What to feed my rooster?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by animalluv0512, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. animalluv0512

    animalluv0512 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a rooster and I am currently feeding my hens scratch ( I'm switching to layer as soon as I run out of scratch which will be soon) and was just curious as to if it is okay to feed my rooster the same food as my hens? I have done some lookin on here, but I was just wondering. I want him to be healthy so he can help protect my hens. Thank yall in advance!!
     
  2. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well,scratch is actually a treat.Yes,it helps,but can make them sick,if too much,and gives their poop a bad smell.

    Do you free range?If so,a daily freerange is good until you switch to layer feed.
     
  3. hennible

    hennible Overrun With Chickens

    So if you'd like you could go with a flock raiser formula and offer the hens free choice Oyster shell, rather than using a high calcium layer formula... the calcium can start to harm your rooster, not exactly sure how but it apparently it shortens their life expectancy... Scratch is just a treat, it should only make up 10% or less of their diet
     
  4. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Long-term feeding of layer feed to roosters can result in visceral gout and kidney failure. Lots of people feed their whole flock layer feed (including the rooster) because it's convenient. But it's hard on the rooster's health. If you intend to cull the rooster fairly quickly (for stew, etc) then go ahead and feed layer feed, but if you want to keep him, do something like what hennible suggested.

    Excessive calcium is especially dangerous for chicks under 18 weeks of age. It's also not good for any hen not laying, whether she is not laying due to molt, old age, illness, broodiness, etc.

    You can feed chick starter, grower, broiler, turkey broiler, basically any chicken feed other than layer feed. Just keep a small dish of crushed oyster shell (you get it at the feed store) on the side. The chickens who need extra calcium (the hens/pullets currently laying), will eat the oyster shell when they need it. Chicks or roosters may peck at the shell occasionally, but will mostly leave it alone.

    I also concur with PRfan that scratch is not a complete feed. If you want more eggs and healthy birds, be sure to feed a complete feed. You can still feed scratch if you want, but as a treat limited to 10% of their diet.
     
  5. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not only this,scratch has caused diseases,and a more gross smell to chickens poop.
     
  6. animalluv0512

    animalluv0512 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am just making sure that I'm understanding everyone correctly, y'all are saying I should feed my whole flock grower and have oyster shells available? That way everyone will be healthy?? Thanks for all the feedback!
     
  7. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, that's what we're saying. Way more simple and healthier for a mixed backyard flock.
     
  8. Ol Grey Mare

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

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    X 2 - it eliminates all the issues of worrying about who is eating what since only actively laying birds require the calcium in layer feed (which means any female too old, too young, broody, molting, etc and male birds do not need it)
     
  9. animalluv0512

    animalluv0512 Out Of The Brooder

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    GREAT! Now I'll healthy chickens!
     
  10. Bock Bock Lady

    Bock Bock Lady Out Of The Brooder

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    Good info! I have been feeding my hens and rooster layer feed ever since they got old enough (about 9 months now). Does anyone know if we can clean and crush our own oyster shells? I live in the Washington State Puget Sound area and have tons of shells available to me all over the place.
     

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