We had a single chick hatch on April 4th (or late the night of the 3rd). Dad was an ameracauna, mom unknown since we had a couple of hens fighting over who got to hatch the eggs. The chick is being raised by her momma, in the flock, not separated out (with mom) like we normally do with a larger clutch. I went on a long trip recently and left my husband in charge, and he didn't realize I was feeding starter/grower to everyone while the chick was little and he fed them all laying pellets for the 3 weeks I was gone and the 1 week I've been back and he's still been in charge. They mostly free range, but have 24/7 access to commercial feed, oyster shell grit, and get treats usually every other day (sunflower seeds, meal worms, or fresh fruits/vegetables). Today I found a tiny egg in the nest. I'm worried! This is way too young. Did we do irreversible damage to our young pullet by feeding her laying pellets? Anything I can/should do now? Any words of wisdom are much appreciated. Thank you!
6-week old laying! Help?!
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
My 33 Golden Buff hens hatched Oct 5 2015 started laying Fed 1 2016 about 4 months some started laying what I call pullet eggs but now there may be 2 of those pullet eggs a day. Most are medium to large eggs now.
5 years ago we got 26 Black-Sex-link hatched 2 days old and they grow very nice using starter / grower at about 6 months started laying so changed to laying pellets. I about a year 1 hen died another year 2 more died. This got me looking at the feed. My mama raised several 100 chickens when I was a kid and never had this problem. Just to see I changed to lay crumble and did not lose anymore until they were over 4 years old. I still don't know for sure but looking at lay pellets closely seems to me they are bigger now days and do not broke down easily from pellet form. Just me maybe
There is no magic ingredient in layer feed that make chickens lay eggs. The reason you should not feed chicks layer is because the extra calcium will do damage to the internal organs, and it doesn't have enough protein in it to support healthy growth AND feather development. You don't have to feed layer at all. It is only appropriate for actively laying hens, and only if it's the only thing they eat. For those with birds that aren't laying, for whatever reason, or those that feed treats frequently, or free range; switching to a higher protein grower feed is a better choice.
The 6 week old chick did not lay an egg. That is physically impossible.
We had over 300 chickens growing up and I helped gather eggs daily. I do not ever remember getting a "fart" egg from any of them. Fast forward 20 some odd years, and my flock that is only a year old has provided me with 2 fart eggs! I could be wrong, but I just cannot help but feel hatchery chicks just aint what they used to be and maybe that is why? I never remember having even a fraction of the problems I have had with my current flock with any of the other chickens I have raised in the past. Like I said, I could be wrong, but I feel like hatchery chicks these days are just trash and do not grow to be nearly as healthy as they used to!