Organic layer mash with too much powder and not enough solids?


11 Years
Jul 23, 2008
Seattle, WA
I'm getting an organic layer mash from my local feed store that comes highly recommended. I'm used to organic layer pellets. I'm very surprised to see how much fine powder comprises this mash. There's a wonderful assortment of textures and bits of stuff, sure, but the ratio is not what I would think it ought to be. It seems to me like this powdery stuff is a waste of money and space as the chickens do not eat it. It just piles up in their feeder after they scramble to eat the chunky bits.

What do you think? I'll try to get a picture of it, but these days I'm usually only home when its dark. Sigh.


11 Years
Jan 29, 2008
southern tier,NY
Mash is powdery. I don't feed organic feed,but I do feed mash.My birds will eat anything,but given the choice will pick up a solid before powder.If you were to mix pellets with mash they will always pick up the pellets first and usually bill out the powder to get to it.I think that's why people think mash is a waste.If you put just mash in the feeder they don't bill out mash to get mash.
I think it is just a texture thing.If all they had was the powdery stuff,they would eat it. Organic feed is too $$$ to let them bill through it.If your new feed has many textures I'd go back to pellets. Will


13 Years
Jan 15, 2007
Garden Valley, ca
Well I won't say agian what I think of organic feed. Unless you have batams or small chickens any mash is a waste of money. There is far to much waste. If they were eating pellets, go back to them.

Cindy in PA

11 Years
Jul 8, 2008
Fleetwood, PA
I have been using organic mash for 3 months now after 15 years of pellets. Not much gets "wasted" as far as being billed out. There is powder left in the bottom of the feeder. I recently read somewhere (since they need this stuff too) to take the residue out several times a week & make a wet mash and let them clean it up as a treat. Haven't tried it yet, but it sounds plausible. That being said, the smell alone of fresh milled mash is so much better then the Purina pellets I have feed for 4 years. JMHO.


11 Years
Jul 23, 2008
Seattle, WA
Well, I was willing to try using the mash, but it sounds like in general, folks feel it gets wasted too much. I think it would certainly be good for them if I was willing to scoop out the powder and mix it with water and feed it to them as a treat, but I'm working a new job that means I'm only home a few days a week during daylight hours and I'm trying to streamline all I can. Back to pellets!


11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
Livingston Parish, LA
I've never bought the mash feed, but the "powdery substance" sounds like what is in the 50 lb bag of Purina Layena pellets I bought a month ago. The pellets are pretty soft and seem to break down in the bag so I'm going to try a different storage method.

However the point being, the girls don't eat the "powdery" part either.. but then after the hurricane recently I noticed that their pellets got wet (rain got in) and it now became a true "mash", basically a WET mash as the pellets had dissolved in the water.

Before I could take OUT the wet mash (when I put the chickens back in the uprighted pen the day after the storm... they were safe inside my morgan shed in the brooder prior)... the chickens were gobbling it up!!! I let them eat it to no ill effect.

Now I'm thinking that I can start saving the layena dust and make a wet mash out of it since they seem to REALLY like it that way. Previously I'd been cleaning out their feed bins and throwing it away which feels wasteful.

Maybe you can try that too, see if they like it and avoid wastage.


11 Years
Sep 1, 2008
I've been reading this subject with interest, because I too, purchased a locally made laying mash only to find it's very powdery, and my ladies aren't too fussy about it.

They were hens I got from a lady who fed them an organic feed (which I can't get locally).

I throw a bit of finishing mix on the ground for them to peck at as well, but I'd really like to know if just feeding them assorted grains will work.

I mean, what did people do years ago when they didn't have commercial feed mills to make up all this stuff and add all sorts of things to the feed?

Just my personal view.
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In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 16, 2008
Seattle, WA
When organic feed is $29 for a 40lb bag I gotta make sure they get as much of it as possible! I live in an urban area so getting to the feed store is tough. I know I am paying a premium to get it at a feed store in the city. I could probably find it cheaper if I drove out to get it but then that would cost about $10 in gas so I figure it all balances out. Good thing I only have 3 and they range in the yard. I only go through about a cup and a half of feed a day- sometimes less.

My chicks tend to leave the power behind too, but they love it when it's turned into a wet mash. I found this out when they tipped their water into the feed bowl.

Here's what I do:

In the morning I put out their feed into their chick feeder (working on making a ceramic feeder). They pick out the large stuff and leave the powder.

I take the powder from the day before (sometimes there is still large particles, but that's ok), put it in a bowl and add a little water. The wet mash is the first thing they finish! One hen will come to me and try to get it while I'm still holding the bowl! There is only a small amount and they're usually done with it by midday so I'm not too worried about it going bad. Plus, since it's wet, there's hardly any spillage.

It's just takes an extra minute to bring out a bowl and take the old one back in. Perhaps labor intensive for someone with lots of chickens, but letting them out and setting their feed out is a nice part of our morning routine together.

Now what to do about the dry feed they fleck about everywhere.
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Free Ranging
12 Years
Feb 14, 2008
This world is not my home.
Quote:Until I made a feeder that allows zero wasting, the pellets were definitely wasted more than the mash. The mash was harder to pick through, smaller grains were eaten along with the finer dust. I think its more like a previous poster suggests, its whatever texture your chickens become used to. I prefer the mash for the texture and the birds seem to prefer it over the pellets. The mash is also cheaper where I live!

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