for all of my birds with oyster shell on the side to let the birds decide how much calcium they want. I got a deal on craigslist for 3 bags of GMF soy-free layer pellets (3 bags for $30 :D ) so they're getting that right now. I use the GMF grower/starter mash for all of my fermented feed. I keep 4, 1/2 gallon jars of that going at all times. My 11 birds go through about a jar per day. They love the fermented feed so much that they don't put much of a dent into their dry pellets.
     
  10. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    If you look at the bottom of the page you will see it says layer is too high in calcium for birds not in lay. That includes feather fixer if you look at the calcium values. This page also recommends the protein levels for different ages. http://ucanr.edu/sites/poultry/files/186894.pdf

    @3riverschick is the mite control technology DE? And I am guessing it is controlling grain mites, not scaly leg mites? Just asking. [​IMG]
     

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