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ChickensUpdated 6 months ago

How long can I store and use your feed? 

Our recommendation is 3-4 months from the time of purchase, for optimal freshness.

Why won't my chickens eat the pellets?

Think about it like this; pellets are like the broccoli of a meal, and the botanicals, seeds, etc. are the desert. The hens might want the latter more but need to eat the former, as it contains all of the healthy ingredients. They will eat it... you just have to be patient.

Niacin percentage in the Chicken Layer Feed? Is there enough niacin for ducks?

Yes, absolutely. Ducks need a lot, some kinds of other poultry need less, but the levels we use are safe for them all. There’s about 120 mg per pound, but that information by itself is not super useful without a little background.

Learn more about the niacin levels in our layer feed here.

Can you sprout or ferment our feed?

The short answer is yes, you can. However, before making any changes to your flock's diet, we recommend you contact your exotic vet first. Your vet knows your animals better than anyone.

Fermenting takes 3-4 days, and you can use either our Sustainable Scratch or Garden Goodness Layer Feed. You must serve the fermented grains or feed to your flock within 24 hours, or it goes sour.

For more detailed information and recipes, check out our blog on this topic.

Are there any pro and prebiotics in the starter feed?

Yes, absolutely.  There are prebiotics, probiotics, natural enzymes to get their digestive systems going right, and even beneficial bacteria.  Another nice addition is yucca root, which absorbs ammonia from their poop to keep their respiratory systems healthy.

What is the chick starter size?

It’s 1/8” pellets cut very short - a size that we have developed with our customers over many years.  Some people like to crush it a little bit for the first couple of days for tiny chicks, but it is perfect for them for most of their babyhood and it is not dusty. Chicks like tiny bits, but they don’t like dust and dust is wasteful.

Do you need to make it into a mash?

You certainly can, but you don’t need to.  A wet mash is a traditional way to deal with the dust since the chicks don’t like dust.  The way most mills make chick starter is to make regular larger pellets and then crush them, or just to chop up the grains, and both those techniques make dust.   These little “chick bits” are just right. But you can certainly wet it if you want to.  They like it both ways.

Isn’t fish meal a controversial ingredient?

Our fish meal is sustainably caught. We source ours from wild-caught fish in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska where the waters are clean. Our fish meal is organic and is preserved with natural vitamin E and rosemary oil, not ethoxyquin.

Fish meal is controversial if:

  • it is not sustainably caught 
  • it is from farmed fish that are fed low-quality feed
  • it is from fish in a polluted 
  • there is a bad additive to the meal if it is not organic

Is the wheat you use in the Layer Feed free of glyphosate (Roundup®)?

Absolutely no glyphosate!

This is not even feed grade wheat, which usually has some damage.  It is wheat bought from a Pacific Northwest farmer that raises it for human food.  We buy it right from his farm.   

That’s one reason our feed is so awesome – good materials.

What’s the difference between feed and scratch, and why do I need both?

Feed is most of a chicken’s diet. It’s generally made up of cracked corn and other types of grains.

Scratch is tasty, but not really healthy, so it should be treated as a one-off. And although scratch should be considered a treat, it totally encourages chickens to scratch through from grains, naturally turning litter and helping to maintain super clean conditions.

A wonderful "egg-ucational" source is Fresh Eggs Daily and our Chicken Blogs, enjoy!

When do I switch feeds from starter to grower to layer?

Starter: Chicks (1-8 weeks) need starter feed, which contains about 20% protein, and because they’re growing at lightning speed, they need it. 

Grower: Because their growth rate has slowed dramatically, adolescents (8-18ish weeks) need grower feed, which doesn’t contain as much protein as starter (about 18%).

Layer: At 18-ish weeks, you have an adult chicken and their need for protein decreases again, layer contains about 15%-18% depending on the product chosen. 

Keep in mind that chickens develop at different paces (kind of like humans do) so watch for signs that they’re ready to move on to the next stage of feed. And when you feel they’re ready, go for it.

Why do my chickens need oyster shell if there is calcium in the feed?

If your hens are layers, they’re going to need a boost of calcium. Most hens will start to lay when they’re 20-21 weeks, and oyster shell should be given around 18 weeks to prepare them for the egg-laying journey.

Oyster shell helps make eggshells hard and hens need diets high in calcium to produce them. If laying hens don’t get enough calcium, their bodies will start draining it from their bones. Laying hens could stop laying if they aren’t receiving enough calcium. To continue egg production, it’s super important that they receive it.

How much grit and oyster shell should chickens have?

Both should always be available.

Grit can’t be dissolved; it stays in the gizzard, and it’s used to grind food because chickens don’t have teeth. 

Oyster shell dissolves in the gut. The chickens will self-regulate. Oyster shell should be offered freely. Chickens will know to take it as and when they need it. 

Have more general questions about your feathered friends? Check out these questions.

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