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I'm a bit confused on layer feed

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I thought I wasn't supposed to start feeding them later feed until they started laying. But now I've heard 18 weeks and then the lady at the feed store said not before 6 months! So which is it? My girls are 17 weeks. TIA.
post #2 of 11
Layer feed is all about raising your hens calcium levels in order to help them lay eggs. I personally start them on layer feed at 18 weeks because that works best for me.
Four lovely hens : An Exbattery Hen, a Lavender Araucana, a Wheaten Marans and a Gold Laced Frizzle Polish
Two dogs and four cats.
If you want to read my chicken adventure, here it is :
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/947562/my-story-our-experience-join-me-on-my-adventure.
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Four lovely hens : An Exbattery Hen, a Lavender Araucana, a Wheaten Marans and a Gold Laced Frizzle Polish
Two dogs and four cats.
If you want to read my chicken adventure, here it is :
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/947562/my-story-our-experience-join-me-on-my-adventure.
Reply
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Oh believe me I'm ready for them to lay!! I was just confused on the timing of when to start giving it to them.
post #4 of 11
18 weeks is perfectly fine. smile.png
Four lovely hens : An Exbattery Hen, a Lavender Araucana, a Wheaten Marans and a Gold Laced Frizzle Polish
Two dogs and four cats.
If you want to read my chicken adventure, here it is :
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/947562/my-story-our-experience-join-me-on-my-adventure.
Reply
Four lovely hens : An Exbattery Hen, a Lavender Araucana, a Wheaten Marans and a Gold Laced Frizzle Polish
Two dogs and four cats.
If you want to read my chicken adventure, here it is :
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/947562/my-story-our-experience-join-me-on-my-adventure.
Reply
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
And I just bought another bag of grower feed. Sigh. Will the layer feed speed up or encourage laying then?
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenpoop77 View Post

And I just bought another bag of grower feed. Sigh. Will the layer feed speed up or encourage laying then?

Yes, the added calcium in the layer feed will help them get ready to lay. I always switch feeds slowly so it is easier on them so if I were you I would feed the grower another month (until 18 weeks) and then mix a little of the layer in with it until you are out of grower and are feeding 100% layer. Hopefully you won't have to wait too long. I wouldn't wait until they lay to start them on layer feed though. I could be wrong but unless they are free range I don't think they would ever lay in a coop and run on just grower feed. The calcium wouldn't get anywhere close to meeting their demands.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenpoop77 View Post

And I just bought another bag of grower feed. Sigh. Will the layer feed speed up or encourage laying then?
If you just bought another bag, feel free to use it up first with a separate containter of free choice oyster shell for added calcium. smile.png
Four lovely hens : An Exbattery Hen, a Lavender Araucana, a Wheaten Marans and a Gold Laced Frizzle Polish
Two dogs and four cats.
If you want to read my chicken adventure, here it is :
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/947562/my-story-our-experience-join-me-on-my-adventure.
Reply
Four lovely hens : An Exbattery Hen, a Lavender Araucana, a Wheaten Marans and a Gold Laced Frizzle Polish
Two dogs and four cats.
If you want to read my chicken adventure, here it is :
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/947562/my-story-our-experience-join-me-on-my-adventure.
Reply
post #8 of 11

Actually, there is no magic ingredient in layer feed that will speed up or make them lay. You don't actually have to feed layer at all. In fact, it's too low in protein for flocks that get to free range frequently or get treats daily.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by XxMingirlxX View Post

If you just bought another bag, feel free to use it up first with a separate containter of free choice oyster shell for added calcium. smile.png

That's what I did, the hens all did fine.
2 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Black Sex Links,. 1 Golden Retriever, 1 "old man" cat and 2 Betta.
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2 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Black Sex Links,. 1 Golden Retriever, 1 "old man" cat and 2 Betta.
Reply
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks everybody!! They et out almost everyday for several hours so they're not exactly free range. I think I will get some oyster shell and just continue with what I have.
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