Can Roosters and Hens Eat Layer Feed? Select the Best!

can roosters and hens eat layer feed? select best one

Are you raising roosters and layers together? Now you are thinking that can all aged roosters eat layer feed? What do a hen and rooster eat?

You also have confusion about the exact food for hens and roosters. So you want to know if the food items are the same for both?

If you provide both of them with the same food, will there be any problem? Can you provide them with layer feed?

To know all the answers to these questions, you can read this blog post. You should also know more information about poultry feed for the rooster.

I think you have come to the right location where you may be able to know the answers to your questions.

So don’t skip…

Can All the Roosters Eat Layer Feed (food)?

Yes, roosters can eat layer feed at any time.

But wait

You may have a question that can roosters and hens together eat the same type of food all the time?

The answer is no.


Feeding layers all the time is not ideal for roosters because they need more protein and less calcium. Layers need extra calcium for laying more eggs.

But remember, excess calcium may bring the sickness (kidney damage or kidney failure) of chicken.

Normally, the layer feed is perfect for hens. On the other hand, it cannot fulfill the total nutrition of the rooster.

So you should know the right balance of nutrition for roosters for their better health. For this, you need to know the food items which you should provide them.

If your chicken is continuously losing weight, then there is also another reason. You can also find that problem by searching some common terms and making those sick chickens healthy again.

What To Feed Roosters And Hens

Roosters eat both plant (leafy greens) and animal food. You don’t provide supplemental food if the rooster eats total diet food as a diet list.

You should provide vitamins, minerals, animal protein, carbohydrates, and fats to the rooster for a complete and healthy diet.

The food items also vary according to the rooster age. When you raise a rooster for only meat, you need to require a specific eating item for them. If you raise them for mating purposes, food items may vary.

Normally roosters eat vegetables, a variety of fresh fruits, grain, oat groats, insects, etc. They love cheese, noodles, etc. They also eat leafy vegetables, lettuce, etc.

For digestion, grit food may also help them. You should not provide meat scraps and kitchen scraps to them.

what to feed roosters and hens for their health

For Rooster Feed

At 0 to 3 weeks, for a chick starter (roaster), you should prepare 18-21% protein.
At 3 to 8 weeks, you should prepare 15-18% grower
After 8 weeks, you should prepare 15-16% protein.

For Hen’s Feed

At 0 to 8 weeks, for a chicken starter, you should prepare 18-21% protein as a starter. (source)

N.B: The nutritional requirements are not the same for both domestic chickens (hens) and roosters.

Poultry Scratch Grains

Can Roosters Eat Cooked Rice and Bread?

You may have a question about which type of rice you should provide to the rooster. You should try to supply them with cooked rice and they also loved it.

Try to avoid uncooked rice for feeding them. Because uncooked rice can’t create much energy for them. They can get a lot of energy if they eat cooked rice.

But at the same time, you should provide nutritious food to them for complete nutrition. You can also provide them with fresh bread. But you shouldn’t provide moldy bread to them.

In moldy bread, there is a toxic substance. If the pets eat moldy food, they may get immediately sick. So the better way is to provide fresh feed to the adult chickens and roosters.

Can Roosters Eat Layer Pellets or Laying Mash?

Laying mash is like other layer feed (pallets). Some poultry farmers provide this type of food to the poultry birds. It helps to provide extra vitamins for the laying chicken. Rooster can eat this but it will not be ideal for them.

Can Roosters Eat Oyster Shells (Calcium Included)?

A huge amount of calcium is contained in the oyster shell. Calcium is needed for female chickens because they need to lay eggs.

Besides, strong eggshells are created on the egg surface for calcium. On the other hand, roosters don’t need the high amounts of calcium levels that chickens need.

For excess calcium, there may be formatted stones in the semen ducts of any rooster. You should supply this type of food to the chickens if you want to grow more egg production and keep the chicken healthy.

Rooster needs a high amount of protein that doesn’t contain in the oyster shell. So it will be better not to provide this type of food to the rooster.

Some poultry farmers provide apple cider vinegar (ACV) to them for keeping away from worms, diarrhea, mites, and other problems of chicken.

Can the Laying Hens Eat Grower Feed for All Time?

Yes, laying hens can eat grower feed but you should provide calcium for them. You can provide them with oyster shells and grower feed. For doing that you can provide oyster shells by using a separate feeder.

If you continue both oyster shell and grower feed, it is ok. If you just continue only grower feed to the chickens (laying hens), it is not ok to continue grower feed for a long time.

When You Should Start Layer Feed for Hens

This is a good question for hens. When the hens start laying, you should start layer feed because it contains calcium.

This vitamin is helpful for their body. Especially for creating vibrant feathers of the chicken, amino acids are needed to them and It is contained in this feed.

You can add the layer or commercial feeds (flock raisers) when the age of the chickens is 18 weeks old. Normally starting the laying time is preferable for providing this food.

What to Provide the Roosters to Fatten Them up Quickly

You may have a question about what eating items should provide to the rooster for more meat. Now I am telling you the ways that also follow other people.

If you want them to fatten quickly, you should add protein to their daily eating menu. For getting a fast result, you can add protein with corn mixed in. Besides you can also add the mixture of turkey starter scratch.

N.B: you should take advice from your local vet/experienced farmer before providing feed to make them more healthy fast.

How Often Do Roosters Eat in a Day?

It varies according to the weight of the rooster. For example, normally, a rooster (around 6 pounds) eats almost 3 pounds of food per 7 days.

If any rooster eats enough food, that rooster automatically stops eating. So you should focus on the menu which the rooster eats, which must be nutritious.

You can raise the rooster in a free-range (around the house or yard) so that they can eat insects as an alternative (contain protein).

What Should You Not Feed Layers and Roosters?

Some people don’t provide a specific eating menu for their poultry birds. So for better health, you should also know some common foods that are not suitable for the flock with roosters.

You should try to avoid some specific food for poultry birds. Such as,

  • Avocado skin: fungicidal toxin (persin) may be included in the avocado skin.
  • Fast food: It can’t provide essential and basic nutrients to the poultry birds.
  • Candy and related food: high sugar type of food may be bad for the chicken
  • Chocolate: there may be available chemicals that can hamper the health of these poultry birds.
  • Green potatoes: solanine ( toxin) may be present in it.
  • Spoiled food: It contains toxins that hamper any pet’s health.

N.B: If you have no control to provide layer feed to the poultry birds, you can manage it with a reliable chicken waterer and feeder. Besides, if you think that you will start a poultry farm with around 5-6 chickens, then you should need a good chicken coop. Of course, that coop must be elevated from the ground. For making your rooster and chicken safe from cold weather, that coop is very important.

My Viewpoint

In summary, I want to say that you should take care of the rooster with specific eating items. For the production of fertile eggs for creating chicken embryos, the sperm of a healthy rooster is needed.

In that case, you should provide them with a healthy and protein type of food. After reading this post, you will have a clear concept about the exact eating of the rooster and hens.

Here, I have tried to share the protein level that requires both rooster and hens. If you are interested in growing a poultry farm, you should need to know some basic information about the rooster, hen, and other poultry birds.

If you want to produce baby chicks (baby roosters and chickens) without any trouble, you can use a reliable incubator.

Nowadays many people are also using this type of device for producing chicks easily. However, of course, you should keep alert about the rooster and chicken feed.

You can make a chart for providing nutritious food to them. You can also get help from a poultry vet.

FAQ: Can Roosters Eat Layer Feed

Do Roosters Need Different Feed than Chickens or Hens?

Laying hens need calcium to lay more eggs. So layer feed is important for them. On the other hand, adult roosters need more protein from food.

So they will not get the exact benefit from this eating item. They need nutritious feed with vitamins. You can provide a specific menu separately to the rooster and hen.

What Happens If Roosters Eat Layer Feed at any time?

When the roosters reach around eighteen (18) weeks old, they can eat layer feed. But it is required for the laying hens. So providing this food to the rooster is not perfect.

You should provide nutritious food including protein to the rooster. So try to provide non-layer feed to them. I have also shared some food items of both roosters and hens in this blog.

Why is Layer Feed Bad for the Roosters?

Layer feed contains only around 15-17% (percent) of protein that is not sufficient for adult roosters. So I think you have understood why eating this type of feed is not helpful to the rooster.

After reading this total post, I think you will get the basic knowledge that you need.

What is the Best Feed (food) for the Roosters?

A fresh feed with included nutrition, vitamins, and protein is helpful to the roosters. Try to avoid layer feed from them and give them protein and vitamins.

You can easily find the specific eating for the rooster when you search from the internet. I have also shared some eating items for roosters in this article.

Sometimes, you should allow the rooster to eat insects and other required food around your home. Because they can get the required vitamins from insects. Be alert that they eat fresh food all the time.

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