What to Feed Hens and Roosters?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KatsRule2759, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. KatsRule2759

    KatsRule2759 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello, I was wondering what is best to feed laying hens and rooster(s) that are in the same pen?

    Thank you for your help.
     
  2. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    An all flock or Flocck raiser type feed with oyster shell on the side would be best.
     
  3. KatsRule2759

    KatsRule2759 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. What is all flock feed? What store sells it?

    Is flock raiser feed for laying hens? Because it seems that it's for use until they lay their first egg.

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  4. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes you can feed an all flock/flock raiser type feed to laying hens. I feed it to all my birds, from chicks to old timers. I leave out oyster shell for the hens in case they are looking for calcium. Layer feed has 3-4% calcium added, roosters do not need it.

    Purina makes Flock Raiser, Agway carries Nutrena All Flock, Blue Seal/Kent have Multi Flock feeds. Your local feed store should have something equivalent.
     
  5. KatsRule2759

    KatsRule2759 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. Isn't it ok just to feed them layer pellets without it harming the roosters?

    Thank you for answering my questions.
     
  6. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, layer has too much calcium for roosters and damages their kidneys. You can simply stick with a grower feed or you can buy one that is labeled "all flock" or "flock raiser". With either of these choices, you need to offer oyster shells free choice for the hens.
     
  7. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Most feed rations labeled "layer" carry enough calcium for a hen to produce an egg. Their needs vary which is why people supplement oyster shell. A rooster may live for many years eating a layer ration, but may not be at optimum health. Feeds labeled "finisher" that contain around 17% protein are fine since they have around 1% calcium instead of 3-4% layer rations contain. With hens, oyster shell must be available. It is also a good practice to supplement water with poultry vitamins 2-3 times a week.
     
  8. KatsRule2759

    KatsRule2759 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all for the info. The flock raiser feed won't hurt non laying hens will it?

    HighStreetCoop when you say grower feed are you referring to the grower that you feed them when they're growing up and that it's ok to give them the non medicated version of it?

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You need to learn to read the labels on feed bags for the key ingredients, as the names of the feed can be misleading or hard to understand at first.
    Layer feed usually has about 16% protein and 4% calcium...best to use just for laying hens.
    'Starter and 'grower' types can have anywhere between 18-22% protein.

    The 'all flock or 'flock raiser' type usually has about 20% protein and 1% calcium.......
    .......pretty good for all ages but laying hens will need a separate a container of oyster shell available at all times for their calcium needs.

    You also need to take into account any other foods/treats you might be giving them.

    I like to feed a 'flock raiser' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and all 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.

    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.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer.
     
  10. KatsRule2759

    KatsRule2759 Out Of The Brooder

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    aart thank you for the info. What is the name of the flock raiser that you use? Do they waste any of it by not eating some of it?

    Thank you.
     

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