Nutrient requirements

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by UGiles, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. UGiles

    UGiles Out Of The Brooder

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    I only have one brand of mash/pellet feed available to me where I live and it's a layer feed, it is also a fairly low quality generic feed. I currently have 4 non-laying hens and a rooster so this is less than optimal, I'd really like to formulate my own feed from scratch for them instead.

    I have experience in formulating horse feeds so do know what I'm doing and how to balance a feed ration however while protein levels are fairly easy to find I'm having difficulty finding the info on what levels of other nutrients are needed for non-laying adult birds, especially digestible energy, and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals and amino acids). Can anyone help me with the levels for non-laying hens and roosters, and possibly for ducks and geese?
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome! Rather than trying to make balanced feeds at home, shop around and plan on driving, or have a local supplier special order a good feed. If you google Purina Feeds, for example, you should be able to locate the nearest supplier to you, and go from there. Making balanced ration at home only pays off on a very large scale, as in a ton or more feed at a time, and will need to be fed within a month or so while it's fresh. Mary
     
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Search this web sight for threads about feeding pig chow. Some chicken keepers would feed nothing else. Don't worry though, your morning eggs won't taste like bacon.[​IMG]
     
  4. UGiles

    UGiles Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a few options for chick starter, layer feed or grower feed, but the birds I have at the moment are neither I need a maintenance feed for my rooster and non-laying hens and all the feed-stores and farm stores I've talked to look blank when I ask them about it and don't even know why layer or grower feed isn't suitable for my birds,

    Ordering online has 2 problems, I still can't find a maintenance feed (I'm in New Zealand BTW) and it about doubles the price of the feed with the shipping, whereas I can get most of the main grains/seeds and several high protein food sources relatively cheaply locally (around $1 a Kg (roughly 2 pounds) buying in 20-25kg bags, for the basic grains)

    Also I'm getting ducks and geese in a couple of weeks and I have found no feeds for ducks or geese available in New Zealand and I've been looking quite hard.
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    The most difficult ingredient is the vitamin/mineral mix that is needed to make a complete feed. Here it comes in 50 lb. bags, to be mixed in a ton of feed. And it looses vitamins as time passes, as in less than three months or less. Just not practical for small batch home feed quantities. Again, here in the US, grower feed is appropriate for chicken of all ages, as long as oyster shell is free choice for layers. Have you checked on the site for you folks from NZ? Mary
     
  6. UGiles

    UGiles Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a local source of a complete chicken vitamin/mineral/amino acid/enzyme mix that is available in small quantities (as small as enough to mix with 1kg of feed) found at this site:
    http://backyardfarmer.co.nz/for-sale/vitamin-mineral-amino-acid-and-enzyme-pre-mix/
    I need to do some checking that i is actually complete and would need to be aware of the levels of the fat soluble vitamins in my feed so as to not overdose on those but it does look promising.

    and I thought grower feed was to high in protein for adult birds, or am I mistaken?
     
  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Try this. Mix by volume 5 parts laying pellets; 1 part shelled dent or flint corn; 1 part red wheat; 1 part un-hulled oats; 1/2 part low tannin milo; 1 part barley & 1/2 part good dry (small size) dog or cat food.

    Your own your own trying to figure up the % of all this, that, or the other. If the protein in the above mix is too low cut the laying pellets back and add an equal amount of hog feed. Pig chow has all the protein sources, blood meal, meat meal, bone meal, tankage, soybean meal, and maybe even the kitchen sink thrown in for good measure.

    Good nutrition for the papa of your birds is just as important as the diet of their momma when it comes to hatchability, viability, and vigor. There is a special feed formulated for flocks of breeder chickens, this is were the eggs come from that are destine to be baby chicks on poultry farms. See if your feed store can order a bag or two of breeder feed the next time they call in a stock order.
     
  8. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The biggest drawback to feeding a high protein feed is cost. Protein is the most expensive feed ingredient. The chickens will utilize what protein they need than the excess is used as fuel. They will drink more water and you will have higher ammonia levels. They "could" have respiratory problems from the ammonia but most coops have more than enough ventilation to compensate. If you feed low calorie, low protein treats in the form of fruit, vegetables and starches, you are actually pulling down the protein level to a more "normal" range if you start with a higher protein feed. It's most common to feed a one size fits all grower type feed when you are feeding a mixed flock.
     
  9. UGiles

    UGiles Out Of The Brooder

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    would a grower feed be ok for the ducks and geese too? or do they need something else?
     
  10. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most of the geese diet (ducks too to a point) can and should come from forage. Do you have pasture for them? If no pasture, than you need a source of leafy greens. Make friends with the produce manager at your grocery store and every few days, pick up free or reduced price produce. See if they will eat hay. You will want something for the winter months when you don't have green grass. The chicken feed will just give them a vitamin/mineral packet and a few extra calories. They will need a good Ca source when they are laying just like your hens. You can cut the grower with wheat but I wouldn't do that if your chickens eat out of the same feeder.
     

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