What Kind Of Feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChickenGirl3, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. ChickenGirl3

    ChickenGirl3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 27, 2010
    Hello Everyone,
    I'm getting a new pullet tomorrow and I wanted to get her on the right foot. I have been feeding my small flock scratch mixed with laying feed, I heard this mix is only good in winter. I need to get them some more feed and I don't know what kind I should get, do you have to mix the laying feed with some chick starter or do you just give them laying feed. I don't really know this, kinda not really new to chickens, but I don't want my new pullet to get fat. What feed [​IMG] !

    Another question... When ever one of my hen walks one of her toes bends to the side, Is is broken!!!! I hope not [​IMG] ! [​IMG]
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
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    Grower, flock raiser or a combo starter/grower until they are laying, then usually people switch to layer, though some use a flock raiser type feed for the higher protein. You should not be mixing scratch with the layer. Scratch is usually about 7% protein, much less than layer, and is like candy to them. It's OK as a treat, in small amounts, given separately, only. Oyster shell, like grit, should be offered in separate containers, the former in case they need extra calcium and the latter is something all chickens need to digest their food.

    I had a roo with a toe like that. He limped just a tiny bit, did not seem bothered by it, lived a good roo life, was a great roo. It could be from an injury or it could have happened in the egg, either a genetic problem or a hatching problem. It's a bit late to try to fix it now. Hopefully she will do well on her crooked toe; they often do.
     
  3. ChickenGirl3

    ChickenGirl3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 27, 2010
    Quote:Is is okay to give the pullet laying feed with the other hens? Do you get grit in any feed store or is it in the mix, so I shouldn't mix the feeds together? I would do oyster shell with grower feed? Can my laying hens have grower feed?


    My hen doesn't seem to be limping, she is just fine. It just sometimes happens.


    THANK YOU [​IMG] !
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Let's see. The pullet should not get layer unless she is laying age, around 20 weeks for many breeds. Grit and oyster shell are both sold separately at my TSC (the only place I can find them) in fairly small bags that run less than $10 each. It takes them forever to go through a small bag (somewhere around a quart of the stuff) so I've never looked for larger, more economical sizes, but I know they exist. Oyster shell is for layers. Layer is essentially grower or flock raise with extra calcium. Layers need the calcium and younger birds can be harmed by it; it is rough on kidneys, for one thing. You keep both oyster shell and grit in separate containers because you don't want to force anyone to eat it, only make it available for anyone who needs it. A used soda pop bottle, cut off and wired to the side of the pen, is an easy and cheap way to offer it. They don't need a lot. Baby chicks may eat a bit of the oyster shell but not much.

    I actually have switched to grower for my layers because it has a bit more protein. This makes oyster shell even more important, of course. I'm still switching over so can't tell that more oyster shell is being eaten, at least not yet.

    About the only reason to mix feed is when switching them from one feed to another, the purpose being to get them used to the new feed gradually, as chickens don't like change at all, and accept changes more readily this way.

    Am I clear as mud? Anything else?
     
  5. ChickenGirl3

    ChickenGirl3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 27, 2010
    One more question... How do I keep my pullet from not eating the oyster shell? One coop only for 5 do i just stop giving my hens layer feed/ oyster shell? I've been giving my hens rice and they have been laying really good. [​IMG] !
    Is it okay for the hens to eat grower feed?

    Thanks
     
  6. BankerJohn

    BankerJohn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't worry about offering something (oyster shell or layer feed) too soon. Younger birds seem to prefer crumbles - but crumbles can be messy as chickens are SLOPPY eaters. If it were me, and this is MY opinion, I'd just put the food and grit out for them and let the birds choose what they want.

    As for brands of feed... I have no opinion here. I am of the belief that most reputable feed stores will not sell poor quality feed. That being said, it is kinda like white milk... is one less expensive than another?! Now that my birds are older, I only feed pellets since the pullets are much easier to keep the pen clean (chickens peck the pellets that fall out of the feeder).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ChickenGirl3

    ChickenGirl3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, I'm picking up my pullet in a couple of minutes! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011

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