I need help please. I have 15 girls, 2 are 21 wks, 10 are 16 wks. and 3 are about 13wks. I have a cockerel that is about 13 wks . My older girls started laying Aug 7. I have been getting soft shelled eggs about 3 time a wk, now Sat. night I had 1 ok egg, 1 rubber egg and 1 egg very soft shell all in same nest box. I think that means I might have 3 laying now. My question is: I am not feeding layer feed yet because of their ages. I tried giving them oyster shells, but the 16 wk girls are the only ones eating them. I went through about 5 lbs in 2 days. They are all in the same run and coop. I know you should not feed layer feed under 18 wks. What should I do? My 13 wk olds I just got from Beaglady a wk ago Sun. and they will not come out of the coop. They are eating and growing. I do have a slw and br that seem to pick on them, they don't get any feathers but as soon as they venture out they chase them back in. Will this stop soon? No one else picks on them. My leghorns are the bossy ones but they don't bother them. lol
I would switch to layer with the next bag of feed, even if you can't separate them. Too much calcium is not nearly as big an issue as it's made out to be, otherwise all our roosters would be dead, not living long full lives in the pens with the hens.
I agree that if you can separate the younger ones for a while that will benefit them. Otherwise, make sure they have plenty of food and water and watch for any sign of serious aggression from the older ones.
Thanks for your help. Next week I am going to buy layer feed, also I am going to put them back in the dog crate (Large) for another week. They have been eating and drinking a lot.