New to chickens and feed, what should i feed?

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by Colorado Chick, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. Colorado Chick

    Colorado Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, thank you for your time and info. I have been scouring this website for nutrition information as i can.
    I have three red sex links hens that are now 4.5 months old. Here is their current feed regiment:
    they have free access food and all day access to my compost pile, their pen size is approx 220sf.
    their feed consists of layena omega 3 pellets, cracked corn, and BOSS. I honestly dont remember if the layena is a laying feed, or a growing feed. i may have made a mistake and bought layer feed. Anyway, do you have any suggestions as to what you may do differently? thanks so much! as far as i can tell they are very healthy and happy, and are on schedule for the late hatch that they are. I am hoping they will lay soon, but with their age, the molt, and the weather coming, i dont know :)
     
  2. DrMikelleRoeder

    DrMikelleRoeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are off to a great start; your birds have plenty of space, Layena Plus Omega-3 is perfect for providing complete and balanced nutrition for your hens and your flock sounds like it is thriving.

    I do have a few suggestions to help keep your hens healthy and thriving. Layena and Layena Plus Omega-3 are layer diets, intended for birds as they reach 18 weeks of age and are ready to start producing eggs. From the sounds of it, you’ve been feeding Layena for a while, so you may have started a bit early. But, if your hens haven’t had any issues, I’d chalk that up as a learning experience. If you plan on starting any new chicks or purchasing pullets, I recommend feeding Start & Grow through 18 weeks of age. This will provide additional protein, needed for growing birds. Layer feeds also have more calcium than younger birds need. Extra calcium can be fatally harmful to younger bird’s kidneys and may also result in skeletal abnormalities.

    Stick to the 90/10 rule; your hens should be receiving 90% of their nutrients from their complete feed and 10% from treats. The additional nutrients consumed through the compost pile, cracked corn and BOSS are throwing this balance off. As long as your complete feed is free-choice, I would discontinue feeding the additional cracked corn (it’s not needed), minimize your hens’ access to the compost pile (which can be a source of mold and pathogens if not composted properly) and keep the BOSS to a minimum.

    Cooler weather and molting bring on additional stresses to your birds. It’s especially important during this time of year to maintain consistent nutrition, provide enough space and make sure that there is plenty of clean, soft bedding available.
     
  3. Colorado Chick

    Colorado Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok, thank you for your time. sorry for the late response. thanks again!
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Good rundown from the Dr.. Too often people are anxious to provide treats, skewing nutrition.
    As said, layena is a layer feed, hence the name.

    Hopefully you didn't start layer much earlier. So now they're 5.5 months, have you gotten any eggs yet?
    If you did start substantially earlier and they're not laying yet, you may want to temporarily switch to a grower feed to allow flushing excess calcium from the kidneys.

    I don't want to alarm you but a bird with urolithiasis or visceral gout won't show symptoms until about 24 hours before death.

    http://nhjy.hzau.edu.cn/kech/synkx/dong/2bao/UrolithiasisChina.pdf
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  5. MelissaZeno

    MelissaZeno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are my chickens getting all they need if I buy layer feed from the feed store. I can't remember the name of the brand.
     
  6. Colorado Chick

    Colorado Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sorry for the late response again, i have been too busy eating eggs!!!! :) ha ha. my biggest girl laid her first egg yesterday, and laid another this morning. You should have seen me when i saw that first egg, i gasped so hard that i about sucked in some of that bedding it was on, and then i took off running for the house for my camera. i about burned up my coveralls i was running so fast. ha ha. it was a medium sized brown egg, and so is the second egg. good healthy shell, laid very cleanly, no gunk on it. the second largest hen only just started doing her egg dance, so she is getting close! my smallest hen is somewhat of a runt, so if she lays, she will be a bit longer. she has always been slower in developing. thanks everyone!
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    More than likely, yes.
    I have heard of an occasional case where an ingredient was omitted but one would never know without an analysis.
    All manufacturers, including Purina, do their best to provide all the nutrients poultry are known to need, in the appropriate ratios. What ingredients they blend to achieve that nutrient balance will vary. Every modern mill I've been to is completely automated.
    Just as with any manufacturing process, something can go wrong.
     
  8. MelissaZeno

    MelissaZeno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, I just bought some extra grit and oyster shells for my hens they haven't been able to get out of the coop with the cold temps and snow and ice they have stayed in their coop. I bought them a block of seeds hopefully that will keep the boredom down for a few more days.
     

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