Flock Raiser Vs. Layer Feed: Understanding Types of Poultry Feed in 2023

flock raiser vs. layer feed

As a chicken farmer, it is important to understand the types of poultry feed and the pros and cons of each so that you can feed the most suitable ones to your flock.
Read this article for a detailed guide on flock raiser vs. layer feed and how to choose between them.

What is Flock Raiser?

Flock raiser is a type and brand of chicken feed that is suitable for all types of chicken. This particular brand is manufactured and marketed by Purina Animal Nutrition LLC. This is one feed you can use for your chicks, pullets, roosters and hens alike. Flock raiser has a separate medicated brand that is only meant for broiler chickens.

If you are having a small homestead or backyard farm, it is more likely that you will have chickens of various breeds, sizes and ages. This is where the flock raiser comes in handy. You can use one brand of feed for all your chickens instead of feeding your chicks, pullets and grown-up chickens separately. This saves you a lot of time, money and effort.

What is Layer Feed?

Purina Animal Nutrition LLC also has a separate brand for layer feed. You may wonder why layer chickens get a separate type of feed. It is highly essential that layer chickens are provided with the best nutrition and food so that their egg-laying is not interrupted or affected.

Laying hens require crumbed or pelleted food that is high in nutrition and not just a grain mix. Their feed needs to have a minimum of 17% protein and 4% calcium.

Purina feed mills have a variety of specially formulated feed types. They include a high protein layer feed, organic layer feed and layer feed rich in omega 3.

Flock Raiser vs. Layer Feed: Which is better?

Are you having a hard time deciding between the flock raiser chicken feed or the layer feed? Is it okay to feed flock raiser to all your chickens, including your layer chickens? Or do I have to treat layer chickens specially?

Layer feed is a cheap form of nutrition that is specifically designed for layer chickens. Not only are they cost-effective for commercial farms, but they also provide the nutrients that layer chickens need.

Layer feed would only be beneficial for you if you are having a large-scale egg farm. Layer feed is comparatively cheap based on the short-term nutritional requirements of commercial layer farms. It provides layer chickens with the additional calcium requirements needed for healthy egg production.

However, it would be best not to start your chickens on layer feed until they start laying. Layer feed is highly unsuitable for chickens or roosters that do not lay eggs. They will not be able to digest the extra calcium in their systems, which would build up in their kidneys and cause health problems.

Layer feed does have some shortcomings. They may not be the ideal form of nutrition for layer chickens when they are molting. Additionally, the layer feed is only the minimal nutrition required for layer chickens. In some cases, this might be inadequate.

On the other hand, if you have a poultry flock that is mixed age, mixed gender and even mixed breed, then the best option for you is the all-Flock Raiser or the Flock Raiser with free choice oyster shell. It’s incredibly easier for the farmer to feed all chickens with the same feed and have them all meet their nutritional requirements.

Purina’s flock raiser is significantly more expensive for chicken farmers than the layer feed. However, many have claimed that the flock raiser increased egg production with their hens by 100%. So this is definitely an advantage, depending on how much you sell your eggs for.

The benefits of the flock raiser over the layer feed are many. Using flock raiser feed is suitable for small farms and homesteads and also results in less molting. Flock raiser has 18-20% more protein and less calcium than layer feed. Too much calcium in feed can adversely affect birds.

Read, how to feed chickens, an easy and comprehensive guide.

 

Flock Raiser Vs. Layer Feed: Summary

Flock raiser is the ideal feed for farmers who raise a flock of mixed-gender, mixed-age and mixed-breed chickens. Flock raiser is significantly more expensive than layer feed but also more beneficial and of better quality.

Also read: The best chicken feed brands of 2023!

*All pics are courtesy of Unsplash.com