Suggestions please

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by rooster58, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. rooster58

    rooster58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a mixed flock and I understand that the rooster and non laying hens shouldn't be fed layer feed. Those of you with mixed flocks how do you manage it without keeping the birds separate and having dedicated feeders in with the appropriate birds. I only have one coop with plans to build a brooder coop for the broody hen I just gave eggs to.
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    This is a common question with mixed flocks - the simplest solution (one many, myself included, use) is to use an all-purpose feed that all the birds can eat (grower ration, all-flock, flock raiser, etc) and then provide supplemental calcium in the form of oyster shell in a separate container so that actively laying birds can take as they need it. ETA - an added advantage of this being that the rations used offer a better protein content than most commerial layer rations use as they tend to be at the bare minimum protein needed for production.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  3. rooster58

    rooster58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 31, 2016
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    Thank you for the reply. That's what I was thinking as well.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    While many folks do as OGM does, choosing a multi flock ration, I usually feed layer. UNLESS I'm in the middle of a deep freeze (temps single to minus digits every night, highs of minus digits to/low 20's during the day for days on end) and UNLESS I have a crop of chicks, pullets/cockrels, or if birds in heavy molt. If dealing with any of those situations, I will switch to multi-flock. The reason I do not get all worked up about calcium is that from my understanding: the research that talks about excess calcium causing kidney damage is based on research done on meat birds, which are prone to all sorts of systemic issues anyways due to their breeding. How many flocks have roos that eat the same layer as the hens? How often do we hear about sick roos? Most roos are the best looking birds in the flock and live to a ripe old age unless they meet the crock pot or a predator. Look at the diet of a free ranging flock: Many of the greens that they tend to gorge on are very high in calcium. I think white clover is 10%.

    Using MF as your main feed source is an excellent way to go. I simply choose not to, b/c it is more expensive. By fermenting my feed, their protein content is high enough with layer, and I don't have the added expense of continually buying oyster shell. When I am feeding MF, I do put out oyster shell. But, that single bag has lasted 4 years.

    So, choose your own path. Do the research, consider if the "they said's" make much sense. Realize that no matter how you raise and manage your flock, there will be a chorus of folks to tell you that you are doing it all wrong.
     

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