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Have your female chickens started laying eggs? Or are they going to lay eggs within a few days? If so, you want to introduce layer feed. Layer feeds are necessary to provide hens with a decent amount of calcium, vitamins, and minerals. They improve their egg production capabilities.
This particular food will make chickens stronger and healthier with a balanced mix of nutrients. They also contain digestible amino acids and mineral premix. But choosing the best layer feed for chickens is the key. Keep scrolling to figure out a reliable option!
5 Best Layer Feed For Chickens
Do all the layer feed deserve to be on your list? Certainly not! But diving into a confused world with hundreds of options is also true.
To simplify your job, we have picked the top five-layer feed for chicken after considering many essential aspects. Let’s dive into the review session without further ado!
GMO-based layer feed is highly risky for chickens. It can cause heart failure, such as sudden death syndrome and ascites. Thankfully, this layer feed is a non-GMO food. It doesn’t contain genetically modified feed ingredients. Your flocks will grow naturally and consistently.
Besides, Mile Four layer chicken feed is an organic feed product free from fillers, pesticides, harmful chemicals, and animal byproducts. They also don’t contain any hormones or antibiotics. Plus, the chicken food is free from corn and soy.
One main disadvantage of corn is reduced nutritional quality in egg and meat production. In contrast, soy contains more phytic acid, which can block the uptake of vitamins and minerals. These estrogen-type compounds can affect normal ovarian development.
The layer feed can provide up to 4.5% calcium to strengthen their eggshells and support other body functions. It also makes their immunity strong to fight against disease and parasites. Plus, calcium makes the digestive system healthy by modulating fluid transport in the colon.
|✅ 16% protein for better egg production and improving biological functions||🔻 Some complained too many peas compared to other ingredients|
|✅ A non-medicated feed to get all the essential nutrients||🔻 Bantam chickens may not like the grower’s feed|
|✅ 42% field peas for easy digestion with a better amino acid profile|
|✅ 10% flax meal to raise the omega-3 fatty acid in hens’ eggs|
|✅ 5% Barley and 25% wheat to provide a good amount of energy|
The Mile Four layer feed comes in three forms, such as Whole Grain, Mash, and Pellet:
Last update on 2023-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Have your chickens already become 18 weeks? If so, this layer feed is a perfect option. The unit contains 18% protein for better egg production and faster growth. It also helps them quickly adapt to the new environment and improves their various biological functions.
The chicken feed contains sunflower seeds to improve chickens’ fertility. The calcium in sunflowers makes their teeth and bone stronger. It also contains pumpkin seeds, a good vitamin E and zinc source. They can make their neurological and immune system healthy.
Besides, this layer feed has a good amount of flax seeds that can increase eggs’ omega-3 fatty acid content by 6 to 8 times. Flax seeds also have a healthier fat profile with polyunsaturated fatty acids to improve chickens’ reproductive success.
Other than these, Small Pet Select feed contains nourishing botanicals rich in essential fatty acids and oils. They have higher nutritional and therapeutic properties to improve the digestive system and absorb valuable nutrients. It also stimulates the immune system.
|✅ Contains unsaturated fatty acids and some specific vitamins and minerals||🔻 Whole dried peas might be too big for chickens’ beaks|
|✅ Several herbs strengthen chickens’ immune systems and encourage better-quality eggs||🔻 Picky chickens may only eat what they like|
|✅ A good amount of fishmeal to ensure a good balance of amino acids|
|✅ Probiotic strains to improve gut histomorphology and support digestive health|
|✅ Free from filler, soy, corn, and other toxic ingredients to ensure optimal safety|
Are you looking for a chicken layer feed in a crumble form? The main advantage of crumbles authorized levels of Coccidiostats. Hence, chickens will eat sufficient amounts to stay healthy. It has antiprotozoal agents to inhibit reproduction and retard parasite development.
The chicken feed contains probiotics to improve gut barrier function and intestinal structure. Their gastrointestinal tract will have a healthy balance of bacteria. It also contributes to uplifting chickens’ laying performance and overall growth.
Moreover, the layer feed has a clean formula, free from artificial colors and flavors. Artificial colors can create allergic reactions as they contain various additives and toxic substances. Hens will enjoy whole food with essential basic nutrition.
Chicken food has 9% crude fiber to stimulate digestion and enhance the production of vital intestinal bacteria. Plus, it contains 3% crude fat essential for absorbing vitamins A, D, E, and K. This fat also decreases grain dust and makes the food tastier.
|✅ Comes in a crumble form to eat effortlessly and reduce food waste||🔻 Some hens may not like the layer feed|
|✅ Contains probiotics to improve gut barrier function and intestinal structure||🔻 Quite a lot of powdery crumbs than some competitors|
|✅ 16% crude protein to maintain strong muscle tissue and better nutrient intake|
|✅ A great alternative of scratch grains to use on both hot and cold weather|
|✅ Free from artificial colors and flavors to ensure optimal safety|
When chickens become around 16 weeks of age, you can start feeding them pallet-based layer feed. The main advantage of pallets is a significant reduction in dust and waste. Due to their consistent shape and size, you can easily add them to an automatic feeder or feed bins.
Besides, storing the pallets for several months won’t be a problem as they ensure minimal storage loss and maintain vitamin A potency. Also, molds and insects are less likely to cause infestations and disintegrate nutrients.
Moreover, the layer feed is USDA certified. It is free from chemicals, toxins, animal byproducts, or additives. They won’t cause diet-related health problems. Chickens will become healthy and produce tastier eggs. This organic chicken feed will have higher omega-3 levels.
Compared to conventional feed, this Non-GMO chicken feed is a safer option as it is less likely to cause any food-related health issues. More important, this layer of feed can provide a balanced and nutritious diet. It contains polyunsaturated fats to reduce the lipid content in the egg yolk.
|✅ Contains polyunsaturated fats to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower heart disease||🔻 The pallets’ size might be too big for some younger chickens|
|✅ Has omega-3 and omega-6 fats for proper brain development and enrich their eggs||🔻 Would be better if it came in larger volumes|
|✅ Convenient to eat as it doesn’t have any strong smell or scent|
|✅ Non-GMO certified to ensure no harmful additives and chemicals are added|
|✅ Contributes to greater nutritional value for egg and meat production|
Whether raising free-range or confined chickens, this layer feed is perfect for all. This chicken food is also a good option if you are looking for a special option with higher omega-3. Compared to store-bought eggs, your hens will lay eggs with 5 times higher omega-3.
The layer feed has a unique formula called a strong oyster system. It is made of a combination of oyster shells, vitamin D, and manganese to strengthen the eggshell. You can start feeding the layer feed once your chicken is 18 weeks and continue it during the laying cycle.
The food contains 16% crude protein and 4.5% calcium. You don’t need to serve additional grain or free choice calcium. The feed is free from antibiotics or hormones to ensure the health and safety of your flocks. You don’t need to be concerned about any leg problems or other health issues.
This Purina layer feed contains prebiotics that can multiply SCFA production, stimulating overall growth performance. Also, this special ingredient makes chickens’ guts healthy by multiplying “good” bacteria. It improves the digestive system and strengthens the immune system.
|✅ 5 times higher omega-3 than stored bought eggs||🔻 The packaging quality could be better|
|✅ Contains oyster shell, vitamin D, and manganese to make the eggshell strong||🔻 Some chickens may not show interest in eating them|
|✅ Free from antibiotics or hormones to ensure no leg problems and other health issues|
|✅ Has prebiotics to increase SCFA production and helps hens to grow faster|
|✅ Improves the digestive system and strengthens the immune system|
How Much Layer Feed Does A Laying Chicken Need?
A chicken that will lay eggs soon or already lays eggs needs around 0.25 pounds or 3.5-4 ounces of layer feed.
It is roughly 100 to 150 grams per day. Their weekly consumption is around 1.5 to 1.75 pounds.
However, the ideal amount can be more or less depending on their physical activities. If they are more active, you can add an extra 10 to 20 grams to get sufficient energy.
But if you are raising your feathered friends in a free range, they might naturally enjoy grubs, bugs, worms, and veggies. This eliminates additional food intake.
Another vital thing to consider is your chicken breed. Bantam chickens don’t need as much food as heavy breeds do.
Generally, large-sized chooks need a bit more layer feed than smaller ones to support their energy levels.
How Many Times A Day To Feed Layer Feed To Chickens?
Generally, laying hens need three meals a day with breaks in between. You should serve an early morning breakfast once they wake up. The time range is between 6 am to 8 am.
Then, provide another light meal in the noon. Finally, serve dinner in the evening when you’re back home.
Now, the question is how much to feed in each meal. Usually, you want to provide more food during the early morning and evening.
For example, if your flock eats 150 grams of food daily. Serve 55 grams in the morning, 40 grams in the noon, and 55 grams in the evening.
When To Feed Layer Feed To Chickens?
You can start feeding layer feed once your chicken becomes 18 weeks old. But if your flock already laid their first egg before 18 weeks, you can serve them layer feed.
Make sure to feed hens during the early morning, 6-7 am. The heat load of nutrient metabolism occurs during this period.
The main advantage of feeding layer feed to chickens is improving their egg production abilities with higher protein and calcium content. More importantly, it makes their eggshells stronger.
This unique chicken food contains many vitamins and minerals directly transferred into chickens’ eggs. It also helps chooks grow strong and healthy.
What To Consider When Choosing A Layer Feed For Chickens?
Do you randomly buy a good-quality product? Probably not! The same rule applies when it comes to selecting the best layer of feed for chickens.
You want to consider some crucial aspects that provide better value for your investment.
The followings are a few vital attributes you should never overlook while buying a layer feed for your feathered friends.
01. How Much Protein Does The Layer Feed Have?
Laying hens need around 16% to 18% protein. However, experts recommend feeding them 16% protein once they become nineteen weeks old.
You can continue feeding the egg-laying cycle during their egg-laying cycle.
Avoid feeding more than recommended protein levels. Their body will struggle to digest so much protein at one time
It may otherwise cause kidney and liver failure from long-term over-feeding protein.
02. How Much Calcium Does The Layer Feed Have?
A laying hen needs around 4% to 5% calcium daily. More precisely, the calcium intake should be about 3.2 to 3.8 grams daily.
Vitamin D3, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, and zinc help chickens strengthen their eggs. But calcium plays the most crucial role in making their eggshells stronger.
The eggshells might be soft if the layer contains less than 3% calcium. They are more likely to break easily.
However, the calcium level can’t be more than 5%. Otherwise, it will decrease their growth and feed efficiency. Their kidneys may also get blocked by too much uric acid.
Another common problem has weak bones that may lead to bone deformities.
03. Is The Grower Feed Crumble Or Pallet Version?
Crumble feed is a better choice for younger chickens who have not become fully grown up yet.
This type of layer feed is easy to eat and digest. However, they contain too many fine particles that can create dust. Flocks are more likely to waste a good amount of feed.
On the other hand, pallet-based grower feed is a better option for adult chickens who are used to eating small bite-sized pieces.
The main advantage of this type of chicken food is minimal dust and waste. They are convenient to store due to their consistent shape and size.
04. Is The Grower Feed Medicated Or Non-Medicated?
One of the primary reasons experts recommend not feeding medicated chicken feed as it inhibits the absorption of B1. This disenables chickens to grow faster and become healthy.
You may want to feed medicated layer feed to treat cocci or other similar infections.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t kill or stop this disease. It prevents the infection from reaching other body parts as long as you feed it.
Unless your chickens have any cocci or other diseases, you should serve them non-medicated feed. You don’t have to worry if they are vaccinated.
The non-medicated feed contains all the essential nutrients to keep laying hens strong and healthy.
05. Is The Grower Feed Organic Or Conventional?
Do you want to feed cheap products just to save a few bucks? One of the common options may chicken owners feed their chooks is conventional feed.
This type of food contains soy, corn, byproducts, genetically modified feeds, and even some chemicals.
Feeding conventional feed for several weeks can harm your laying hens in the long run. More importantly, it disrupts their natural health development and egg production.
But organic layer feeds are entirely safe. They are pure, natural, and healthy, contributing to better egg and meat production.
06. Will Your Chickens Eat The Layer Feed?
Chickens are sometimes a bit picky. They take a little time to get habituated to a new feed. A few chooks may show unwillingness to eat some new layer feed.
But why they don’t like it? Some chooks may take some time to adjust to the feed’s new taste, texture, and smell.
This can be especially true for chickens raised on a particular type of feed or who have developed a preference for a specific brand.
Another reason chickens may not like new feed is that it may not meet their nutritional needs or contain ingredients they are not used to.
It is a good rule of thumb to buy a small amount of layer feed to learn whether your flocks like it. If they don’t like it, you should try a new option.
It is best to introduce new feed gradually To minimize the risk of feed refusal. Mix it with the old feed for several days or weeks.
07. How Much Does It Cost?
How much are you ready to pay to buy layer feed? What is your budget range? The average price of a layer feed can be anywhere from $0.50 to $2.00 per pound.
Generally, non-GMO, organic, and high-nutritionally valuable layer feed will cost more than regular options.
However, you should also consider value for the money. Some brands charge too high even though giving less amount of layer feed.
Comparing the price, quantity, and nutritional value will help you come up with the best outcome and select the best layer feed for chickens.
Tips On Feeding Layer Feed To Chickens
The followings are pro tips to feed layer feed to flocks.
01. Store The Layer Feed Correctly
Keep the layer feed in a cool and dry place to keep it fresh longer for an extended period. The chicken food must be away from exposure to moisture and direct sunlight.
The ideal temperature should be roughly between 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F). Fungi and bacteria will be less likely to attack and spoil the chicken food.
Avoid feeding expired layer feed to chickens as they may have harmful bacteria in higher amounts.
One of the most common dangerous bacteria is Bacteroides, which can cause anaerobic infections. Its mortality rate is more than 19%.
02. Serve The Food In The Right Container
What is the use of serving high-quality feed if the chickens struggle to access it? Regardless of the chicken feeder you choose, it must be conventional.
If you have already grown chicks to teenage flocks, you know which type of chicken feeder they like.
Make sure it has an easy-to-eat design and shape. Another important thing is keeping the food clean. It must have a stable and secure top to avoid food spilling.
03. Don’t Serve Too Much Food At A Time
Avoid serving too much food at a time. Chickens usually prefer fresher food. Refilling the feeder after every 2-3 days is a good rule of thumb.
Besides, keeping excessive food may attract rodents and other predators to steal it.
In addition, your feathered friends may overeat food regularly. It can lead to obesity and excessive weight gain.
04. Keep Enough Fresh Water
Do you know chickens drink twice the amount of water based on what they eat daily?
More importantly, eggs contain around 60% to 70% water. You can imagine how important it is to drink enough water to avoid drying up the egg supply.
Their consumption rate will increase during the summer seasons. Chooks need enough water to control their body temperature and keep their cells healthy.
Laying hens need high-quality food that contains a good amount of calcium and protein. It improves their egg-laying ability and keeps optimal overall health.
Make sure each feathered friend eats 0.25 pounds of layer feed daily. They must also contain decent vitamins and minerals to support various biological functions.
Let us know which option appears the best layer feed for chickens according to you! You are welcome to ask any inquiry without hesitation.