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This Is A First For Me

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by microchick, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. microchick

    microchick Overrun With Chickens

    Yesterday I drove a short distance to a local Amish feed store to buy Game Bird either starter or finisher for my mixed flock of Buff O, Welsummer and Speckled Sussex hens and roosters. The youngest are 6 weeks and the oldest 16 months. I supplement the feed with oyster shell for the hens.

    Unfortunately the owner of the store, a very nice older Amish gentleman, told me he had neither types of feed. I asked him if he had Chick starter. He told me yes and asked me how old my chicks were. I told him almost 6 weeks and he asked me if I have ever fed them hog feed. Got to admit that took me by surprise and rendered me temporarily speechless...a rare occurence for me as I usually have plenty to say. I told him 'no' and he said a lot of area people were feeding it to their chickens. I looked at the bag and when I saw 50 lbs for 8$ I understood why but then the big question popped to mind and I thought WHY? No way that hog feed could contain the same percentage of vitamins and minerals that chickens need to be healthy, could it? I mean, chickens aren't hogs and hogs aren't chickens. They have different nutritional needs

    I have to admit that I didn't look at the nutrition tag but I'm wondering if anybody has heard of anything like this and if you have hogs, what does the nutrition tag say?

    Naturally I bought two bags of Chick Starter as I knew it wouldn't hurt either my roosters or the hens to eat it and made my exit. But I'm still puzzled by the concept of feeding hog feed to chickens.

    Opinions please?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    I know some people do use hog feed when they don't have access to chicken feed. I have never looked at the nutrition tag either, but have considered the option.
     
  3. microchick

    microchick Overrun With Chickens

    Interesting. I'm still curious about the nutritional comparisons of the feed. Trace vitamins and minerals in both.
     
  4. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just went TSC website hog pig feed ingredients similar to chicken feed.
    But protein ranges from 12 to 20 percent.
    And some of the feed have a drug called Tylosin Sulfate.
    You do not want that.
    So make sure it's not medicated and has the protein level you want. GC
     
  5. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh yeah 1 more thing calcium level average was 1 percent. GC
     
  6. microchick

    microchick Overrun With Chickens

    Thanks GC-Raptor. I was sitting here thinking and suddenly I wondered if this feed wasn't something that was mixed on site as it had no 'factory' bag and I don't remember seeing a nutritional tag on it. Not unusual for Amish farmers to mix their own food for their livestock, which is totally scary to me given that their education level is 8th grade only.

    If I was desperate and buying food from the local MFA (Missouri Farmer's Association) as I usually do, I might just buy a bag from them. The farmer in question sells ADM (Archer Daniels Midland) as his main line feeds and then has off brands for dog and cat foods and I imagine other foods also as I have seen plenty of 'plain brown wrapper' sorts of food in his warehouse.

    I doubt 100% that they add any chemicals to their feeds. It's not unusual to see posters hanging in their business proclaiming NOT to vaccinate as vaccines are filled with pus and bacteria.
     
  7. jacksun

    jacksun Out Of The Brooder

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    The Amish may only have a 8th grade education in our world But they have a masters in farming. Because they live it.
     
    3 people like this.
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Look at how well the Amish animals are kept. This just might alleviate any fears about the nutritional level of their feed.

    Agreed. I'd much prefer doing business with the Amish community for my farming needs than dealing with the local feed stores. I can't tell you how often I've had to deal with stupid when buying chicken feed at the feed store. When an employee, manager none the less tells me that I'm going to kill my chicks if I give them non medicated feed, then turns around and offers non medicated starter a year later to keep up with customer demand for it... or when I have to walk out of the store and drive across town to their competitor because all of the feed on their shelf is more than 2 months past mill date... I can tell you that feed store employees certainly aren't functioning with much education. Even buying hay is suspect. I always buy from the same local farmer, but ask him every season if he's applied any herbicides/pesticides. You can't be too careful. IF the Amish are mixing their own feed, you can be assured that they are putting good quality into it so they can get good quality OUT of it.
     
    2 people like this.
  9. microchick

    microchick Overrun With Chickens

    Granted, some do, but some of the Amish around us seem to be lacking that skill. Our land is heavily infested with coccidia due to the previous Amish owner refusing to use wormers on his stock. I know this because we ran sheep with his and both his and our sheep died from coccidia while under his care and grazing on our property. We wound up giving him our remaining sheep and had one necropsied. It was so heavily infested with worms that there was no saving it even if it had lived. All the land around us owned by Amish is overgrazed, including the timber which is heavily damaged by cattle being grazed in it. Some of the Amish around us have kennels and raise dogs. My heart breaks for these animals because I see the pens that they are being kept in. The 8th grade education isn't teaching them proper animal husbandry or land stewardship.That is coming from generational knowledge passed down from father to son.

    We have estimated that we found the remains of at least 10,000 dollars worth of
    dead livestock on our property when we took possession of it. Mostly cattle and sheep remains with a few goats.

    The Amish operate strictly on tradition and on the Ordung of their particular community. They do what their Bishop tells them to do or what they had passed down to them. Breaking from the Ordung is strictly prohibited.

    We wound up getting information from the local county extension on how to successfully raise sheep and gave it to him. He wound up selling his flock of parasite resistant Katadin sheep which are parasite resistant anyway for another flock of Katadin's. It's like DUH! He didn't want to use medications or chemicals on his sheep to save them and keep them healthy even though they were dropping like flies from heavy parasite load. Sorry. That is animal cruelty in my thinking.

    Don't get me wrong. Our Amish are good neighbors and we frequent their businesses regularly. I admire their dedication to community and their faith is inspiring. I just think if that if what I've seen is a masters in farming, they need to go to a different school.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Errrr...many puppy mills have been run by the 'Amish'.
    I hate the marketing and automatic wonderful-lala perceptions assumed with the word Amish.

    As to hog feed...I know a hog farmer that feeds his chicken the same as he feeds his pigs, he grows some of his grains but am not sure what ind of premix he uses and what the ingredients of it are.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
    1 person likes this.

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