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If my hens are only eating special formulated egg layer crumbles do they need grit too?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
My hens are about 6 weeks old. I just switched them from starter feed to egg layer crumbles from Kalmbach Feeds brand to get them started with extra calcium early. Do they need grit to help digest that type of food or not?
post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by starfiregal92 View Post

My hens are about 6 weeks old. I just switched them from starter feed to egg layer crumbles from Kalmbach Feeds brand to get them started with extra calcium early. Do they need grit to help digest that type of food or not?


Welcome to BYC.

At 6 weeks of age your birds are too young to be eating layer feed.   Layer feed is designed for birds 18+ weeks of age and/or actively laying eggs.  Birds under that age/not in production cannot handle the excessive calcium content of layer feed - birds who are of age/are laying use that extra calcium to produce, shell and expel eggs.  *IF* you want to progress from starter feed prior to the point of layer feed your next step should be a grower or maintenance type ration (sold as grower, all-flock, flock-raiser, etc).    While I understand you wanted to start your girls on extra calcium early, that is likely to cause more harm than anything at this point and your birds will be much better served being fed a diet with the appropriate nutrients for their age.

As for grit, this is some great information on the offering of grit regardless of whether birds are on water soluble feed (ie the starter, grower and layer rations) or not:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/891051/the-science-of-feeding-grit-to-poultry

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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Oh wow, I didn't know extra calcium could do harm at this age. Thank you for letting me know. I'll get some grower feed for them then. Do they need grit with grower feed? I clicked your link, maybe I missed it, but I couldn't find info about that.
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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Feeding & Watering Your Flock › If my hens are only eating special formulated egg layer crumbles do they need grit too?