Something Old......Something New........

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Howard E, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,237
    457
    151
    Feb 18, 2016
    Missouri
    Since a lot of folks are interested in what their birds eat, I thought this might be informative.......especially to those who formulate your own rations.

    First.....a couple ration formulas from 100 years ago. Note that for the most part, they were feeding some variant of Leghorns, but remarkably, their production was still pretty good. And this is what they gave them........

    [​IMG]
    Note the part about "scratch" and how that varied by season. Lesson to be learned here is that layer feed (LF) is not LF is not LF. There are conditions, and one of those is climate considerations. The switch in mix of the scratch took place in the dead of winter when the energy requirements of the hens to maintain body temp is greatest. So if a bird was eating nothing but layer feed that never changes, the only way they can boost their energy intake is to boost feed consumption.........except they get everything in the bag in the process. More protein, more Ca, more salt, more everything. Commercial facilities that mix their own feed can alter this as needed. With only one bag to buy, we can't, so all we can do is supplement it as we see fit, but that comes at a price. Do we really know enough about what we are doing to make an informed decision as to what and how much? A good reason to keep any treats and supplements on the short side..........like no more than 10%?

    I have no idea what "shorts or middlings" are. But dried beef scraps was the source of protein (soybeans had not entered the picture yet.....at least not large scale). So locally sourced meat scraps is what they used. Charcoal? Perhaps for the mineral content? Author never said. But an interesting summary of what folks used to feed their birds way back when.

    So on to page 2.........note the part about using grit and oyster shell, milk and wet mash and green food. On the green stuff, they let them graze for it in warmer seasons and provided it to them as sprouts in the winter.

    [​IMG]
    So lastly comes the nutritional information from Purina. I have included the bag tag, as it lists the ingredients they currently use:

    [​IMG]

    I didn't highlight them, but two key ingredients they list, in addition to % protein, is Lysine and Methionine, but of which are essential amino acids not typically found in soy based protein, which most feed is made from. They don't say, but I assume that is the case. Key point here is "protein" content in and of itself, is meaningless. What matters is the amount of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of what we describe as "protein".

    Anyway, this is what the culmination of years of research and science has proven to be the best blend of nutrition to get optimal production from laying hens.

    When you think about what they used to use and what we have now, things have come a long way. Yet even today, some of the things they knew then are still applicable today. The trick is knowing what to keep and why.
     
  2. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,237
    457
    151
    Feb 18, 2016
    Missouri
    Another thing to those contemplating their own nutritional formulas. Have you given any thought to what happens if you feed an excess of some factor or a shortage of another?

    Back when I took animal nutrition, a lot of time was spent on each and every ingredient. All the amino acids, vitamins and minerals and what would happen to the animal if there was an excess or shortage. A classic and easy to understand example is lack of calcium, which we know will result in fragile and thin shelled eggs. But what happens if we feed too much?

    Do any of us actually take all this into account when we plan our own food choices each day or do we somehow instinctively know we need to eat something with protein in it? Or why they put a salt shaker on the table? BTW, have you ever tried to eat a gob and a bunch of salt? Or drink too much water? You can't do it. There is only so much you can handle and your body says "no more". Drinking too much water at one time will actually make you throw up. In a former life, I once saw that used as a form of hazing. One little Dixie cup swig of water at a time. After 20 or 30 of those, the person doing the drinking had to puke. Actually, it was pretty dangerous to boot.

    But the point is, if you decide to make your own stuff, you better know the long and short of it all, and make sure it is in there. If not, subtle little things go awry and that is when the wheels start coming off.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  3. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Love the old wisdom! Thanks for starting this thread, and what I hope will be an interesting discussion!

    Aren't wheat middlings and shorts the leftovers after the whole grain is removed i.e. the powder and the pieces and bits?

    Still MORE glad than ever that I an feeding them fermented alfafa cubes over the winter, every single day. Thanks for the validation. Sprouts might be better, but the alfalfa is a bit easier...for me.

    And then, hurrah, a mention of milk products to be added, as we were discussing in another thread yesterday!

    Best sources of lysine and methionine?

    Doesn't fermenting increase availability of enzymes and amino acids? Any stuff on that? ACV helps, I think with enzymes/amino acids?

    Wouldn't it be fair to say that protein content is the first consideration but by far not the only consideration? The first step only? And then further analysis required?

    Course, lol, some of this info is just coming more into the mainstream for us humans! e.g. ACV with the mother...
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by