It’s important to provide a balanced diet for your roosters and hens to ensure they are healthy and able to lay eggs consistently. Here are some general guidelines for feeding your birds:
- Offer a commercial poultry feed that is formulated for laying hens or meat birds. These feeds are balanced with the nutrients that your birds need for optimal health.
- Supplement their diet with grains, such as cracked corn, oats, or wheat, as well as a calcium source, such as crushed oyster shells or limestone.
- Provide fresh, clean water at all times.
- Offer a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as treats, but be mindful not to overfeed these items as they should not make up a significant portion of your birds’ diet.
- You may also consider offering grit, which helps your birds digest their food properly.
Can rosters get by on a layer feed?
Roosters can generally eat the same diet as laying hens, which is known as a layer feed. Layer feeds are formulated to provide the nutrients that laying hens need to produce eggs, including protein, energy, calcium, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
While roosters can get by on a layer feed, they may need slightly more protein to support their growth and development. This is especially true if you are raising roosters for meat. In this case, you may want to consider feeding them a higher protein diet, such as a starter/grower feed or a broiler feed.
It’s important to note that the specific nutritional requirements of your birds will depend on their age, size, and activity level, as well as the climate and conditions in which they are kept. Consult with a veterinarian or a poultry specialist to determine the best diet for your birds.
Should I use a “non- layer” feed and just keep a source of calcium out in another feeder for the girls?
It’s generally not recommended to feed your laying hens a non-layer feed, as these diets are not formulated to meet the specific nutritional needs of laying hens. Laying hens have higher protein and energy requirements than non-laying hens or meat birds, and a non-layer feed may not provide sufficient amounts of these nutrients.
Instead, it’s important to feed your laying hens a commercial poultry feed that is specifically formulated for laying hens. These feeds are balanced with the nutrients that your hens need to produce eggs, including protein, energy, calcium, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
If you are concerned about providing enough calcium for your hens, you can supplement their diet with a calcium source, such as crushed oyster shells or limestone. You can offer these products in a separate feeder or mix them into their regular feed. It’s important to make sure that your hens have access to a consistent source of calcium to support the production of strong eggshells.
It’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian or a poultry specialist to determine the best diet for your birds based on their specific needs and the conditions in which they are kept.