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#8589 - 03/02/04 05:07 AM Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
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Nutrena Naturewise Layer 20 Pellets (20% protein) instructions say to mix half Naturewise with half scratch or whole grains into hopper. Do you use scratch (cracked corn) or some grain mix? I'd like to ensure that chickens eat both and not favor either the Naturewise or the grain. Also, BTW, this product doesn't contain molasses, unlike many other non-mixyourself bags. Thanks!!!

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#8590 - 03/02/04 09:38 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Bill Offline
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Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 591
Loc: Nevada
I'm a little confused about the suggestion of feeding 1/2 grains. I know the birds will eat the grains before they will eat the "good" stuff. In addition, if your not careful about which grains you feed, the protein level would be around 14% (based on 8% protein grain) I could see a 2/3 - 1/3 mix, that would be approx 16% (using the same protein figure for grain)
There are some whole Oats that are for Horses that have a protein level of 14%, but they are just as expensive & maybe more than the Nutrena.
If they are doing well on what they are getting, I'd just stay with that. JMHO
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#8591 - 03/02/04 09:52 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


Directly from the instructions... It says on the tag, "feed free-choice in hoppers mixed with equal parts whole grains or scratch grains." Emailed the area rep. and she indicated use scratch, cracked corn or buy the Naturewise Layer 16 (no mixing).

I was guessing that the birds would eat/pick out the scratch before the Naturewise, as you indicated. Any thoughts on this?

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#8592 - 03/02/04 11:40 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


As I mentioned in a different thread, we tried that long ago. What the chickens do is pick out the corn bits, raking out the lay ration onto the ground/floor wasting a lot of it. In my opinion it is the wrong thing to do. It sounds good but the waste goes way up. It will drive you nuts to see all that high priced lay ration wasted.

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#8593 - 03/02/04 03:02 PM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


I was using the Nutrena 16 this summer and getting no eggs. The local feed store guy suggested switching to the 20, so I did. I started getting eggs within a few days after switching. My birds were young then, but well within their laying age, so I may switch back to 16 this summer and see if I can get eggs. I have been feeding the 20 straight, only giving them scratch as a treat or to trick them into turning their bedding over in the evenings.

I suppose I should read the bag, but I agree with the previous posts suggesting they'll waste more food. THEY WILL. My birds will comb the ground picking only the corn out of the scratch, then go back after the milo or whatever else is in the scratch grains. Knowing this, I could not mix scratch in their lay pellets - they'd waste them (and at 7.50 a bag, that's no good)

When I raised meat birds, I was mixing cracked corn and broiler rations in the same hopper and they just wasted the broiler rations... so, they're like little kids, put lima beans and fruit on the same plate and you can guess which one will go first and which one will end up on the floor.

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#8594 - 03/02/04 04:09 PM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


Cynical me... cynical me. Is this a marketing ploy?

The employees as well as one customer in line at the feedstore says just feed it straight, no mixing. I'll bet nobody reads the insructions. It's too fine a print (I can't see it without my glasses). I'll bet almost nobody mixes it.

This stuff is their biggest lay pellet seller.

Hey, almost sounds too good to be true. Get 20% protein for the price of 16%. Sounds like a bargain (but I don't think it's healthy for laying hens to be getting that amount of protein).

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#8595 - 03/02/04 05:02 PM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Bill Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 591
Loc: Nevada
They may not NEED a 20% protein, but I don't think its unhealthy.
Try switching them to the 16% & see what happens, but switch them gradually
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#8596 - 03/02/04 09:36 PM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Sally Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 686
Loc: Florida
sorry guys, gotta post on this one. As most of you know, feed IS my business. Nutrena is one of our biggest sellers. Until last week we did not carry the 20% tho. Down here, feed is pretty expensive.
Due to the amount of gamebirds I have, I fed mostly 30% gamebird pellets. I also feed the large birds whole corn (for a treat) and alfalfa chaff for greens and additional nutrition. The
nutrena rep gave me a pallet price discount to try these pellets, so I did.
It is too soon to tell what impact it will have on my poultry and amount of eggs I will still get, but, to be fair I will feed it for 1 month to test it. Sometimes I mix a handfull of cracked corn in mix but usually throw it out on ground for them to hunt up. Keeps them busy. LOL
I will follow-up on this tho as this is what my
P-fowl were on before I got them and they looked great. I must admit tho, on the gamebird my hens are at a 95% lay-rate and have been for over 30 days and my 2 ducks have been laying an egg a day each for 60 days+ (this is on Manna Pro 30% gamebird pellets)
I am only changes a couple of my pens to the 20% to test it. Inquiring minds (at work) wanna know laugh laugh
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#8597 - 03/03/04 04:36 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


Caveny is a professional poultry nutritionist. And poultry nutrition is one of, if not THE, most highly researched animal nutrition topics on the planet.

All this about protein levels is well known now and has been for a long time. That's why all the commercial lay rations are 16-18%. It is a waste of time experimenting further with protein levels. Even at lower protein (and other nutrient) percents, the birds will just eat more. As Caveny mentioned long ago, nowadays the focus in feed formulation research is on profit rather than level of production. The big boys have realized that it is foolish to spend 30% more for a 5% increase in production, in which case your margins are actually lower.

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#8598 - 03/03/04 07:01 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


BTW, I didn't read the instructions either when I bought it. Thought it was a no-mix and bought it on recommendation. "This one's popular". Read the tag and instructions at home when comparing against some other brands, their tags.

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#8599 - 03/03/04 09:19 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Bill Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 591
Loc: Nevada
HEY LEEE - your post:
Quote:
The big boys have realized that it is foolish to spend 30% more for a 5% increase in production, in which case your margins are actually lower.
I'm one ot the LITTLE GUYS & I don't mind spending 30% more for a 5% increase, especially when you figure that additional 5% might produce a bird worth $50+ I had 8 out of 27 in that range last year. 4 that were probably worth more.

I do understand what you are saying, but not all of us are raising birds for a laying operation. Our reasons & operations are quite different.
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#8600 - 03/03/04 09:02 PM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm going to switch over to the Naturewise Layer 20 Pellet but not mixed w/ scratch. They'll get all they can eat greens, as a substitute for scratch, (lawn clippings, no pesticides) for that nice yellow-orange yolk. Here's something regarding grass fed poultry:

Grass Fed Poultry

As compared to feeding a standard 16% layer pellets (and grass), I suspect when using Naturewise 20% the pellet consumption will go down slightly and the grass consumption will go up slightly. And free-choice oyster shell and grit are always available.

Also, note that there is a caution on the label to not feed it straight without a supplimental feed since that will cause an excess usage of selenium.

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#8601 - 03/04/04 08:19 PM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


The intent is to increase grass consumption in order to increase Omega-3 as well as a deeper orange coloration in yolks. If Naturewise functions as a concentrate, in a way, how do I ensure that the grass is consumed in the correct proportion to the Naturewise?

Actually, I don't think the chickens will eat enough grass if free-choice grass and free-choice Naturewise. IMO, chickens do not have the ability to properly regulate the correct proportion of Naturewise to grass. I believe they feed basically ruled by first hunger (ie. eat the most satisfying stuff), then habit and social pressure and to a lesser extent sensory perception influence (ie. generally, when hungry eat whatever is in front of them).

To make this work, I think I would need to feed portions of only grass and then portions of Naturewise individually for the day.

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#8602 - 03/05/04 05:39 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Sally Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 686
Loc: Florida
Musealand,
I think chickens and other poultry are smarter than you're giving them credit for. Left to their own devises, and given both the best things for them and the worst things for them AND the freedom to choose...I believe the birds will not only do well, I think they will THRIVE. I have often watched my birds for hours. It is amazing to me just how far and wide in the yard they will go to find "just the right whatever" that they are needing. It is pure instinct. It is like them preening and fluffing in the sand. You can take a hen that has been grown completely off the ground, in a cage for her whole life, put her down on the ground where dirt is available, and within minutes sometimes they are fluffing it up and preening as if it was a daily ritual!! I don't think they would over-eat grass or feed with high nutrients as they eat as they feel their body needs. There ARE some chicken gluttons out there (LOL) but so it is in every species to an extent.
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#8603 - 03/05/04 06:14 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have to disagree with Sally. What we see is that, if offered free-choice both a balanced diet of lay ration and pure corn, they will over-eat the corn by far. Also, when we used to offer oyster shell free-choice, which they need for their eggshells, they wouldn't eat it. That's when we started adding it to their feed.

It seems to me that chickens will make choices that are good enough to live, but not to maintain good health and egg quality. They have to be forced to do that.

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#8604 - 03/05/04 06:30 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yes, but it's hard to know when and whether a chicken makes feeding decisions based on instinct/habits or on body "needs".

I think a chicken knows when it needs energy food, protein and fats (when it is hungry). I think it knows what is more filling/fattening food vs. less filling food. It knows when it's thirsty. I'm guessing it knows when it needs salt.

I don't think it knows when it needs selenium (or has eaten too much). I'm guessing that it doesn't know when it needs calcium (but since oyster shells are salty it probably gets enough calcium as a byproduct of its salt craving). I know parrots when given too many sunflowers seeds daily will overeat sunflower seeds and fatten. I think if the chickens have a choice to eat, between Naturewise and grass, I'm guessing that they will eat more Naturewise (higher protein).

If Naturewise is blended as a concentrate and is expected to be used "watered-down" with scratch then the mineral suppliments would be blended at a concentrate level also. If the Naturewise is consumed at a more "concentrate" level is it harmful to chickens. Maybe not a good analogy, but we wouldn't drink concentrated orange juice without including the 5 containers of water.

If I had the resources, I would just test their consumption levels of the Naturewise and the grass. As it stands, it seems like the chickens eat the grass like a kid eats broccoli (or maybe broccoli with cheese on top).

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#8605 - 03/05/04 07:27 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


Leee,
Regarding oyster shell usage, my chickens as well as both roos eat the shell free-choice, readily. They'll also eat it from my hand, including a roo. The oyster shell bin is located right next to the coop door, in a well travelled area. Also, I have one hen that thinks it's like candy, well almost :>). I think the rest are fooled by watching her.

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#8606 - 03/05/04 09:26 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


I don't know how well this grass fed, egg production poultry concept applies in reality but here are a few links that I'm just now reading:

http://www.wisc.edu/cias/pubs/briefs/057.html

http://www.ansci.umn.edu/poultry/links/pasture-links.htm

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#8607 - 03/05/04 11:36 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Kaalnek Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 367
Loc: California
It's extremely obvious mine prefer (3 way)scratch over layer or gamebird/turkey feed. Always been that way over the years with many birds so I feel it really isn't a 'quirk' limited to a couple 'gluttons'.

It was the same both when the chickens used to be total freerange and now when they have to be cooped permanently(bobcat in area now). I have two feed buckets in their pen, I put layer pellets in one, and scratch in another. Guess which one ALL birds crowd into first and which one gets emptied every day?

They will eagerly eat the pellets and the gamebird feed too on the rare occasion I give them some. It's just that scratch wins hands down no matter what.

It always surprises me when someone mentions their birds eat oyster shell freely- mine have very minimal or no interest in it. A lot actually seem to find it downright unplatable- spitting it out if they happen to pick up one or was tricked into getting a treat with some in it. And like I mentioned in the soluble calcium thread, the peahens don't ever 'sense' they need more calcium during the breeding season. This is the very reason I'm interested in that thread- to find other ways to offer the extra calcium they need that they would eat willingly or easily mixed into a treat or feed.

I sure wish they WOULD eat the oyster shell!

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#8608 - 03/05/04 11:55 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi Kaalnek,
You're much more experienced that I. But repectfully, I must say that all my birds eat the oyster shell freely, even the roos (guessing, only 10 shell pieces per day... I've never counted). I suspect it's a social thing. When one started eating it as a routine, the others eat it as a routine (my guess). Also, maybe sodium related. Maybe my birds are satisfying a sodium craving by eating some oyster shells (Another guess). I've been feeding them Kruse Lay Pellets (17% protein) and fresh grass cuttings (which they do eat but "pick" at throughout the day). Kruse has .2% sodium (the grass has some sodium).

So I assume you're using the Nuturewise 20 in one bucket, free-choice and then limit the amount of scratch in the second bucket. Do you put, in the second bucket, something like 1/2 cup scratch per bird each day? So, as you indicated, the scratch is finished up each morning then refilled for a day's portion for each bird.

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#8609 - 03/05/04 03:22 PM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


musaland, my birds eat free choice oystershell too. At least I think they do. I fill the hopper....the oystershell disappears......I fill the hopper......the oystershell disappears. laugh

It's interesting about reading labels. I feed Land o' Lakes Profile feed. Right on the label it specifically says NOT to feed free choice calcium supplements. The reason I do (and maybe they aren't good reasons) is that when I first started raising chickens, I was told to do it. Second is that my girls free range some and on occasion are given other feedstuffs such as garden scraps or the occasional corn. I figure since they aren't eating just the diet, they may need more calcium????? I don't know. I don't have soft shell egg problems except once in awhile in an old hen.

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#8610 - 03/05/04 03:45 PM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


Talk about fine print. You need the Hubble telescope to read this Naturewise 20 tag.

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#8611 - 03/05/04 07:57 PM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


I use only organic grain, etc for the chicks. I use kreamer. I have noticed they appear to thrive better on it. I don't like purina- sunfresh. Orps have white skin and purina uses marigolds that colors the skin yellow. Not good if you are showing birds....keep that in mind it changes the pigmentation of the skin, legs, etc.

Mike smile

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#8612 - 03/05/04 07:59 PM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


I see my chicks waster a lot of the grain. It seems to me they look for more grain bits than mash. I don't know if it is instinc to go for larger peices or greed. They love old fashion organic cool oatmeal and gulp that down like candy.

Mike

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#8613 - 03/05/04 10:50 PM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
KazJaps Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 2148
Loc: Australia
Choice-Feeding of Small Laying Hen Flocks (June 2003):

Quote:
Laying hens can make good nutritional choices and pick out the amount of grain, supplement and limestone or oyster shell that they need to be healthy and productive. Hens fed this way will lay as many eggs as hens fed a traditional laying hen diet as long as you follow some basic rules:
...... see article for the basic rules.
Manitoba Agriculture and Food Animal Industry Branch
http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/poultry/bba01s10.html

Articles index:
http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/poultry/bba04s00.html

***************
My lot will only eat moistened pellets, which is not practical for my setup (so I don't give them pellets), but will eat crumbles, grains (wheat, corn, milo) & shell grit (not oyster shell) free choice. They do not waste the food if raised on the diet & given the correct mix of ingredients. I also give other feed (& free range or given greens), but the above are the staples given every day.

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#8614 - 03/06/04 07:38 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks Kazjaps!!! So you have a product similar to Naturewise 20, the article calls it a suppliment that you feed free-choice and always available in one bin. And you feed scratch (ie, cracked corn, wheat, milo) free-choice and always avaiable in another bin. And you find that the chickens will consume about 50% suppliment and 50% scratch by their own choosing. 50/50 is the correct proportion of Naturewise to scratch. Assume it's the same for yours. Is that correct? BTW, what's the name of the suppliment product that you use? ...just curious, I know you're in OZ.

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#8615 - 03/06/04 10:01 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yeah. I disagree with the quote the kaz posted. That is not my experience of the last 10 years.

I don't believe my obese 12 year old child makes good feed choices and I don't believe my the hens do either unless I force it on them. Given the chance, my obese 12 year old will eat ice cream all day. Given their choice, my hens will just eat corn all day.

My experience is that the idea that, given free choice, animals will choose a balanced, healthy diet, is absolute crap in the highest order.

Caveny, take me down if I am wrong.

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#8616 - 03/06/04 10:23 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


None of my bussiness I know ,but why complicate feeding time?You can buy COMPLETE layer feed for +/- $6.50 per 50#.No oyster shell even needed.I'd think all that scratch grain would make them to fat to lay(?)

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#8617 - 03/06/04 10:30 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


Jeff, that just isn't true. My Farmers' Co-op grinds and mixes my feed and I still pay $65-$70 for 500 lbs. Right now my price for regular corn is over $3 a bushel and over $8 for organic corn. Bagged feed to me is well over $16 per cwt (per 100 lbs). Your figures say that bagged feed is $13-$14 per cwt (100 lbs). That is way low for my area.

We won't see lay ration at your $6.50 until next fall when grain prices go back down.

I would love to buy from you at $13 cwt (per 100 lbs.) Are you selling? Where are you? WHat would be the shipping costs?

I would be happy to consider buying from you.

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#8618 - 03/06/04 10:41 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


Lee ,Land 'o lakes 50# as of feb. 20 ,$6.34.

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#8619 - 03/06/04 01:35 PM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Kaalnek Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 367
Loc: California
It's not that I disbelieve there are chickens that actually eat oyster shell voluntarily. I suppose there has to be some reason oyster shell is so widely offered for sale. The refusal of my birds to eat oyster shell doesn't seem to be much of a problem except during the peafowl breeding season.. it's so obvious the peahens NEED extra calcium yet they outright refuse to eat oyster shell. That is really frustrating for me. This is also one of those observations of mine that goes against claims that 'birds instinctively know what they need'.

Musa- the pellets(not Nutrena, btw) aren't fed free choice. I put in enough to last the entire day. They are given same amount of pellets and scratch. It's entirely by their own choice that the scratch bucket is emptied faster. They have no problems eating pellets- if it is the only thing I give, they all eat it right up.. but they do not compete for it so bad like they do for scratch.

For the sake of giving the benefit of doubt.. is 3 way scratch nutritionally complete? It has wheat, maize and cracked corn.

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#8620 - 03/08/04 07:34 PM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Sally Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 686
Loc: Florida
Hi Jeff,
I'm in FL. Should I presume that you are in the mid-west/upper part? I get feed at wholesale cost and can't get close to that price for quality feed even at cost!! Gotta check that out. One of my dealers said they would be going up weekly and by May there would be no soybeans left in the U.S. for grain milling eek mad I hope he's not telling the truth. He says we're shipping it all out of the country.
Sally
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#8621 - 03/09/04 09:32 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Bruce Smith Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 560
Loc: Michigan
I don't think I've ever seen my hens eat oyster shell, but I go through about a bag a year. It stays in their shell hopper available to them free choice at all times. Sometimes for weeks on end they don't seem to eat any, or at least the level doesn't go down. Then they decide they want it and will sometimes consume it eagerly. This past winter they consumed half a large coffee can full in a single day. A couple of weeks after that they tapered off, and just the last few days they are eating some again. They never eat it like feed, unless they have been without for a month or more. Put it out there for them, and it's one of the things they need and eat only when their systems call for it.

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#8622 - 03/09/04 09:56 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


Sally,we are getting off topic here ,but you asked here ,so I'll anser here.I'm in N.central IA. Just today I ended up paying $14.82 per 100#,so feed in our area is on the rise.The co-op is not predicting a doom and gloom future .

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#8623 - 03/10/04 05:43 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
KazJaps Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 2148
Loc: Australia
I’m not quite understanding why there is the perception that grains are not part of a good balanced diet for poultry. Maybe it is this “scratch grains” label (which isn’t used much at all in OZ). After all, a large percentage of commercially made pellets & mashes are grains. Whether you add extra protein meals, fats, salt, calcium, whatever to an already balanced feed, you are unbalancing the diet, not just the addition of grains. The article link I gave earlier does not suggest giving grains & an already balanced layer pellet (or mash) feed, but grains, limestone/shell & a supplement to balance the diet.

Musaland, I give a small amount of chicken starter crumbles (20 percent protein), as I often have chickens running around with hens & roosters. If I could get a chicken starter mash, I would use it instead. All my chickens are raised by hens. The chickens have access to mixed grains from day one (& crumbles & pasture). My hens (all bantams) each would be lucky to lay 70 eggs per year. It is rare for me to find an egg with poor egg-shell quality. Commercial nutritionally balanced pellets for layers or broilers are not nutritionally balanced diets for my bantams.

Lee, you must realise that if someone has a different experience to yourself, it doesn’t mean they are incorrect (or that you are incorrect). Giving mixed grains to my chooks (raised on grains) is like offering muesli to kids, not a heavily sugar laced ice-cream. With a fresh top up of grains each morning, the birds would last about ¼ to ½ hour at the feed tray, then off again scratching around for worms, chasing insects, pecking at greens, dust bathing. Cracked corn is only a small percentage of the mix & it is not their favourite (the few wheat grains with husks is the only grain they fight over). Each day when I move the chicken coops to fresh pasture, I give them grains first to get them off the old grass run. As soon as I move the coop, they leave the grains for the fresh ground & start searching furiously for bugs & worms, or fighting over a dandelion. Do you really think poultry prefer only high carb grains to high protein foods, fresh greens, etc? It is just the pellets my birds don’t like (& not too fussed on crumbles either). I don’t really blame them. It should be no surprise to anyone if I say my dogs prefer fresh meat to dog biscuits. Why should chooks be any different, preferring unprocessed food? Fill a hopper full of bugs & worms (& a few baby mice), then a hopper full of grains. Which do you think the birds will go crazy over? I can’t ever remember having an overweight free range bird. It certainly can be a problem if you keep birds in small coops, no grass run, little exercise, bored to death, with only high energy feed in front of them to keep them occupied. As I mentioned before. I not only feed them the 3 grains, crumbles, grit. It is a long list these spoilt little buggers get to choose from. My sister-in-law (the health fanatic) keeps telling me I should be eating as healthy a diet as my animals. She is right. They have never looked better. Like Rogo mentioned on another thread. Every one use what works best for their situation.

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#8624 - 03/10/04 05:56 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
KazJaps Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 2148
Loc: Australia
Kaalnek wrote,,,
Quote:
it's so obvious the peahens NEED extra calcium yet they outright refuse to eat oyster shell. That is really frustrating for me. This is also one of those observations of mine that goes against claims that 'birds instinctively know what they need'.
Are you having problems with eggshell quality or? (I might have missed some information). Are they already obtaining enough calcium in their diet? A beef cow in calf (or a foot) usually does perfectly well on pasture only to provide the extra calcium needs, as long as there are no deficiencies in their environment. But it is known for cattle to chew on bones if there is a deficiency of phosphorus in the soil & pasture ( http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/beef/3449.html ). Chickens deficient in amino acids have a higher incidence of feather eating & cannibalism. My chooks won’t eat any of the pigeon peas. Do they instinctively know about the anti-nutrients in the pigeon peas? If only they could talk. :p

I am sure there are plenty more examples that David Attenborough could give. Isn’t there a species of bird that flocks to a natural deposit of some mineral? Can’t remember what mineral (or bird species) it was.

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#8625 - 03/12/04 08:15 AM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Originally posted by KazJaps:
I'm not quite understanding why there is the perception that grains are not [b]part of a good balanced diet for poultry. [/b]
Hi KazJaps,
I think everyone will agree that grains are a part of a good balanced diet. But a bigger picture, and one that I think is not a trivial one, is to question how well chickens can select a well balanced diet given either free-choice grains and free-choice factory produced "poultry suppliments" (ie. concentrated poulty feed).

To set this up, I'm not disputing that a chicken will, given the opportunity, find a good balanced diet in a free-range, food diverse environment. But going back to my original post, I have a poultry suppliment product (ie. Naturewise 20) that provides instructions to supply one part Naturewise20 to one part "grains", both free-choice and always available. Will the chickens, given free-choice, select and eat the proper proportion of Naturewise 20 and the grains?

The artical that you provided "Choice-Feeding of Small Laying Hen Flocks", http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/poultry/bba01s10.html
definitely implys that chickens will make correct decisions and selections towards the correct proportion of suppliment to grains. But experience by many folks here indicate this is not the case and will not happen in reality. They indicate and imply that the grains (ie. scratch or corn) will be consumed to completion first, before eating any suppliment.

I concur with you that "if only chickens can talk..." we would know for sure. But I still maintain that mammals and birds have only so much "awareness" to select a balanced diet. With the help of cravings for basic needs (eg. protein/fats, water, salt) as well as learned response and basic instincts, the chicken relys on randomness and opportunistic occurences to find a complete diet in the wild (JMO). I'm also wondering why, in examples of cows eating bones, the author assumes the cows are eating the bones for the phosphorus. Why aren't they chewing the bones for the salt? If only cows could talk.

This is just my opinion and the important reason to bring this up to point out that feeding poultry suppliment with grains may require proportioning the grains (eg. scratch or corn) on a daily basis, to ensure that the chickens don't eat all grains/scratch and not the suppliment.

Let me provide the exact Feeding Directions from the Nutrena Naturewise Layer Pellets 20 tag:

FEEDING DIRECTIONS
Laying Hens - Feed free-choice in hoppers mixed with equal parts whole grains or scratch grains. Keep feed in front of birds at all times. The hens should receive approximately equal amounts of this feed and whole grains.
Turkey Breeders - Feed free-choice in hoppers mixed equal parts whole grains. The hens should consume equal parts of this feed and whole grains.

Feed at a rate not to exceed a maximum inclusion level of 50% in the total diet as not to exceed a maximum of 0.3 PPM of added selenium per head per day. Grit and oyster shell should be offered in pans or hoppers. Provide plenty of fresh, clean waterat all times.

CAUTION: Follow label directions. Feeding added selenium at level in excess of 0.3 PPM in the total diet in prohibited.

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#8626 - 03/13/04 08:21 PM Re: Anyone use Nutrena NatureWise Layer 20 Pellets
KazJaps Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 2148
Loc: Australia
Quote:
Will the chickens, given free-choice, select and eat the proper proportion of Naturewise 20 and the grains?
I don’t know with your birds, but in my case, no. I would have to do like Bill does & prepare a wet feed for selected small meals each day. I see it more of a problem of supplying a supplement liked by the birds, not an issue over whether birds naturally select a balanced diet.

Quote:
{The article}… implies that chickens will make correct decisions and selections towards the correct proportion of supplement to grains. But experience by many folks here indicate this is not the case and will not happen in reality
I don’t recall anyone here following the basic rules outlined in the article. Some of the experiences given here have been good examples why the “basic rules” are needed.
ie,
  • no mixing of pellets & grains (& certainly not balanced layer pellets or mash with grains),
  • supply distinctive foods in separate hoppers,
  • supply a high protein (25-40 percent), vitamin/mineral supplement (not pelletised). In other articles on the website, it indicates layers in production are to have 35 – 40 percent protein in the supplement.
  • supply limestone/shell
  • introduce the diet at 15 weeks of age (4 weeks before egg production)

Layers in production are to have a supplement 35 to 40 percent protein, thereby up to 70 percent of whole grains consumed in the diet is perfectly fine. It seems the Naturewise 20 is in-between a full supplement and a balanced feed. Like Bill, I don’t count 20 percent protein as much of a supplement, nor very distinctive from average layer pellets.
I see the diet in the article useful if you grow your own grains, or for other similar scenarios. No sense in buying layer pellets or mash (with the grains already incorporated) if you have a ready supply of grains on hand. The article highlights an alternative to milling & processing grains for a mash or pelletised feed. It will suit some people, not all people. If you can get hold of a reasonably priced supply of balanced layer pellets or mash that the layers do very well on, then there may be no benefit in changing.
Quote:
But I still maintain that mammals and birds have only so much "awareness" to select a balanced diet.
I think you might be giving far more credit than due to assume that humans would know the “better” diet for animal species which have evolved over time to survive & prosper in their natural habitat. I’m not quite getting the relevance to livestock, where animals are bred & fed to extremes, kept in artificial environments, certainly not for the benefit of animals, but to produce more food for human consumption. With broilers & layers, it’s not about “free choice” in providing a healthy balanced diet for the birds, but a diet designed for optimum production for human benefits. As broilers have been developed for quick growth, a consequence is consumption of feed far greater than is healthy for a long life.
Quote:
I'm also wondering why, in examples of cows eating bones, the author assumes the cows are eating the bones for the phosphorus. Why aren't they chewing the bones for the salt?
I imagine they performed studies, tested the cattle & environment for deficiencies & found there were statistically a higher percentage of cattle chewing bones in areas with phosphorus deficit soils. Phosphorus deficit soils are not uncommon in Australia & salt saturated soils (rising water tables) are an ever-growing problem. One other note from the article is that cattle transferred from phosphorus deficit soils to other parts of the country (with no deficiencies) will still chew on bones. It becomes a learned habit. Which is a point to keep in mind when changing the form of diet in animals.

Quote:
CAUTION: Follow label directions. Feeding added selenium at level in excess of 0.3 PPM in the total diet in prohibited.
You will find similar selenium warnings on vitamin/mineral supplements, etc. It is one of the reasons I don’t like commercially balanced pellets (for layers & broilers) as a feed for my bantams. I have more concerns of overdosing my birds on vitamins/minerals, protein, etc with giving pellets only, than I do with inadequately supplying the nutrients needed by giving them free choice from many foods. I would have similar concerns with the addition of calcium supplements & feeding only high protein dog biscuits to fast growing Great Dane pups. I find it interesting the different points of view between “dog” people & “chook” people concerning diets.

A final quote for Kaalnek:
-in reference to supplying limestone/shell 4 weeks before egg production begins-
Quote:
It will also allow the pullets the opportunity to increase their calcium consumption and build up the calcium reserves in their bones before they start to lay eggs.
http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/poultry/bba01s10.html

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