Okay - Need some info for me the Noobie on Layer food!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by write2caroline, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2009
    On the egg laying chix behavior section some said that layer food is barely enough protein to stimulate laying and maintain the needed protein.

    I am TOTALLy Confused.

    What do you feed the chickens?

    I want my young chickens to lay eggs and some are old enough and some are not quite.

    I am now feeding them FRM layer crumbles at 15% crude protein

    I am adding FRM cat food because its crude % is 31.5 and my cats hate it so I might as well give it to the chickens.

    What is your favorite brand of chicken feed and what is the protein content?

    Lets open some serious discussion because I think I am not the only noobie with slow to lay chickens and maybe more than this noobie needs some better feeding instructions.


    Jax FL
  2. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Feed them Layer Ration and enjoy the eggs they produce.

    **trolling comment removed. Please be constructive and help educate**
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2009
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    The layer ration is fine for most hens. It can get a little confusing though when your point of lay pullets aren't really at point of lay. Not being critical here, it can be really hard to tell where they're at especially this time of year when things slow down anyhow.

    So grower has higher protien to help them grow. Layer has a maintanence ration of protien and extra calcium for laying. When the pullet is switched to layer too early it can delay laying (not by that much, but when you're waiting for that first egg...) because with the 16% protien she's using everything to finish maturing and there isn't enough leftover for egg production. Add the shorter days and colder weather to that mix and it will slow down even more because they burn extra calories just to stay warm.

    I have a mixed flock from 5 to 18 months. I'm feeding gamebird 22% because it gives the older molting ladies that exta boost they need to regrow their feathers (8 degrees this a.m.--they NEED thier feathers!) it gives the still non-laying youngsters (soon, please!) what they need to finish growing, puts more meat on the young roos destined for freezer camp, and doesn't do any harm to the pullets that are laying. I do keep free choice oyster shell out so that my layers can get the calcium they need since the gamebird food doesn't supply enough of that.

    The downside of the gamebird feed is that it is more expensive. If I didn't have such a mixed flock or if I was better able to seperate them I'd probably only feed it to the ones that really needed it and use layer for the rest.

    I'm also feeding far more scratch then I usually do because I think it helps with keeping them warm and since they don't have a heated or insulated coop that is more of a priority than eggs for right now. They'll pig out on it given the chance (think kids and candy) so if you feed that often their protien ratio goes down quite a bit since they'll fill up on that and not eat their feed. Black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS) is a good alternitive treat and has about 2x as much protien as the cracked corn.

    If you want to switch your feed around a little bit you'll probably get some eggs sooner, but not by much. They'll be fine if you stick with the layer feed, just don't go overboard on the scratch.

    Hope this helps, sorry it got so long.
  4. SunnyDawn

    SunnyDawn Sun Lovin' Lizard

    Sep 12, 2009
    Nor Cal
    Quote:Totally agree!!!
  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay :

    Quote:Feed them Layer Ration and enjoy the eggs they produce.

    I agree with Lazy J Farms. You should be fine.. If all you want is eggs and you are not trying to hatch them or your not going to show the birds. I wouldn't feed much cat food there is a lot of salt in it...
    Eggs are mostly water at 74%. Here is a "make up" of a egg I found sometime ago....
    An average-sized egg weighs approximately 57 grams (about 2 ounces). Of this weight, the shell constitutes 11 percent; the white, 58 percent; and the yolk, 31 percent. Normally, these proportions do not vary appreciably for small or large eggs.
    The percentage composition of the edible portions is:

    Percent............ Water... Protein...... Fat...... Ash
    Whole egg.......... 74.......... 13........... 11........ 1

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2009
  6. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    Layer feed at 15-18% protein is fine if that is the only food the chickens are getting. If you are supplementing their diet with kitchen scraps or veggie greens then their total protein intake is lowered since scraps and greens have much lower protein % than layer feed. Even corn is only about 9% protein. So if you fed 1/2 layer feed and 1/2 corn then your total protein is reduced to 12-14%.

    Since our birds get lots of free range (almost all plants, very few bugs) , a small amount of greens, some soaked alfalfa cubes if greens aren't available, kitchen scraps, ...I spend a bit more and purchase gamebird feed at 22-28% protein to mix with their 16% layer feed. If I get them the Purina gamebird starter at 28% protein, mix 50-50 with Layena = 22% protein, and I don't feel to bad if they get a bit more in treats. And I only feed greens, corn, alfalfa, ktichen scraps in the afternoon when they have had a chance to pig out in the morning on their bird food. I have about 20 chickens and they get about 2/3 of a 5 gallon bucket of greens or 1/2 pound of corn.
  7. Peepin out of the egg

    Peepin out of the egg Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 26, 2009
    post removed
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2009
  8. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps


    the 15% CP ration you currently feed should have enough protein to meet the nutrient requirements of your hens.

    Unfortunately the vast majority of poultry raisers do not understand that Crude Protein is not as important as the individual Amino Acids.

    What are the Lysine and Methionine nutrient guarantees listed on the label? By law they are to be listed immediately following the Crude Protein Guarantee on the label. Those values will tell us more about the ability of your feed to meet your hen's nutrient requirements.

  9. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2009
    [​IMG] Frijoles I didn't mean to start a stir - I am just trying to learn what is the best food for my chicks for Egg production and quality of life.

    From the label of the feed I am currently using (FRM layer crumbles) is
    Crude Protein, Min 15.00%
    Lysine, Min .65%
    Methionine, min .35%
    Crude Fat, min 3.00%
    Crude Fiber, max 6.00%
    Calcium Min 3.40%
    Calcium, Max 4.40%
    Phosphorus, Min .65%
    Salt, Min .35%
    Salt, Max .45%

    When I got the baby chicks I did a ton of research but what I got was to feed them starter feed until they were I forget what age 18 weeks I think and then feed them layer feed after that. I got that from multiple sources. (I qualified the first post stating such that I was a noobie asking for information) You can ask a lot of questions and still get misinformation. And for those Nastys who feel offended I asked - get a life and if answering the question is beneath you by all means, feel free not to answer. And for all of you who are helpful and want to share knowledge thank you very much for your help and advice. It takes a village to raise many things, and I appreciate your informative posts and directions as to what I need to be looking for when purchasing feed for my fowl.

    I am concerned about the lack of eggs and hoping it is immaturity not something I am neglecting to do for them. I want my chickens to be healthy, happy, and egg layers. (except the rooster who can just be healthy and happy)

    Jax FL
  10. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Here is some tag listings to compare yours too... I don't see your feed being all that bad. I meen ya it is a little low in Protein (for what I like to give breeders/ show birds) but for layers that should be OK...

    Buckeye Layer-Breeder
    Crude Protein, Minimum 18.00%
    Lysine, Minimum 0.89%
    Methionine, Minimum 0.37%
    Crude Fat, Minimum 3.50%
    Crude Fiber, Maximum 4.50%
    Calcium (Ca), Minimum 3.00%
    Calcium (Ca), Maximum 4.00%
    Phosphorus (P), Minimum 0.55%
    Salt (NaCl), Minimum 0.10%
    Salt (NaCl), Maximum 0.60%

    Kent Home Fresh Extra-Egg
    Crude Protein, min 16.0%
    Lysine, min 0.75%
    Methionine, min 0.37%
    Crude Fat, min 2.5%
    Crude Fiber, max 4.8%
    Calcium (Ca), min 3.3%
    Calcium (Ca), max 4.3%
    Phosphorus (P), min 0.6%
    Salt (NaCl), min 0.2%
    Salt (NaCl), max 0.7%
    Vitamin A, min 4275 IU/lb
    Vitamin D3, min 1070 IU/lb
    Vitamin E, min 14 IU/lb

    Crude Protein (Min.) 17.0%
    Lysine (Min.) 0.80%
    Methionine (Min.) 0.30%
    Crude Fat (Min.) 2.00%
    Crude Fiber (Max.) 6.00%
    Calcium (Ca) (Min.) 3.80%
    Calcium (Ca) (Max.) 4.80%
    Phosphorus (P) (Min.) 0.55%
    Salt (NaCl) (Min.) 0.25%
    Salt (NaCl) (Max.) 0.75%

    Now I feed a Starter/grower from Kalmbach to all my birds (chicks, growers, breeders and show birds)
    Here is the tag on it.. The Protein, Lysine and Methionine is a bit higher than the above feeds I posted..

    Crude Protein (Min.) 21%
    Lysine (Min.) 1.20%
    Methionine (Min.) 0.5%
    Crude Fat (Min.) 3.0%
    Crude Fiber (Max.) 4.0%
    Calcium (Ca) (Min.) 0.7%
    Calcium (Ca) (Max.) 1.2%
    Phosphorus (P) (Min.) 0.7%
    Salt (NaCl) (Min.) 0.2%
    Salt (NaCl) (Max.) 0.7%

    In the past I have used Kents High Flyer 28
    Crude Protein, min 28.0%
    Lysine, min 1.6%
    Methionine, min 0.65%
    Crude Fat, min 4.0%
    Crude Fiber, max 4.0%
    Calcium (Ca), min 1.2%
    Calcium (Ca), max 1.7%
    Phosphorus (P), min 1.0%
    Salt (NaCl), min 0.25%
    Salt (NaCl), max 0.75%
    Selenium (Se), min 0.3 ppm
    Vitamin A, min 5400 IU/lb
    Vitamin D3, min 1425 IU/lb
    Vitamin E, min 18 IU/lb

    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009

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