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thoughts on (affordable) organic eggs

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by BelleInBoots, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. BelleInBoots

    BelleInBoots Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2014
    West GA
    Hey yall I would love your opinions on a couple of things, first it is important to me that the eggs I am feeding my children be as healthy and chemical free as possible. Currently feed my hens organic laying pellets but am getting day olds in. do you think it is necessary to feed organic chick starter or just organic laying pellets when they reach maturity and opt for the cheap stuff while there little. I'm sure it's a matter of opinion but if like to hear your thoughts.
    Next, theoretically, with a balanced diet and free range hens in mind, what is the absolutely least expensive way to keep a flock (organically) fed? Substitute in corn? Oats? Wheat? Rice? What's a good ratio and how do I know if they are getting proper nutrition if I opt outof the pre balanced feed? Thanks for your thoughts!
     
  2. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    If your wanting to sell "organic" eggs, then you better feed organic from day one. Otherwise, the chickens will not be considerd "organic". If you use the term "organic" when you sell your eggs, you have to be certified "organic" or what you sell would not be organic. From what I understand, it's expensive and a drawn out process to be certified organic, or so I've been told. If you want the chicks to be "organic", you need to get them from the hatchery, or hatch them yourself. If you get them at the feed store, they will have eaten "regular" chick starter and can no longer be considered "organic".

    I feed mine a soy free, non-gmo feed. I've done it since the day I got them. Yes it does cost more, but I wanted soy free, non gmo eggs, so figured I need to start as early as possible.
     
  3. BelleInBoots

    BelleInBoots Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2014
    West GA
    Thanks that's very informative. I did order them from a hatchery and have picked up a small bag of the good non gmo starter but I'm sure I will need more pronto and I didn't see the big bags at the tractor supply. Where do u get yours from and do you mind sharin how much you pay for it?
     
  4. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    Organic or chemical-free is important during chick stage, if you ask me. I mean, why wait until your kids are grown adults before you feed them anything organic?

    If it's about the cost, see if you can find GMO-free, chemical-free feed. There's a growing movement some call "almost organic", where the farmers are doing everything organically but just don't go through the expense of organic certification. This results in high quality food for much less cost. But you have to know your feed supplier who knows and trusts the farmers. We buy a brand called "Natural Farms" out of Spokane, WA, that fits this bill.

    Even though you're way out in Georgia (from their HQ in Oregon), you might look into Azure Standard. They're a natural foods warehouse that ships to just about everywhere but the East Coast. They also have several choices of chicken feed, including organic. If you can find an Azure drop point near you, it might work for you.
     
  5. TinaOK

    TinaOK Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2010
    Pink, OK
    I have wanted a way to feed my flock organic feed, and recently the local Atwoods has started carrying organic layer and scratch feed, so I switched. I have 8 hens of laying age and on the regular layer feed I would get 6 - 7 eggs a day. On the organic feed I am getting 1 to 4, with mostly 2 eggs a day. They have been on the organic feed for over two months, so I would think that their systems would have adjusted by now. It is a 15% protein layer feed. Does anyone have any thoughts? Is there a way I can supplement their daily feed with a higher protein grain to bring up the protein content? Is that the issue, or maybe something else? What would cause the drastic reduction of egg production? I had two go broody, but they are not any more, and the hen that did hatch some eggs has started laying again. Also, the day length shouldn't have been a factor during August and September.
    Thanks for any help or suggestions you might have,
    Tina
    ps. The feed is about $26 per 40 pounds.
     
  6. BelleInBoots

    BelleInBoots Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2014
    West GA
    Thanks for the suggestions. My only motive for waiting would have been the cost of six months of organic feed with no returns. Except i guess healthier pulluts. But I get your point. I appreciate the brand suggestions. I will definitely look into them.
     
  7. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA

    15% protein is too low from what I've heard. Most layer feeds I have seen are 16-17%. We feed a 20% broiler feed, with egg or oyster shell on the side. They lay very well this way. You could try giving them organic fish meal to boost the protein, but mix it in with the feed so they don't just gobble it all down if you put it on the side. See if your feed store can order some for you. It will be expensive but will last you a while if you store it in a cool, dry place out of the light. Or for quick fix, try feeding them some organic ground beef.
     
  8. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    I feed mine Texas Naturals. It's a non gmo, non soy feed. It comes in 50lb bags, and I pay $25.00 a bag for it. I buy it at a local feed store. They carry the starter, broiler/grower, Layer (crumbles and pellets) and scratch. I just feed mine the starter, and put grit and oyster shell on the side. I like the higher protein, and I don't have to worry about the ones who haven't started laying yet eating the extra calcium in the layer.

    I was at Atwoods today, and noticed they had the organic feed. If I remember right, when I looked at the feed tag, the protein was around 11-12%. Much to low from what I've read, plus it is only 40 lbs and cost more than the Texas Natural feed. I have never fed mine anything else, except for house scraps, grass clippings, left over veggies from the garden and such.

    Maybe you can check around with the other feed stores and see if anyone carries a non gmo, non soy feed? I really think your protein content is what is affecting the egg output. Plus, if you give them any extra treats, it will bring the protein down even more.
     
  9. TinaOK

    TinaOK Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2010
    Pink, OK
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by henless [​IMG]

    I feed mine Texas Naturals. It's a non gmo, non soy feed. It comes in 50lb bags, and I pay $25.00 a bag for it. I buy it at a local feed store. They carry the starter, broiler/grower, Layer (crumbles and pellets) and scratch. I just feed mine the starter, and put grit and oyster shell on the side. I like the higher protein, and I don't have to worry about the ones who haven't started laying yet eating the extra calcium in the layer.

    I was at Atwoods today, and noticed they had the organic feed. If I remember right, when I looked at the feed tag, the protein was around 11-12%. Much to low from what I've read, plus it is only 40 lbs and cost more than the Texas Natural feed. I have never fed mine anything else, except for house scraps, grass clippings, left over veggies from the garden and such.

    Maybe you can check around with the other feed stores and see if anyone carries a non gmo, non soy feed? I really think your protein content is what is affecting the egg output. Plus, if you give them any extra treats, it will bring the protein down even more.

    I can get Texas Naturals (I'm pretty sure that's the brand), and have used it before finding the organic feed at Atwoods. I would just prefer to go organic. No other local place sells organic, but I can get the non GMO at the feed store.

    The Atwoods feed is 16% for the layer pellets. I'm not sure what the nutritional value is of the scratch feed, but I only give them a handful or two in the morning, for all the birds. I guess it might make the protein value go down doing that, but it seems like it is such a small amount of feed.

    My chickens are in a fenced yard (because of the dogs :-( ), but I do give them grass clippings when we mow (not very often, though).
    Tina
     

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