What should I feed a mixed flock

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by warren86, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. warren86

    warren86 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a mixed flock of around 37 hens some are not laying yet but prolly within a month or so.. Some that are laying..some molting..some with some age I think 2 1/2 years or older..question is should I be feeding layer pellets or should I be feeding something that helps all of them young old and molting..I'm feeding a layer pellet that's 16% and some whole corn and treats occasionally
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Layer feed is for actively laying birds ONLY. The calcium level is way too high for birds that aren't producing eggshells. All flock, flock raiser, grower, or even starter are better, and safer options. The only extra thing that layers will need is a source of calcium.
     
  3. warren86

    warren86 Out Of The Brooder

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    In addition they free range all day and it's offered free choice
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    It's just much simpler to purchase one feed that is safe for everyone. And layer feed is not safe for any birds that aren't actively producing eggs. There have been many studies done on the effects of feeding chickens high calcium diets. Calcium is not something that is easily expelled from their systems. It gradually builds up in the organs, primarily the kidneys, and will eventually cause kidney failure and death.
    And 16% protein just isn't enough for the younger birds that are still growing and developing, or for the molting birds.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
  5. warren86

    warren86 Out Of The Brooder

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    They have been on it layer pellets for about 3 weeks so it would be alright to go ahead and change to an All Flock feed? I also offer oyster shells free choice
     
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi. [​IMG]

    My personal choice is Flock Raiser for my mixed age and gender flock. As stated by @junebuggena , way to much calcium for non layers. You should be fine to switch. And you offer OS free choice on the side, so that's perfect.

    Limit the corn to since it's like candy. [​IMG] Also it digest warm, so maybe not when your weather is hot. But right before bed if your freezing.

    Good job, looking out for your WHOLE flock! [​IMG]
     
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I also feed Flock Raiser to everyone, with a side of oyster shell. Easy! Also a very small amount of scratch as a treat, and they range outside most days. Mary
     
  8. warren86

    warren86 Out Of The Brooder

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    I switched to flock raiser and you think I never feed my chickens lol they are crazy over it
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They were hungry for protein! Yummm!

    I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble full time to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
     
  10. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    X 2 on all counts!
     

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