What do I feed a flock of mixed ages?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by christineum, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. christineum

    christineum New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Sep 11, 2013
    North Texas
    I have about 40 or so chickens. The oldest are about 22 weeks and are just starting to lay. The youngest are 4 weeks and I have just about every age in between. I am currently feeding unmedicated chick starter and a bowl full of scratch grains thrown out once a day. When do I switch to layer feed if I have a flock of mixed ages?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Keep on doing just what you've been doing. Starter and a little scratch is about perfect. Once everyone is of laying age, you could make a change to Layer, if you wish. Starter, Grower, Raiser are all good for an All Flock type feed.

    Since you already have some birds at point of lay it is time to provide a calcium supplement, like crushed shells, on the side. Normally only the laying hens have much to do with it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I'm very happy to hear someone is doing right by their birds and feeding the proper way :) I hear so many stories of people feeding layer even though they still have young chicks eating the food.

    Unmedicated starter is what I feed my entire flock year round. I also feed scratch. I mix them together and soak. Oyster shell can be offered on the side for your birds that need it.
     
  4. PineTopFarm

    PineTopFarm Out Of The Brooder

    71
    7
    37
    Dec 13, 2012
    Hollister, Mo

    Good to know. I hatch using broody hens so I have chicks of various ages most of the year. Grower feed plus supplemental calcium is all I use.
     
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Check your protein in the grower. I found it was too low for my growing chicks. They feathered out too slow for my liking. My grower was only 15% protein.
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    As Aoxa said, not all Growers are created equal. We actually prefer an All Poultry Grower for chickens/turkeys/game birds which is 19.5% protein, with animal protein content. Good product, locally milled and sacked. Can't beat the price either, $21 a 100#.

    I'm a feed tag reader. Not everyone is.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I hate when you talk about your prices. So jealous.

    I'd buy that in an instant too Fred. Really wish they had something of that quality and price here. I have looked into making my own feed, but we don't have what it takes in ingredients either. My local store doesn't even carry fish meal.
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Retail store prices are very high here and will likely go higher. The basic grains of feeds has skyrocketed over the past 4 years. Does the blame belong to competition for grains from ethanol? Who knows. Retail feeds also get trucked everywhere and with fuel over $4 a gallon, the feed price reflects it.

    The only way to save a bit on feed is a local mill, using lots of locally produced grains to cut down the trucking and handling, of course. Feed grains are heavy and there isn't that much margin on the products. I don't think anyone is getting rich off them. And while it is nice that some BYC folks use organic products and so forth, the double the cost prevents me from doing so. Just cannot.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  9. PineTopFarm

    PineTopFarm Out Of The Brooder

    71
    7
    37
    Dec 13, 2012
    Hollister, Mo
    My protein content is 17%. My local feed store has a game bird feed but not an "all poultry" option. Would the game feed be better than chick grower?
     
  10. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I doubt there would be much difference in content. If the texture is the same, then go with price, I suppose.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by