Should I change my feed after a year?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by S&SPoultryExchange, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. S&SPoultryExchange

    S&SPoultryExchange Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2009
    Concord, NC
    I have been using the same feed from the same small town feed supplier for the past year. It is just simple scratch corn and grain. Everyone I talk to talk about all this expensive feed that they buy for their chickens. My chickens are just as good looking as theirs. I pay $6.00 for a 50lbs bag. Other people I talk to pay up to $22.00 a bag. I can afford to switch but I dont see the point. Should I?
  2. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    Several of the members here consider scratch a treat. Most use (on laying hens) layer feed 16% or gamebird feed up to 20-22% protein.

    Do they free range?

    That would be a factor also.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Many consider scratch grains a treat as per the previous poster. If you only plan on keeping the hens for a year or two and then replacing them all, it probably isn't going to be that bad, just that their productivity would be less in the mean time. If you do plan on keeping them longer, their development could have been stunted and may not be the best layers for as long of a time. Furthermore, depending on the protein they get, when winter rolls around, there is an increased risk of feather picking and cannibalism to get what they need in their diet if they can't find it otherwise.
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I pay less than $10 for 50 lbs. of layer pellets. As Silkiechicken indicated, there are other nutrients, vitamins and minerals and such, besides protein, in a complete feed. You might find your chickens look better and act better on a complete feed, especially if they don't get much nourishment from a true free range setting. I have a small free range flock who eats very little of their feed as they find so many bugs and such on their own; they would probably do better on straight scratch than the other flock, who has access all day to weeds and bugs and such, but is confined to a large yard and eat more feed.

    Around here there are a fair number of folks who have kept chickens for many years and free range them. In many cases, they feed as you do, usually also including table scraps.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2009
  5. S&SPoultryExchange

    S&SPoultryExchange Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2009
    Concord, NC
    So I guess I should change to layer pellets or game feed. Im thinking the game. I am planning on getting into a sole breed. I think Lavender Orpingtons. Im planning on feeding them the best possible to get the best show quality and laying quality. Should I use the game or the layer? and also whats better the mesh or pellets?

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