What to feed my flock?

lilmarie84

Songster
Mar 28, 2017
367
341
136
Kenner, LA.
This I my first flock its a small flock of 7 hen and 1 roo they are all 5 weeks old. My question is as they get older what do I feed them? I've read that too much calcium is toxic and wait to they start laying to give it to them in a separate container so that they eat is as the need it. The layer feed has calcium in it and I'm worried that if I feed them the layer that my roo will eat it as well when he doesn't need it like the girls do. So what can I feed them so that they all get the nutrition they need?
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,047
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
All flock, flock raiser, grower ration, etc are appropriate for mixed flocks like yours. Simply provide oyster shell as a calcium supplement for the hens who are actively laying at any given time
 

lilmarie84

Songster
Mar 28, 2017
367
341
136
Kenner, LA.
And its okay to continue feeding well into after they start laying as long as the girls have oyster shells for the calcium right? They all say from start until laying age of 18-20 weeks.
 

Dmontgomery

Songster
Apr 1, 2014
839
604
222
Longville, La
And its okay to continue feeding well into after they start laying as long as the girls have oyster shells for the calcium right? They all say from start until laying age of 18-20 weeks.

You can continue to feed them all flock/flock raiser forever if you choose to. The calcium supplement (oyster shell) is only needed when they start laying.
We have a mixed flock of hens, roosters, usually several chicks, and guineas. Everybody eats the same thing.
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
5,603
17,906
707
Cleveland OH
I have one rooster in a flock of ten... He just eats the layer feed along with everyone else to be honest. He's a very healthy and robust bird. Your results may vary. It was just too much hassle. They always tossed their oyster shell all over the lawn and then didn't eat it. Some of the really heavy layers just never ate enough oyster shell to keep up with their needs. They kept laying soft or thin-shelled eggs. Now they all just get layer feed.

If nobody was (or most birds weren't) laying yet, I would feed a non-layer feed though. Like an all-flock feed. Cause they don't need the calcium at that point.
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
5,603
17,906
707
Cleveland OH
Ah, I'd have to probably order that special. Not worth it when my flock seems to be doing well on the layer feed and I've already had such troubles. *shrug* But like I said, your results may vary.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,047
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
I have one rooster in a flock of ten... He just eats the layer feed along with everyone else to be honest. He's a very healthy and robust bird. Your results may vary. It was just too much hassle. They always tossed their oyster shell all over the lawn and then didn't eat it. Some of the really heavy layers just never ate enough oyster shell to keep up with their needs. They kept laying soft or thin-shelled eggs. Now they all just get layer feed.

If nobody was (or most birds weren't) laying yet, I would feed a non-layer feed though. Like an all-flock feed. Cause they don't need the calcium at that point.

The damage is internal and results in a shortened lifespan for any bird with no way to shed excess calcium (ie by producing egg shells). The cause of death only becomes apparent of a necropsy is performed
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
5,603
17,906
707
Cleveland OH
I dunno. He's four anna half right now. Not exactly sure how many more years I'd be keeping him around anyhow! :p A rooster's only good for so long, and for that matter I only wanna keep him around for so long because of my personal breeding program. Maybe another year or two? I'm looking into replacing him sometime in that time frame. Also, nearly all my eggs are coming out fertile. I just incubated a bunch last month. The only ones that weren't were from my oldest hen. Not to mention he's got amazing feather quality, beautiful sheen on the black tail feathers, very full. So it can't be all that bad.

But like I said, that's just my personal experience. I'm hardly a scientific study.
 

MamaChick74

Songster
May 27, 2017
123
80
116
New Hampshire USA
Any layer feed would be fine for the whole flock. I keep a dish of oyster shells mixed with my girls dried egg shells so they can get it when they want and need it. I add probiotic and electrolytes to their water too.
 

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