Switching off Layers Feed: What to Feed Instead?

MikyPiky

Songster
Feb 2, 2021
168
330
136
So, I want to switch my chickens off layers feed for multiple reasons, mainly I've heard a lot of people say it really isn't enough protein for backyard hens. For the time being I am feeding all my hens and pullets a growers feed, but I know that is not enough protein for laying hens and I am going to switch to a different feed very soon. The problem is our feed stores only sell starters, growers, and layers feed. Most people switch to a flock raiser, but there is none to be got around here. The starters feed is 21% protein. Would that work for my flock? I would supplement oyster shells on the side for calcium, too

Since I started feeding the growers instead of layers my hens egg production has gone way up, and their eggs are better quality. I wish I had known to stop feeding layers before! :th
 

PoultryCQ

Songster
Jul 13, 2021
563
882
166
CA
So, I want to switch my chickens off layers feed for multiple reasons, mainly I've heard a lot of people say it really isn't enough protein for backyard hens. For the time being I am feeding all my hens and pullets a growers feed, but I know that is not enough protein for laying hens and I am going to switch to a different feed very soon. The problem is our feed stores only sell starters, growers, and layers feed. Most people switch to a flock raiser, but there is none to be got around here. The starters feed is 21% protein. Would that work for my flock? I would supplement oyster shells on the side for calcium, too

Since I started feeding the growers instead of layers my hens egg production has gone way up, and their eggs are better quality. I wish I had known to stop feeding layers before! :th
Thats enough protein. 20% is good enough for laying hens. I also don't have All flock in my local feed store. I always get a purina non medicated chick starter for adults and medicated for chicks. Providing oyster shells and egg shells on the side always.
 

MikyPiky

Songster
Feb 2, 2021
168
330
136
Thats enough protein. 20% is good enough for laying hens. I also don't have All flock in my local feed store. I always get a purina non medicated chick starter for adults and medicated for chicks. Providing oyster shells and egg shells on the side always.
Thanks so much! Would 21% protein be too much for 16 week old chicks?
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
5 Years
Jul 26, 2016
5,684
11,798
671
Connecticut, USA
Since I started feeding the growers instead of layers my hens egg production has gone way up, and their eggs are better quality. I wish I had known to stop feeding layers before!
Well it sounds like the Grower feed is working.
What is the Protein %.

I feed all ages of my chickens a Starter-Grower feed 18% Protein with a separate container of Oyster Shells.
20201126_051320_resized_1-2.jpg

GC
 

MikyPiky

Songster
Feb 2, 2021
168
330
136
Well it sounds like the Grower feed is working.
What is the Protein %.

I feed all ages of my chickens a Starter-Grower feed 18% Protein with a separate container of Oyster Shells. View attachment 2760093
GC
The growers is 16% protein. Funny thing is, I already mixed in the leftover starters so it's a bit higher in protein.

You could also try to mix a higher protein feed with a lower protein feed, to hit the mark in the middle - for instance, a 21% plus a 16% would average out to 18.5%. Just watch your calcium levels, and keep oyster shell or similar on the side.
Alright, that sounds like a good plan. Probably will mix the two together then. Thanks!
 

Danielpn

Songster
Jul 31, 2020
88
167
106
Olympia area
I too noticed a significant improvement in egg quality when I switched from layer feed to Purina Flock Raiser (20% protein). Tractor Supply Co. tries really hard to provide excellent customer service for online orders (unsolicited endorsement here). They do need to hire a professional for logistics, however. Two bags at a time should qualify for free delivery. Three bags though would be over 100 lbs, and there would be a delivery charge.
 

Robeenop

Songster
8 Years
Apr 29, 2014
209
91
151
You could also try to mix a higher protein feed with a lower protein feed, to hit the mark in the middle - for instance, a 21% plus a 16% would average out to 18.5%. Just watch your calcium levels, and keep oyster shell or similar on the side.
A game bird feed is good to mix. I use the layer, and a good quality scratch. Also supplement with calf manna. They love it, and it's really good for them.
No problem with eggs.
 

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