Question about feed

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Happy
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Question about feed

Post by Happy » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:43 am

Since I have layers and non-layers in my flock I have been feeding everyone "Pullet Grower" ever since the younger ones were added into the coop. The only brand available at my local feed store is Masterfeeds and has 16% crude protein...which is less than even the layer feed I had used before. I have questioned them on other brands available with higher protein levels but not really getting anywhere. My flock free ranges so I'm sure they supplement their protein but with molt and winter coming on I would really like to find an alternative with more protein for them. Before I start driving around to other feed stores does anyone have any suggestions on brand and/or what protein % I should be aiming for? My young girls aren't showing any sign of laying soon (5 1/2 month LF Cochin's) and my layers are happily upping their oyster shell consumption so I'm not looking to switch to layer formula yet. They do get BOSS as a treat as well. Appreciate any help :)
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Question about feed

Post by baronrenfrew » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:23 pm

For feed, i suggest you mix duck starter (almost a crumble) or duck grower (usually pellets) both are over 20% protein and should be the same price as the feed you get now. Turkey starter used to be 28% protein but be 100% certain its not medicated. Game bird feed (typically 24% protein) is good but likely priced ridiculously high. Game bird people (pheasants, quails, partridges etc.) used to feed non-med turkey starter mixed with cracked corn (15% protein) so you'd average at 22% protein. A scratch grain will be 14 a 15% protein.
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Question about feed

Post by baronrenfrew » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:26 pm

Fyi A chicken layer mix likely has added calcium. Otherwise feel free to use the above feeds in any mix. If you feed medicated food the eggs should not be eaten or a bird butchered for three weeks.

One thing between feeds or "brands" is that some "taste" better than others. If I buy feed from TSC hardware (i can't think of the name brand) the chickens don't like it and will almost starve until they eat it.
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WLLady
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Question about feed

Post by WLLady » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:37 pm

wow, my grower feed is 22%...from the local feed store....
is there another feed store near you? or reasonably near you? otherwise baron's suggestions are right on....duck, game bird, turkey grower.
Another thing you can do, but i only have done short term for moulting is some dry pelleted cat food...i don't know what it would do if fed all the time...i usually only use it for birds in hard moult (going naked kind of moult) for about 2 weeks. it changes their :poop: and makes it smellier...but it works...
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Question about feed

Post by Happy » Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:28 pm

baronrenfrew wrote:QR_BBPOST For feed, i suggest you mix duck starter (almost a crumble) or duck grower (usually pellets) both are over 20% protein and should be the same price as the feed you get now. Turkey starter used to be 28% protein but be 100% certain its not medicated. Game bird feed (typically 24% protein) is good but likely priced ridiculously high. Game bird people (pheasants, quails, partridges etc.) used to feed non-med turkey starter mixed with cracked corn (15% protein) so you'd average at 22% protein. A scratch grain will be 14 a 15% protein.
@baronrenfrew thank you so much for this info! I had heard of mixing with duck or turkey before but when I asked at the feed store I got a blank stare back lol. They clearly thought I was nuts. Having zero experience with any other fowl I was hesitant so I really appreciate you passing on your knowledge. I forgot to mention that my flock does get some scratch to get them into their pen in the evening but if I mixed that with crumble or pellets they would dig thru it and only eat the corn first lol. There's lots of feed stores around me...just none as convenient as the one I've been purchasing from so just need to change up my routine.
WLLady wrote:QR_BBPOST wow, my grower feed is 22%...from the local feed store....
is there another feed store near you? or reasonably near you? otherwise baron's suggestions are right on....duck, game bird, turkey grower.
Another thing you can do, but i only have done short term for moulting is some dry pelleted cat food...i don't know what it would do if fed all the time...i usually only use it for birds in hard moult (going naked kind of moult) for about 2 weeks. it changes their :poop: and makes it smellier...but it works...
@WLLady I thought it seemed really odd that the grower had such a low protein as well. Sort of seemed like backwards thinking to me. All but 2 are picky and refuse to eat cat food...dry or canned. They love tuna and just about any canned meat but my pocket book doesn't! And it's the naked in December thing that happened last year that I'm hoping to prepare for. Thanks for the advice :)
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Question about feed

Post by WLLady » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:19 pm

scrambled or boiled eggs also will provide protein quickly....but i generally like eating the eggs myself....um...LOL
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Question about feed

Post by Happy » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:27 pm

Ditto! My little OEGB rooster is in the middle of the roughest molt I've seen him have in 3 years so I've snuck him some scrambled eggs lately but I'm stingy with my eggs lol! At least the banties are wise enough to molt before snow fall.
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Question about feed

Post by baronrenfrew » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:54 pm

Ritchie is a good local feed mill/dealer but their chicken "grower" Is 16% protein and lay mash the same. Their Duck starter is 22%. Shur-gain is decent but the birds prefer Ritchie's feeds. Near Douglas ON is Dick & sons seeds and they sell a "beefmaster" feed which is basically a "chopped" scratch grain made from the lower "quality" grain they grow/buy; not good enough to sell to Kellogs for cereal (Peterborough) or to use as seed for next year but fine for a feedstock. Its cheap at $12 per bag, so with the birds free in the summer I can get away with it.

Most folks at the feed store have no idea what they sell or what animals need. There's a real science to grain i.e. i took a food course when I was at Domino's Pizza and all the wheat they use for pizza dough was from upstate New York as it was the highest protein wheat they could find.

Other things you can add to your feed is chopped flax seed (and get Omega3 eggs) and alfalfa pellets (rabbit feed) as this greatly improves the vitamins in an egg.
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Question about feed

Post by Ontario Chick » Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:28 pm

15% - 16% protein is pretty much standard for growing chickens until point of lay, this is specifically for layers so they don't get fat, young pullets with early fat deposit make for inferior layers.
At 4-5 month they should go on layer ration, 18% protein is a good average for layers.
Everybody has a different feeding program for their birds depending on what works for them, and there are all sorts of treats that can be added as you see fit later on. :)
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Question about feed

Post by WLLady » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:27 pm

Like boss....my girls turn into sharks for boss lol
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