What To Feed Chickens During Hot Months?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KatsRule2759, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. KatsRule2759

    KatsRule2759 Out Of The Brooder

    74
    0
    39
    May 18, 2014
    Hello, I was wondering what grain is the best to feed your chickens during hot months? And what is best to feed them during hot months?

    I usually feed my bantams and I'm going to for my big hens now feed them scratch feed all year round.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    450
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Scratch is not a nutritionally complete feed. It has no vitamins or minerals and insufficient protein. They love it as a treat, though, and it is good to use to teach them to come when you call. They need a complete feed, such as layer feed or flock raiser feed. You can also use grower as an all purpose feed though you will probably have to offer oyster shell (separately) if you do, for the calcium. Whichever feed you choose can be fed all year.
     
  3. KatsRule2759

    KatsRule2759 Out Of The Brooder

    74
    0
    39
    May 18, 2014
    Thank you. What is flock raiser feed? When you say grower you mean the layer grower correct?

    Will the layer pellets hurt roosters? Because I have my roosters in with my hens.

    I give my big hens scratch, oyster shells, and layer pellets. I give my bantams scratch and oyster shells.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  4. KatsRule2759

    KatsRule2759 Out Of The Brooder

    74
    0
    39
    May 18, 2014
    When you say layer feed do you mean layer pellets or some other type of feed?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    450
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Layer feed and layer pellets are the same thing except for the texture, or the sixxe of the pieces. "Granules" and "pellets" refer only to the size of the pieces. Baby chick feed is in very small granules, grower and flock raiser granules in larger pieces. Pellets just means the feed has been formed into pieces that don't fall apart, so you get a lot less "dust" at the bottom of the feed bowl, and therefore less waste. But the pieces are big enough that the chicken needs to be near full size, as they are when they start laying, to handle them comfortably. Some people find their chickens seem to refuse the pellets when they are accustomed to a crumble texture, but actually, if they have only pellets available, they will accept it fine when they get a bit hungry.

    By the way, you should not mix scratch with their regular feed because they will pick out the scratch and leave the rest. Think of scratch as candy -- it's fine for a treat but you have to be sure the kids eat ther regular meals, too.

    Layer has extra calcium to help the hens make strong eggshells. Grower is intended for chicks about 8 wees to laying age, but is also fine for mature flocks, male or female. While many people do feed their roosters layer, it is best to feed a flock raiser feed so that the males don't get that extra calcium, which can cause harm, expecially long term. Since you have cockerels, if your feed store doesn't have flock raiser, ask them to order some -- or just use grower feed as your adult feed. You will also want to offer a small bowl of oyster shell so it is available for any laying hens who need it. You will be surprised how little of this they eat, even when fed flock raiser without the added calcium.

    Here is an article about some effects of excess calcium :

    http://www.hyline.com/aspx/redbook/redbook.aspx?s=5&p=36
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  6. KatsRule2759

    KatsRule2759 Out Of The Brooder

    74
    0
    39
    May 18, 2014
    Thank you for the info. Is there a brand name for the flock raiser or a formal name for it?

    Can you get flock raiser from Tractor Supply?

    So when you say feed my flock grower you're talking about layer grower crumbles correct?
     
  7. KatsRule2759

    KatsRule2759 Out Of The Brooder

    74
    0
    39
    May 18, 2014
    Is flock raiser just for growing chicks? Because almost all of my chickens are grown.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  8. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,384
    305
    148
    Jun 10, 2014
    Flock raiser type feeds are fine for birds of all ages - they're meant to be fed to mixed flocks.
     
  9. KatsRule2759

    KatsRule2759 Out Of The Brooder

    74
    0
    39
    May 18, 2014
    Thank you for the info. Is there a brand name for the flock raiser or a formal name for it?

    Can you get flock raiser from Tractor Supply?
     
  10. Honey B

    Honey B Chillin' With My Peeps

    508
    26
    98
    Feb 1, 2015
    Georgia
    Yes, TSC has a few different brands of flock raiser. Purina is what we typically feed our flock.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by