Roosters and laying feed, why is it bad for them?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mithious, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. mithious

    mithious Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know I have read this lots, and tried to search for it in the top search box, but can not get anything remotely like it to come up in the search.

    I would like to know what it is about layer feed that is not ok for roosters and what, if any, the symptoms would be, for a rooster that has been feed on's for another OP, but trying to help and would really like to know why and what the outcome would be, for myself also. Thanks in advance to any and all info!!!
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Too much calcium, is all.

    So it can harm the kidneys and bones is what I have read. But I used to feed layer feed to my roosters. Many people do. Depends on whether you want to coddle your cock birds or not. To some it isn't important.

    Now I mix my oyster shell into my hand mixed feed, and the cock birds can avoid excess calcium. Most people put the oyster shells on the side for feed that doesn't have enough calcium for layers, but I get soft shells if I do this.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  3. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    My rooster is 2.5 years old with hens the same age. They all have been eating the same food, layer food, without any apparent ill effects.

    I have read posts about roosters and layer food, but have never seen anything authoritative about it. I haven't looked for it, because I don't plan to feed one bird out of the flock something special.

  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Ditto what chfite said. My current rooster is going on 5 years old and has eaten layer feed his whole life, he's still going strong. I don't especially need him to live forever but so far I've seen no ill effects of eating the layer feed. If there are actual, reliable studies available I haven't found them but I also haven't spent a lot of time searching either.

    There are also other issues that can cause liver/kidney problems so it would be interesting to know just how many roosters have actually been necropsied and shown beyond doubt to have died directly because of complications due to eating layer feed. Since I have had issues with thin shells when I've had a flock on an all-flock type feed with oyster shell on the side I will continue to feed layer feed, rooster or no rooster.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Actually, there are studies. 0% calcium group, 2% calcium group, and 4% calcium group. Blood tests drawn and sperm mobility and health were checked.

    Since poultry is a Trillions of dollars world wide industry, you must know everything about the chicken has been studied to death. LOL There is far too much at stake and the industry has lots of money to spend on research.

    Layer feed is 4% calcium. Well, it just happens that the 4% calcium group tested the poorest of the three test groups, in this study. Also interesting that some calcium, ie, the 2% group were tested the best. Interesting too that 2% calcium is the amount of calcium in a Grower or Raiser type formula.

    Does all this matter to most backyarders? Likely not. But to those who breed? Oh certainly. It matters greatly.
    2 people like this.
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Fred's Hens, that is very interesting info, thanks for posting that and the link!

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