Question About Purina Crumbles Feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Berkley, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. Berkley

    Berkley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought a forty/fifty pound bag of the Purina Start and Grow when I first got my chicks and pullets. The bag had quite a bit of powder in it and I thought that was normal. ( I'm new to chickens. ) I ended up getting a second big bag of it, and it had a lot of powder in it. I would say the feed has been maybe 30 percent powder and the rest crumbles in the first bag, and the second may very well have been as much as 35 to 40 percent powder. Is this normal for Purina? I bought a bag of crumbles from Southern States today and it has no powder at all, that I can see. I mean there may be some in the bottom of the bag, but so far, its all nice pretty crumbles, and even looks more fresh. I was ok with the Purina until I bought this new feed from Southern States today, and now I'm kind of not to happy about it. My chicks ate the powder, but my pullets refused to ever eat it at all. I tried leaving it in the feeders without giving them more with the crumbles and they still wouldn't eat it. That is quite a bit of waste in a bag that size. So I guess my two questions are:

    1. Is it normal for Purina to have so much feed that is in a powdery form?

    and

    2. Is it normal for my chickens to refuse to eat the powdery feed?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  2. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some feeds will have powder. It's not really a problem. I mix the powder with some yogurt and they gobble everything down and would lick the dish if they had longer tongues! Whatever you do, don't toss the powder, it's usually the powder that has the added (and necessary) vitamins and minerals, called the pre-mix.

    I think some feeds use more oil (usually soybean oil) to help the powder to stick to the grain/crumbles/pellets/etc. Oils can go rancid quickly, so it can actually be a good thing to have powder floating around in your bag of feed because that means they likely used less oil. Rancid oils are not good and you usually want to avoid them if you can.

    I'd avoid Purina foods, if I were you. Very poor quality feed and they have a very long history of animal feed recalls. Here's a recent thread about Purina foods:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/878524/hens-wont-eat-purina-layena-of-any-variety
     
  3. Berkley

    Berkley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I pretty much detest Purina products, as I had two dogs both develop stomach problems on it years ago. However, it is the only medicated chick start and grow the TSC in my area sells. I had chicks and pullets, so I was getting that for them. Now the chicks are pullets, and the pullets are hens, so I am giving them different foods. ( I have them in different coops. ) They have Layena brand, but no medicated. I figured I would just use the Purina until it ran out, but Southern States was out when I went in there the last time, so I ended up getting a second bag of the Purina at TSC. All kinds of people here are using the Purina, and they're giving out free hats, free this or that, coupons etc... So I think maybe they're pushing it in this area. Maybe this is why it is the only medicated chick starter at the local TSC? After seeing the difference in the feed quality, I doubt I will be buying it again. I will just try to make sure I have what I want before I run out. The new feed has already made a big difference. My older chickens normally empty every bit of the crumbles and leave the powder to the point I have to give them food once or twice a day. ( I don't use the big feeders/ I keep a few small ones around. ) This morning when I went out to check on them they still had plenty of crumbles in the feeders and I didn't even need to feed them this morning, and I put the same amount of crumbles in that I did with Purina. They had eaten a lot of what I put in, and from everything I have read, it is a more normal amount as to what chickens typically eat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  4. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    If you are talking about Purina Dog chow or other grocery store Purina dog food, they are a different company than Purina Layena chicken food.
     
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you had a big problem with coccidiosis? The medicated/non-medicated feed debate will arouse a lot of opinions here on BYC, some for and some against. Since you are new to chickens, I can understand your concern...you want the best for them.

    Of the dozens of chicks we've raised in the 18 months we've been raising chickens, we've not lost any to coccidiosis (the reason for medicated feed). We've given them quality chick feed, access to the outdoors at an early age (since hatching or a few days afterwards), and water fortified with vitamins and probiotics (Sav-a-Chik is one brand). Lots of people use a method like this without the need for the medicated feed. From what I've read, acclimating them to the outdoors (the coccidian protozoa are spread through feces) helps them grow natural immunity/tolerance to succumbing to toxic infestation. It's worked for us, but you have to be your own judge of whether you feel comfortable doing it that way.

    I think key here is to limit your chicks exposure to the protozoa. If they are cooped up in a dirty coop full of other chickens' feces, they may be exposed to the protozoa more than they're developing immunity can handle. But if they have access to the outdoors, there will be much more fece-free ground than can spend time on and lower their exposure.

    From what I've read, they WILL be exposed to the coccidian protozoa, no getting around it. The coccidiostat medication (in the med. feed) will help kill some of the protozoa and artificially reduce they're exposure. But if you can do it naturally...let the chicks free (or in a small enclosure in the yard), they're bodies won't have to deal with a medication and the possible side effects.

    I'm also a big believer in probiotics. As more and more news is coming out about the "end of an era" of antiobiotics, more and more people are turning back to probiotics. We once had a batch of mail-order chicks show up dying left and right. It took us too long (about 9 dead chicks) before we found the solution...to spike their water with probiotics and a vitamin supplement. I got the idea here from BYC, many people here swear by it.

    A bit off-topic, but I also make a home-brew of probiotics. I use it to put in the water, to ferment a portion of their feed and also to spray down their runs and coops about once a month. I will give a couple more heavy doses to their coops before winter since they will be spending all their time in there once the snow hits the ground. The brew is full of different probiotics to help combat the "bad bacteria" and also to help break down the feces in our Deep Litter Method coops. I don't know if the probiotics work on things like protozoa, but I do know that the probiotics help keep the "bad bacteria" in balance. When the "bad bacteria" start to win and shift the balance, the whole soil health degrades and invites more and more undesirable micro-organisms and insects and I assume protozoa. This degradation can be turned around with the use of a soil probiotic such as EM-1.
     
  6. Berkley

    Berkley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Purina Dog Cow, Chicken Feed, and Layena are all part of Purina parent company. Thats why they all have the little red and white checkered logos on them.

    I've never had chickens before, so I wanted the medicated to be on the safe side, until I learn what I'm doing. I tried to expose them to dirt at an early age, but I don't know much about probiotics. I have been considering adding some garlic to their water though, as it is one natural treatment I have used successfully in other animals and my garden. I even use it myself. lol
     
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    The thing to remember about medicated feed is that it in no way guarantee's the chicks won't get coccidiosis. The level of amprolium it contains is so low that chicks often still come down with coccidiosis. For that reason it's value is debatable. No matter what you feed you need to be familiar with the symptoms of coccidiosis and keep Corid on hand when raising chicks so you can treat immediately if you start to see symptoms. It is easy to fix if treated right away but it kills fast if not treated asap. That said, there is no problem with feeding medicated either. It's not really a "medication" that affects the chicks in any way. All Amprolium does is basically starve the cocci protozoa of thiamin so it doesn't overgrow and overwhelm the chicks before they can develop resistence.

    Probiotic's are basically good gut bacteria. Adding probiotic's never hurts but it won't prevent coccidiosis.
     
  8. WhiteLeghorn2

    WhiteLeghorn2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When we first got pullets, we did not use medicated feed. We ended up losing one of our 7 week old pullets only 1 week after being moved outdoors due to coccidiosis. It's a deadly disease.

    Medicated feed gives them medicine to help fight off coccidiosis. This spring we got 3 chicks, and we raised them with medicated feed and none of them got coccidiosis. Some people love to criticize the medicated feed, but I believe it really does help for growing birds. It might not work for some people, but I believe you're better safe than sorry.
     
  9. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    No, Land o Lakes (Layena) does sell dog food in feed stores, but it is NOT Purina Dog Chow or Purina one or any of the other "Purina" varities. The companies separated quite a few years ago.
     
  10. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Quote: Your incorrect..
    There are two different Purina companies in the U.S.

    The Purina Co. that manufactures pet food like Dog and Cat food is known as Nestlé Purina PetCare Company or sometimes just Purina PetCare, this company is owned by Nestlé.

    The Purina Co. that manufactures mostly livestock feed as in poultry feed is known as Purina Mills and is owned by Land-O-Lakes. Purina Mills also manufactures a like of pet feed under PMI Nutrition.

    Not to confuse anyone anymore, out side the U.S. there is a Purina livestock feed that is manufactured by Cargill but uses the Purina/Nestle trademark.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
    1 person likes this.

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