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Nutrena All Flock 18% or layer feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by flyin-lowe, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I picked up nine hens this weekend, they are just over 18 weeks old. I picked up a bag of the Nutrena all flock at Rural Kind. Some people have recommended it and others are saying I should use a layer feed. I am curious if the all flock OK. I have grit in the coop and will also have some oyster shells or calcium as they have started laying.
     
  2. Soylent Chick

    Soylent Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With the oyster shells on the side, the all-flock will be fine. Layer feed has the extra calcium already mixed in.
     
  3. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, just curious what is the normal calcium levels of layer feed. I want to compare it to the all flock?
     
  4. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Around 3.5-4%.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    All layer feeds will be approximately 4% calcium.
    All other feeds, starter, grower, finisher, all flock, maintenance, etc. will be approximately 1%.
    Feather fixer is closer to 3.5% and for layers going through molt.

    The difference is, no bird that isn't actively building egg shells needs more than about 1% and anything over 2.5% for those birds can be harmful.
    A hen uses a sizeable portion of the available calcium in her medullary bone each time she builds a shell. That has to be replenished in the diet. Large particle oyster shell is a good supplement.
     
  6. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am assuming then that the hens that don't need calcium won't take supplemental calcium. So the hens that are not laying do not need the extra calcium that the layer feed has. So my all flock feed plus oyster shells will be great.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That's correct.

    Essentially, layer feed is formulated for commercial birds that are all the same age, on a lighting program and all commence lay at the same time and are all sent to soup after the first laying cycle.

    Backyard flocks are not always on that schedule. If your entire flock is actively laying, then by all means - feed layer feed.
     

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