Why only 16% available for layers?

linguini

Chirping
Jan 8, 2021
116
178
98
Bridgewater NJ (Central NJ)
There is usually 22% chick crumble or 19% grower and 18, 17 and 16% layer/breeder pellets that I’ve seen, if they only have 16% layer then I buy 22% game pellets and mix them
Edit: I should add that game pellets sometimes don’t have selenium added
That's another problem I encountered - pellet vs crumbles. There seems to be much less choices in crumbles. Perhaps I should try a 5lb pellets to see if my chooks will take them.
 

kerbotx

Songster
Aug 29, 2016
211
348
171
Northeast Texas
Does anyone know where to find layer feed with > 16% protein?
Kalmbach Feeds has a few options at 17% protein, some of which is available on chewy.com. Nutrena's Feather Fixer can be fed as a layer feed, year-round, at 18%. There's not a great deal of variety in my area; this is all I've come across locally/online so far!
 

linguini

Chirping
Jan 8, 2021
116
178
98
Bridgewater NJ (Central NJ)
That's the recipe I started with. I for instance, rarely feed the alfalfa pellets because they don't like them and my crews are on pasture year-round in SE TX. But that exact recipe is 1 penny a pound CHEAPER than the organic pellets I was buying at tractor supply. And these are all organic whole seeds so if they get left behind they just grow, not rot like pellets. Another advantage of this feed is you can soak, ferment, sprout, or grow to fodder all these seeds which your chickens will love and will extend the #s of seed by up to 6x, saving you tons of money on the best thing you can possibly feed your chickens over the big box bags. Plus all the feed sacks are compostable vs the plastic trash feed bags from the stores. Feed is my passion!
Thanks again! I will try to be brave and take one step at a time :) Just got a 5lb wheat berries yesterday and started soaking - attempting to grow the wheat grass!
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,488
36,028
1,096
southern Michigan
The 16% layer feeds are designed for smaller laying hens in confinement, who are fed nothing else. If your birds are also eating goodies that you offer, and if one or more aren't actually laying eggs, the extra calcium and lower protein feed isn't best.
Here we have males, females, hens laying eggs, and some not, so the 20% all flock diet, with separate oyster shell, is best.
It's important to check the mill date on each bag of feed, so that you can feed it within about two months of milling, for best freshness and vitamin content. old food isn't better!
And you still have pullets, under one year of age. Hens are twelve months of age or older.
Mary
 

linguini

Chirping
Jan 8, 2021
116
178
98
Bridgewater NJ (Central NJ)
The 16% layer feeds are designed for smaller laying hens in confinement, who are fed nothing else. If your birds are also eating goodies that you offer, and if one or more aren't actually laying eggs, the extra calcium and lower protein feed isn't best.
Here we have males, females, hens laying eggs, and some not, so the 20% all flock diet, with separate oyster shell, is best.
It's important to check the mill date on each bag of feed, so that you can feed it within about two months of milling, for best freshness and vitamin content. old food isn't better!
And you still have pullets, under one year of age. Hens are twelve months of age or older.
Mary

Thanks! Two are still not laying - and not a coincident, these two are the two at the bottom of the pecking order. So, when I give them treats at the end of the day, I have to hand feed these two so that they do get something. They all get to go out "free range" on an extended covered yard during the day - but the yard has only grass, nothing else. I've tried giving them wet mash, FF, and one bowl of mixed vege leftover from kitchen (or I always have extra cabbages for them), plus a handful of scratch treats, meal worm, sun flower seeds with the FF or wet feed. I also got oyster shell on the side for them.
I made a big beginner error by buying 2 bags of 50lb 16% layer feed - not knowing about the transitional approach. Trying to undo all the errors!!
 

SwampFlock

Songster
Nov 28, 2020
63
179
106
Thanks again! I will try to be brave and take one step at a time :) Just got a 5lb wheat berries yesterday and started soaking - attempting to grow the wheat grass!
Don't be discouraged if your birds take a day or two to get used to ANYTHING different you try but they will LOVE them soon enough! Just have fun with it. Pellets are great too so they're getting what they need either way. Experimenting with feed is just kinda my jam right now. YouTube is the best source for knowledge!
 

SwampFlock

Songster
Nov 28, 2020
63
179
106
Thanks! Two are still not laying - and not a coincident, these two are the two at the bottom of the pecking order. So, when I give them treats at the end of the day, I have to hand feed these two so that they do get something. They all get to go out "free range" on an extended covered yard during the day - but the yard has only grass, nothing else. I've tried giving them wet mash, FF, and one bowl of mixed vege leftover from kitchen (or I always have extra cabbages for them), plus a han dful of scratch treats, meal worm, sun flower seeds with the FF or wet feed. I also got oyster shell on the side for them.
I made a big beginner error by buying 2 bags of 50lb 16% layer feed - not knowing about the transitional approach. Trying to undo all the errors!!
Wow your birds are living the life!! I have a lil bottom hen too. I always sneak her stuff😇
 

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