Pullets and Roos eating the same thing?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by JodyJo, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010
    Question, I am sure this is answered somewhere on here, but I don't have time to find it today...

    I have 3 roos and 13 pullets, all about 12-13 weeks old...when I switch the hens to layer feed, the roos will eat it too, obviously, but is there something else to feed them besides the usual scratch and sunflower seeds along with treats? I guess the idea is, no big deal huh?

  2. aarronh

    aarronh Songster

    May 2, 2010
    Meadville, PA
    They'll be fine. I've NEVER given my roosters anything different... That would require me individually hand feeding countless roos... not gonna happen [​IMG]

  3. treefr0g

    treefr0g Chirping

    Apr 12, 2009
    Central Florida, W. Coast
    I've read several articles online about layer feed not being good for roosters. Over time, the high level of calcium (usually 4%) can cause organ damage and/or failure in Roosters. ...I believe the kidney's are the main problem. Since my flock of 12 are "pets" and may live quite a number of years, I choose to forgo layer feed in favor of flock raiser or broiler feed. I give the girls oyster shells AND crushed dried egg shells (separate mini feeders) free choice. The egg shells are by far their favorite...all my friends save their shells for my girls, as they eat a LOT! My girls' egg shells might not be are hard (large eggs) as store bought, but at least I KNOW I won't be inadvertently hurting my rooster by feeding him something his body isn't capable of processing properly.

    I guess most people don't think it's a big deal, or they don't know about it. I personally won't knowingly cause possible harm to any creature, so I choose to skip layer feed for the sake of the rooster. ...but that's just me. [​IMG] It's really no big deal to feed flock raiser/broiler and supply extra calcium for the girls. I believe some people give both layer and oyster shells...which seems like over kill to me. The girls will eat the calcium they need instinctively, so no worries there...and the rooster will avoid it.

    Save your egg shells, rinse, air/sun dry, crunch them up, and your girls will "recycle" them for you. [​IMG]
  4. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I feed grower or flock raiser and offer oyster shell separately. I do this because my flock is mixed ages and often has young chicks in it, and because grower is higher in protein than layer. I don't know that they will do better overall on a higher protein -- it's just a guess on my part. Actually I've read that layers lay best on limited (I think 14%) protein. Although Purina says it's OK to give amprolium medicated feed to layers, I'd rather not.

    I have read that people who raise their roosters separately, especially "special" roosters such as for showing, feed a higher protein feed than layer, and of course without the extra calcium.

    From what I've read, it has been demonstrated that the levels of calcium in layer feed are indeed harmful to young chicks. There is no research that demonstrates that it's also harmful to mature roosters, that I know of. It makes sense to me, granted, but again, I don't know that this has ever been proven. Chicken research is geared toward commercial production, and I doubt that commercials care how long their roosters live.

    Of course, if anyone has any handy dandy references in regard to any of this, I'll gladly read and bookmark.

  5. tysonandperdue

    tysonandperdue In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2007
    New Jersey
    I've been feeding layer food to my mixed flock for 12 years. Feeding layer food didn't affect my roosters at all. One rooster lived to over eight years old and my other rooster is going on nine years old. He is still in great shape (see recent photo of him). Right now I have four cockerels along with my 9 year old rooster and I will continue to keep them all on layer food. I do feed them additional foods each day as well, i.e. scrambled egg every morning along with kale and/or grapes, blueberries, watermelon, etc. By the way, I do not let my chickens free range due to numerous red-tail hawks flying overhead looking for a free meal. (Just to clarify, I do not start feeding layer until my chickens are approximately 17-18 weeks of age. Before that I feed start and grow.)

    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  6. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010
    Quote:thanks...I was worried nobody would answer me...good to know I will take this into consideration...I have not seen Flock Raiser in my local store...does it go by another name as well? I will look and see, I have another near by store I can go to also if I have to. I will have different age pullets soon...well I have 13 that are going on 12 weeks and 3 that are 2 weeks that I will be integrating in at about 6 weeks old...the roos are also 12 weeks...thanks again....
  7. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    I've seen it called something like "Finisher" or "grow-out" food.

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