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Can I feed my chicks layer ration?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I ran out of crumbled starter ration last night and of course today is Sunday and the feed store is closed. Can I feed my 5 and 7 week old chicks pelletized laying ration for a day? How about scratch? - Thanks

post #2 of 12

If it's pelleted they may not eat it well, but you can try it.  For just a day pretty much anything they will eat will work.  Try bread if you don't have anything else.

Chance favors the prepared mind.
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Chance favors the prepared mind.
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post #3 of 12

I would go with scratch and scrambled eggs myself, but if it's only for a day a pellet with less than 2% calcium won't do any harm. The layer rations with 4% wouldn't be a good thing, but even that for one day wouldn't be the end of the world. It's the calcium that causes the oviduct to prematurely develop and that could cause serious laying issues later, like internal laying.

               ৲(⎠    ~Renée~ *MyHints* NPIP&AI 48-0346 Incubation Cheat Sheet ~t~ SickPage ~f~

 (`-.     _.-⎠̸   I dream of a society in which no one questions a chicken's motive for road crossing. 

*` (_.}  ,' Orp~Ameraucana~Azul d'Oro~d'Uccle~Konza~Aubergine~Banty Cochin~Marans~Rock~Copetóna~

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               ৲(⎠    ~Renée~ *MyHints* NPIP&AI 48-0346 Incubation Cheat Sheet ~t~ SickPage ~f~

 (`-.     _.-⎠̸   I dream of a society in which no one questions a chicken's motive for road crossing. 

*` (_.}  ,' Orp~Ameraucana~Azul d'Oro~d'Uccle~Konza~Aubergine~Banty Cochin~Marans~Rock~Copetóna~

     _ . /       

      _/  \ _ O

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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

thanks! You guys rock! I will stop worrying and just give them layer and scratch today.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Wait. Now Chookschick has me worried. I just threw my 8 week old Delawares into a pen with mature layers. Will they be harmed at this age by feed with %4 calcium?

post #6 of 12

abelseville - I'm wondering the same thing, too.  Last year's chicks I'm pretty sure got fed layer mash before they were old enough. What happens if 10 week old chicks start eating layer mash?  Does it mess up their egg production for life?  (I'm wondering if this is why I have someone laying misshapen and soft eggs all of the time - even with calcium supplements).  I have heard that you should not feed layer mash too young - but what happens if you do?

Keep in mind that the true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good. 
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Keep in mind that the true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good. 
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post #7 of 12

We will soon see b/c my 10 wk old chicks ate it since my parents came to feed when we were out of town 2 wks ago they are 12 wks now. We ran out I did not want my parents to have to try to go across town to buy feed. When we returned there was no flock finisher so we fed them the layer pellets and are still feeding it to them. Mine are free range and mostly eat forage food so I think they are fine but we will soon see.

Great husband, beautiful daughter, 2 EE, 4 RIR,1 BSL and 6 RSL
To God Be The Glory!
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Great husband, beautiful daughter, 2 EE, 4 RIR,1 BSL and 6 RSL
To God Be The Glory!
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post #8 of 12

Sorry- didn't look for replies until now.

Extra calcium for any prolonged period before the 16 week age-range can cause kidney problems, bone growth issues and possibly oviduct problems down the line- that's why foods like flock raiser aren't adequate sources of calcium by themselves- you ought not give that high calcium to chicks.

Each of the different feeds is formulated to be the minimum to meet the needs of a particular age range, and flock raisers are meant to meet the minimums of multiple ages with you providing supplementation in the form of oyster shell for the adults.

It really important to follow certain guidelines for protein and nutritional needs for various ages.

Some guidelines:


    Approximate Ages (weeks)   Crude protein %   Calcium %   Phosphorus %
    Starter 0 - 6 weeks                      18                     0.9             0.45
    Grower 6 - 16 weeks              16                     0.8             0.45
    Pre-layer 16 - 19 weeks               17                     2.0            0.45
    Laying > 19                            17 - 19             3.8 - 4.0        0.45


You'll see that many commercial feeds targeting a specific age are close to, but not exactly at, these levels, so it's just what you find works for you- but it's important to note that you'll need higher protein when they are recovering from a molt. It's also important to note that scratch is only 8% protein, so every bit you give them decreases their net protein intake- it's chicken Cap'n Crunch.

It's no big deal to change them around for a few days, but you'll want to stick to guidelines for any lengthy duration.

For mixed age groups, a flock raiser is the best choice, and just offer crushed oyster shell AND grit for everyone to take as they please.

               ৲(⎠    ~Renée~ *MyHints* NPIP&AI 48-0346 Incubation Cheat Sheet ~t~ SickPage ~f~

 (`-.     _.-⎠̸   I dream of a society in which no one questions a chicken's motive for road crossing. 

*` (_.}  ,' Orp~Ameraucana~Azul d'Oro~d'Uccle~Konza~Aubergine~Banty Cochin~Marans~Rock~Copetóna~

     _ . /       

      _/  \ _ O

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               ৲(⎠    ~Renée~ *MyHints* NPIP&AI 48-0346 Incubation Cheat Sheet ~t~ SickPage ~f~

 (`-.     _.-⎠̸   I dream of a society in which no one questions a chicken's motive for road crossing. 

*` (_.}  ,' Orp~Ameraucana~Azul d'Oro~d'Uccle~Konza~Aubergine~Banty Cochin~Marans~Rock~Copetóna~

     _ . /       

      _/  \ _ O

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post #9 of 12

I have some Blue-laced Red Wyandottes that I got in July. I've been told they probably won't lay until next February. I usually get Barred Rocks and RIR's, and I haven't found that they start laying by 20 weeks. These RW's will be 7 months in February. I usually read that you can expect eggs anywhere from 20 to 24 weeks. Would this be more true for hybrids like sex-links?

 

Also, if the pure breeds start to lay later, would you suggest continuing the grower ration until they begin to lay, then switch to layer?

 

Thank you!

post #10 of 12

Welcome to BYC.

Most hybrids do start around twenty weeks, just like most of the good layers they are bred from.  Wyandottes are one of the breeds that tend to start later more at the twenty four or so week age.  Of course with the shorter days of winter they may delay starting till the days get longer.   If they aren't laying then they don't need the extra calcium in the layer.  I would keep them on the grower till they start to lay.

Den
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