Which Free Choice Minerals do I need?

chickengirl2016

Chirping
Aug 31, 2018
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Hello!
I have 5 chickens, all 22 weeks old. They are beginning to squat and put their wings out, stomping away :lau which is a sign that they are getting ready to start laying. They are currently still on grower feed, and we are planning on transitioning to layer feed soon. We eventually want to mix our own feed( is there a mineral blend i need to mix into homemade feed?), but even if we buy commercial feed, we want to offer free choice minerals for my girls.
We currently only have certain feed stores around, and we would like to be able to get whatever we buy locally and not have to order it. We have Orscheln's, TSC, Feldman's, and an assortment of grain and feed stores.
I know that chickens need Kelp and oyster shell and I was wondering if anyone has bought kelp from any of the places I listed above.
What other minerals do I need to offer?

Thanks!
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
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but even if we buy commercial feed, we want to offer free choice minerals for my girls.
If you offer a commercial feed it has all the minerals except maybe Calcium if an All-Flock feed. Then offer Oyster Shells separately.
In 31 months the only things I offer my original Flock, are Chicken feed (contains 38 different nutrients including Vitamins, Minerals, Amino acids, Prebiotics, Probiotics and Yeast. Oyster Shells in a separate container and Scratch Grains scattered around as a treat once a day. I just recently started to offer them a flake of Alfalfa hay occasionally.
If you mix your own feed you will need to add a vitamin/mineral pack, and maybe kelp and some other stuff. I've never made feed for chickens. Others have and may chime in.
I buy a quality Brand name feed fresh and my hens like it and give me 5 to 6 eggs each a week at 31 months of age. The feed is not Organic, nor Non GMO.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
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It's easiest and best to buy a quality all-flock feed and offer oyster shell separately. Get a feed that's fresh at your local feed stores (mill dates within a month or so) and feed it within six or eight weeks of that mill date.
You will spend a lot more money and have a hard time mixing feed yourself!
No chicken fed a balanced base ration needs any supplement except that oyster shell!
Mary
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
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Jul 16, 2015
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I have never heard or read that chickens need kelp. Buy a good fresh ration. Mixing your own feed may sound better but generally what happens is things aren't distributed properly through the whole batch, and there can be inconsistencies. Birds will pick out the best stuff and leave the healthy stuff.

I'm unaware of any form of minerals for chickens beyond oyster shells for calcium. Why complicate something as simple as buying feed. It's too easy to end up with deficiencies.
 

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