Which Feed in What Order?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MamaDragon, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    258
    2
    131
    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    Let me see if I have all this straight.....

    Chicks from shell to 8 weeks old - Chick Starter (medicated or unmedicated) or Mash, free choice.

    Chicks from 8 weeks to 20ish weeks(point of lay) - Grower Finisher?

    If Laying Hens only - Layer Pellets.
    If Mixed Flock (hens, roos, adolescents, etc) a General Purpose feed, with oyster shell supplemented free choice.
    Mama with chicks in confinement - Chick Starter for all.

    Scratch is recommended as an occasional "treat", not regular diet?
    What protein levels do I need to have for the general purpose feed?
    Any other content numbers/levels I need to watch?
    What, if anything, do I need to supplement?

    By chance, is there ONE feed that I can give to all and not have any growth loss/slowdown or ill effects? It would sure make trips to the feed store much simpler.

    Kathy
     
  2. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    Quote:Sure does get confusing.

    Chicks from 8 weeks to 20ish weeks(point of lay) - Grower Finisher?

    I thought that was just for broilers?

    By chance, is there ONE feed that I can give to all and not have any growth loss/slowdown or ill effects? It would sure make trips to the feed store much simpler.

    There's flockraiser, but my breeder doesn't like it.​
     
  3. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    258
    2
    131
    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    "There's flockraiser, but my breeder doesn't like it."

    Do you happen to know WHY he/she doesn't like it?

    I've got to go buy more feed today, and would much rather buy one 50# bag than two 0r three 25#'s.

    Kathy
     
  4. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Flock raiser can be used for all your birds. If my feed store carried it, that's what I'd be using. [​IMG]
     
  5. KKluckers

    KKluckers Time Out

    Sep 4, 2007
    I like flockraiser and that is what is recommended for larger breeds as a grower.
     
  6. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    18
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Hi Kathy,

    To do a real good job in answering your questions, we'd probably need a degree in animal nutrition but I'll take a shot at a couple:

    Scratch is recommended as an occasional "treat", not regular diet?

    Scratch varies widely depending on the source. It is possible to have mixed grains account for as much as 50% of the diet but that would really require good quality grain and supplementation of a fairly exact nature. 1 2

    What protein levels do I need to have for the general purpose feed?

    If you have a mixed flock, the protein level of the general purpose feed should meet the minimum needs of the most needy - generally the babies. Chicks should have a ration with about 20% protein. They probably won't be sampling much of the other sorts of things the flock could get like table scraps. My chickens don't get very adventuresome until they are about 8 weeks old so as they consume more of this-and-that, the protein level of their diet goes down. That is as it should be.

    Any other content numbers/levels I need to watch? What, if anything, do I need to supplement?

    There's where we need the animal nutritionist . . . remember that a chick does NOT need high-calcium layer feed. It isn't going to kill it in a day or 2 but it can't eliminate all that excess calcium since it isn't laying and producing egg shells. With a mixed flock, the free-choice oyster shells are there for the hens who develop a hunger for the extra calcium and can be counted on (we believe) to eat oyster shell to meet their requirements.

    By chance, is there ONE feed that I can give to all and not have any growth loss/slowdown or ill effects? It would sure make trips to the feed store much simpler.

    Flock Raiser has been my choice for getting pullets to laying hen age the last couple of go-arounds. I may just stay on that with this current batch of birds but I no longer have a mixed-age flock and haven't for years. Don't remember what I did in the past. They like the Flock Raiser and I give them lots of things from the garden and kitchen so it may be a good choice rather than turning to a lower-protein layer feed. Of course, the oyster shells need to be available to them.

    Steve​
     
  7. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    He recommends feeding everybody their own food, not everyone the same thing. I'm hopelessly confused myself...
     
  8. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    25,576
    88
    421
    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    I used grower until 8 weeks of age, then switched to Flock Raiser. I had various ages and breeds in my juvenile pen, from 8 weeks up to 16 weeks, and I've had no issue with it. My youngest in that pen are now 22 weeks, and are beginning to lay. Eggs have been fine, no issues. [​IMG]

    Once they began to lay, I put out a dog dish in the run of Layena pellets; I have not supplemented with oyster shell yet, as egg shells are quite hard. I will probably add oyster shell this week. I believe I'll continue with the grower to 8 weeks, then the Flock Raiser, as I've been very pleased with the results.
     
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    18
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    "There's flockraiser, but my breeder doesn't like it."

    Do you happen to know WHY he/she doesn't like it?

    Here's a guess: As they mature, chicks require less protein. With a diet too high in protein, you can actually "push" their development too fast and they may begin laying while they are still small and otherwise immature. This isn't good for the bird, isn't good for egg production nor for egg quality.

    Most of us with our backyard flocks are giving them so many treats by the time they are 3 or 4 months old that their diets have lower protein than the grower feed, anyway. (Some of us really have to watch this tendency [​IMG] . . . . remember that a pullet is only eating about 1/4 pound of food a day. If half of it is grape jelly sandwiches with white bread . . . :eek:)

    Steve​
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  10. cluckychick

    cluckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    So instead of layer pellets I should be feeding flock raiser?? I have hens for eggs and two silkie roosters. Can I feed flock raiser?? It's alittle cheaper then the layer pellets.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by