What to feed who??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by brandibaby23, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. brandibaby23

    brandibaby23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2009
    New Paris, Pa 15554
    I was wondering what kinds of feed to feed my chickens? I know the hens get layer for better egg production. I have Hens and roo's and what was a good food for everyone? And what is a good food for winter and a good food for health, feathers ect. Are there supplements I can give them to keep them looking bright and healthy? I just want to have good beautiful health birds. They all look pretty good but just curious. NOw I feed a trough of layer from tractor supply, and Some scratch type stuff from the farm bureau. But I have read about corn in the winter and stuff so any info on food, would be appreciated. Thank you all for your time [​IMG]
     
  2. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Layer will be fine for adult roosters. It's not good for chickens who are growing (under 18 weeks, according to the bag) due to the excess calcium. If you get Purina Layena from TSC it's really good feed, IMO. If that's what you're doing then you're probably feeding perfectly good food.


    Another option is to feed Purina Flock Raiser (also sold at TSC) to everyone and supplement the calcium for the layers by providing free choice oyster shell. They'll take what they need for egg production, and the younger birds or roosters won't get an excess. I have mixed ages right now, so that's how I learned about Flock Raiser, but my adult birds love it so I think that's what I'm gonna stick with feeding them. I'm getting good eggs and shells, so "if it ain't broke..."

    Remember that scratch is just a treat. I feed black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS) instead of chicken scratch. I was feeding 1/2 cup daily to 5 birds, but I have increased the amount as the youngsters have started eating it as well. Too much scratch can dilute the protein and nutrients that would otherwise be provided by their layer feed.
     
  3. brandibaby23

    brandibaby23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2009
    New Paris, Pa 15554
    thanks for the info! I saw at tractor supply yesterday the black sunflower seeds. I picture parrots eating them but chickens would just eat them whole huh? thats strange lol. my chickens won't eat oyster shells, they just look at it and me like why you give us rocks to eat. but they free range and i guess they eat little rocks and stuff. I am gonna try oyster shells here again. see if they pick up on it!
     
  4. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    They don't eat oyster shells unless they need them. If they are getting layer feed then they may not need any extra calcium to make nice hard eggshells out of. If you're getting hard-shelled eggs then they probably don't need to be eating the oyster shells anyway. "Layer" feed (no matter the brand) provides what is a good average for a healthy hen to produce an egg everyday, but some hens do need more calcium than agerage.

    I provide them oyster shells just in case. I'd rather they have it avaliable than not, because a calcium deficiency can lead to not only goopy, non-shelled eggs, but cause muscle problems with laying and therefore eggbinding troubles!!
     
  5. Bandit

    Bandit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 16, 2009
    Utah
    After reading some threads on protein percentage I switched from 15 % to 18 % protein layer crumbles and also added BOSS instead of scratch as a treat and they have started laying again even in the cold dark winter! It's the shortest day of the year and another one laid her first egg in 2 months so I am a believer!
     

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