Was I bamboozled by a TS employee?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chanamarie, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. chanamarie

    chanamarie Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, I know this is discussed constantly here, and I thought I had it down, but a Tractor Store employee has confused me (and maybe he was just plain wrong!)...

    I have a flock of chickens...recently laying chickens, soon-to-be-laying chickens, will-lay-in -the-Spring chickens, and young roosters. I have been feeding them Purina's Flock Raiser with oyster on the side in a separate dish. They also (usually) get healthy table scraps for lunch, a small handful of scratch at bed-time and my non-Silkies forage all day (Silkies are in an enclosed coop/run).

    I went to buy a new bag of Flock Raiser and a TS employee ran over and pointed me in the direction of Nutrena Layer feed. He said the brand was better for the same price and if I have any birds that are laying, they must have layer feed. I told him what I was doing and he kept saying that they must have layer feed. He was so emphatic, I bought it. But now I'm checking on here and think I could have been right (that it's not great to feed my roosters that and it was ok with All Flock and oyster on the side).

    To throw a curveball in there, he also said a lot of people give a feed for meat birds in the winter because of the extra protein.

    AND he said I should never feed bread type products to birds under 18 weeks as they can develop a condition called...angel wings? Too late for these, but in the future (I always fed my chicks grit when I started introducing non-chick crumb into their diet, if that makes a difference) what's the deal with this?

    Please help me sort fact from fiction!
     
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, you were right. Flockraiser is fine, as long as you offer oyster shell for the laying birds. The biggest concern is probably feeding layer feed to birds that are younger than laying age, which it sounds like you have.

    Some people do feed a higher protein feed (which could include meat feed) during molting and winter. It's not necessary, but can be done.

    The angel wing thing is more than likely fiction. lol Angel wing does exist, but I believe it's genetic, not from eating bread products. Don't worry about feeding your chickens table scraps in moderation as long as you're also offering grit.

    Everyone has opinions on the right way to raise chickens - including me. [​IMG] He was probably super excited to share his with you tonight!
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    No, you never actually have to purchase layer feed at all. All a laying hen needs is access to a source of calcium, which can easily be provided. They will take what they need. Flock Raiser is the only thing I have ever fed.
    Angel wings occurs in ducks, and is caused by a thiamine deficiency, which is why you should never feed ducklings medicated starter. It is not a normal occurrence in chickens, regardless of what is fed.
    Most TSC employees have little first hand knowledge when it comes to raising any sort of poultry. They aren't very well trained either. You can't trust that they know what they are talking about. Return the layer feed. It is not a safe or appropriate choice for your flock. The effects of high calcium diets in non-laying birds is well researched. Numerous studies have been conducted and the results are unanimous. It will cause kidney damage to the point of kidney failure, resulting in death.
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    The bread is not good for Chickens...The reason is it can cause sour crop and impacted crop........Yes....Angel wing is in Ducks.....Feed the Flock feed.....


    Cheers!
     
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi. [​IMG]

    Ever heard the saying "the road to hell was paved with good intentions"? This is one of those times.

    You were right, the employee was incorrect. I would do as Junebuggena suggested and return the layer feed. Too much calcium is bad for your non layers, you already know. And it has no bearing if you already fed some out. The store will still take it back. You didn't do it intentionally. They shouldn't have any problem.

    Those people who switch to higher protein during winter is probably because they are feeding 16% layer which is the bare minimum to sustain a layer. But meat bird feed won't have the calcium for layers, so what gives? Has he ever read a nutrition label from the bottom of the bag? Here's my proof.
    http://ucanr.edu/sites/poultry/files/186894.pdf

    I also use Purina Flock Raiser for my mixed age and gender flock. It's what is available at an affordable price. Other than returning 5 bags of pellets because they were molded in the middle, no problems. I usually by the crumble. The LFS owner said Purina gets mold more often then some others. I had been thinking about buying a pallet until that incident. I would have no way of proving it wasn't my storage that caused it.

    Also I have heard of bread causing sour crop but don't think it's age related. Funny how people repeat what they hear without ever finding out for themselves. Most feed store employees have zero animal husbandry experience. Listen to what they have to say, maybe tell them you will consider it. But ALWAYS go with your gut. [​IMG]
     
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  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    1. Since some of your birds won't lay till spring, you are appropriate in choosing a Multi-Flock feed. I'd try to stay under 20%. If it's a 22% feed, you can accomplish that by tossing some scratch on the floor every day. That's just my choice to hold the protein down just a tad, nothing written based on science!

    2. Nutrena, really? How much more does the Nutrena cost than their store brand? If he's so sold on "must have layer" why didn't he direct you to the store brand so you could save some money???

    3. I can see the extra protein, but he's speaking out of both sides of his mouth. The difference between the feed for meat birds consists in perhaps a bit more protein, and a lot less calcium. Again, this employee is doing double speak. If you used the meat feed, you'd be depriving your birds of all that calcium, which by insisting that you buy layer he insists that they must have.

    4. As for bread and angel wing. I did a google search. While this condition does occur occasionally in chickens, it is mostly associated with water fowl. Again, information is totally contradictory. Some text suggests that angel wing is caused by growth occurring too fast, causing joint deformity. PP stated that it was associated with thiamine deficiency which is why ducks should never be given medicated feed. Breads have thiamine added. I simply avoid bread most of the time, b/c I consider it to be inferior in overall nutrition.

    If I were you, I'd march that bag of feed back to the store, and demand the feed that you originally intended to buy. Also check the mill dates when you buy feed. Old feed is woefully lacking in nutrients. (one feed expert says that past 42 days, the feed is deteriorating to the point that nutrients are lacking.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
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  7. chanamarie

    chanamarie Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone. Glad I kept my receipt, but so annoying!
     
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Another myth? That layer feed is bad for roosters. Poppycock. Been feeding layer feed to all ages for 40 yrs without any health issues at all....never have illness in my flocks. They consume MUCH higher calcium levels in simple clover than they could ever get in layer rations, so the whole calcium debate is a moot point.
     
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  9. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    I feed Flock Raiser, but more for the ease of my ducks (usually many ages and lots of ducklings) as it has the Niacin levels they need that chick feed does not...

    But x2 Beekissed... I know many that feed layer all the time once they're all adults w/out issues...

    And to clarify Angel Wing is indeed a duck issue, but it has NOTHING to do with Thiamine nor is there any harm with feeding medicated starter anymore... medicated used to mean it contained other things, now it is just an added coccidistat which just is almost always unnecessary for ducks...

    Angel Wing is caused by either being genetic or too high of protein levels being fed while they are young... 20% is fine, but I never recommend higher... adding a handful of catfish/koi pellets while molting gives them a temporary extra protein boost without overdoing it...

    Chickens get split wing, not angel wing...
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
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  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    I found my roosters die at about age 4 when eating layer. They now live longer eating an all flock. Just what I have noticed.
     
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