Ok, thoughts on suplements with Scratch and Peck - help me decide...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by StarsFan33, May 29, 2017.

  1. StarsFan33

    StarsFan33 Out Of The Brooder

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    So, while I do not yet have a flock, I am preparing for it in advance. I bought a nifty Grandpa's feeder thingy...and now I'm choosing how I'm going to feed them suckers! ;-)

    After about a weeks worth of painstaking reading and going back and forth, I decided to pull the trigger and order some scratch and peck layer feed. I wont get into the whole is organic really better blah blah....its been debated to death and at the end of the day...I just prefer the idea of NOT feeding something that will become a food source for me GMO's and soy/corn and such.

    With that, one concern I do have after much reading, is that the scratch and peck is only 16% protein and I would like to supplement that with something that isn't....worms/bugs. Anyone have suggestions for a good animal based protein source I can use to supplement?

    Also, any good recommendations on a great brand of shell product for my girls?

    Thank you!
    Steve ;-)
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    My concern is that you've ordered a layer feed yet don't have birds yet. Are you going to get birds already in lay? Layer feed is for laying birds. If your growing birds out then this is not the feed for them. A starter/grower will be of higher protein and lower calcium as it's for growing birds, not for birds already in lay.
     
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  3. StarsFan33

    StarsFan33 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey There! Thanks for the reply. I am going to buy adult hens already of laying age. I see no reason to wait for them to grow up when I can buy them already grown. ;-)
     
  4. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since you do not yet have chickens, I'm assuming you're planning to get them very soon? Feed loses nutritional value over time so you don't want to leave it sitting around for too long.

    I feed fermented S&P grower (17% protein) as well as layer pellets (16%). I don't supplement protein much, I give them a few mealworms as treats but beyond that my girls just get whatever bugs they can catch. If you do want to supplement, chickens will eat almost anything - some people use canned fish, some scrambled eggs, meat scraps from your own meals, etc.
     
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  5. StarsFan33

    StarsFan33 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the reply! I will be getting them soon...within the next 2 to 3 weeks if not sooner. I'm going to try and get all 18 at the same time, but because I'm wanting a mix of certain breeds, I may have to get a few, and add them as I get them. but if I can make it happen I plan to get them all at the same time give or take a couple of days.
     
  6. centralcaligirl

    centralcaligirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Scratch and Peck has some information on their website about fermenting their feed, and somewhere on there they said that fermenting their layer feed boosts the protein content significantly. I don't know exactly how they determined that, but you could email them and ask. I've emailed them before with questions about feed ingredients and they responded within a day. Their customer service is excellent.
     
  7. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    You mention "shell product" - do you mean oyster shell? If so, then next time you buy feed (or see if you can exchange the layers feed) maybe consider getting flock-raiser / growers feed that has a higher protein content? The oyster shell should provide the necessary calcium.

    If your flock free ranges, there may be no need to worry about the relatively low protein content in layers feed, as they will eat bugs etc that will provide supplemental protein (for most of the year, at least).

    Dried (ideally freshwater) fish would be an excellent animal-based protein source, but obviously its availability and cost are issues to consider.
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    The only problem with lower protein layer feed is if you are heavy with treats like scratch grains. Scratch grains and bread or what not your giving to the birds is around 8% Protein which will lower their overall intake. You need to stay light handed with that kind of feeding. Of course you can always clean out leftovers from the fridge too. Think of nutrition on a weekly basis not daily. Say you've not so healthy leftovers to give them then don't give scratch grains for awhile kind of thing. Or don't be a person who uses scratch grains at all and only treat kitchen scraps and old fridge culls.

    16% protein is more than enough for layers if it's a sole feed is what I'm saying. There is no need to supplement. It is on the low end of needs, 14-15% is minimum for optimum laying.
     

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