I recommended All Flock if she had a mixed flock of different breeds and ages, or LAYER FEED IF SHE DID NOT. And, the protein percentage alone is the absolute WORST thing you can base your feed choice on.
@Sammster - As promised, the short version:
What is on the label of the bag is generally only what is required by law and sometimes a few additional things to set them apart from the competition. Those are not the numbers you care about, it's the ingredients that go into making those numbers that are important. I can make a feed that matches any number you want with dog food and brewery waste, but that's going to be mostly crap, and could even have toxic levels of aflatoxin in it.
Chickens need differing amounts of amino acids, vitamins, and nutrients throughout their lives, that's where the different "stages" of feed come in, i.e., starter, grower, conditioner, layer, maintenance, breeder.
In addition, during different times of the year and/or depending on what the adult chicken's job is, different amounts of calories, made up of protein, fats, and fiber, are required, along with some specific nutrients added or removed. E.g., broiler, gamecock, breeder, show, molt.
Really, it's all about nutrient density. In winter, they need more calories, but from carbs, because they're easier to burn for energy and don't tax the kidneys like protein does. They also don't need the added calcium because they're not laying, or the added fat or protein because they're not as active and all that will do is create fatty deposits on their internal organs and lead to premature death. So more corn in winter at a lower protein level.
In summer, and especially in places where it's hot, they won't eat as much volume or calories as in the winter, so the quality of the ingredients matters a lot more.
There are also some ingredients that you never want to see in a quality feed and absolute maximum percentages of others for various reasons, and just like your own food or your dog's food, "by-products" aren't usually a top quality ingredient.
And chickens are not vegan, they need animal sources of nutrients, period.
At least three manufacturers of an all flock type feed are fully aware of all of this and have formulated that particular product to meet, but not grossly exceed, the needs of most use cases, therefore folks that want a product with the balanced nutrition they need without worrying about catering to specific species, breeds, ages, sexes, and seasons, can use that product with excellent results. I believe Purina even claims that their flock raiser crumble can be used in lieu of chick starter as well. Nutrena's all flock is only sold as a pellet, so it can't easily be used as a chick starter, and their chick starter product is much more specialized for that purpose, which I recommend if that's an option.
I use these products as well as mix my own feeds; I cater to each species, breed, sex, and age, and it takes a lot of effort and money. Unless you have a specific use case, one of the two major brand's off-the-shelf products are adequate for just about everyone.
This was a nice read. I read the ingredients on my feed (Nutrena Heart Hen) and grain by-product is the second ingredient, corn being the first.
When the bag I have runs out, I'm probably going to be switching to this https://www.bigvfeeds.com/products/poultry/big-v-20-hi-pro-egg-pellets or something else from Big V, especially since they're local and there's a farmer's co-op that sells their feed.
Thank you for the information!