12 week old eating layer

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by larcie, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. larcie

    larcie Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2014
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    I have 12 week old ducks and chicks. As the baby's are the same size as the smaller hens in my adult flock (and quarantine is complete)I've started mixing them in with flock. They're now mingle with the flock in the pen all day and are locked in a cage inside the coop at night. During the day they have acsess to layer pellets and all the fruit, veg and grass available to the adults, at night they get grower food in the cage with them.
    Will the 50/50 diet of layer and grower cause health issues?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  3. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've done a whole lot of looking at papers in the last couple of days on a similar issue, and pretty much everything I've found is that layer food for young birds is bad news.

    The kidney failure rates go up from something like 0-1% to about 6-7% when pullets are fed layer feed from week 7 to week 18 instead of grower/whatever.

    Edit for accuracy - kidney function seems unaffected, but kidney stone presence goes up to 6-7%, and kidney stones tend to be a side effect of partial kidney failure.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    X 2 - *any* non-laying bird - be it a male, a bird too young to lay or a bird of laying age who has stopped laying due to molt, season or age - should not be fed the higher calcium layer feed.
     
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Which applies to non-laying birds of any/all age - including male birds, and birds who have stopped laying- their bodies store the unneeded calcium rather than being able to expel it in the form of a shell.
     
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    To add - you will want to offer (if not already) calcium in the form of oyster shell grit, etc so that your laying birds are still able to take in the calcium they require to shell their eggs.
     
  7. larcie

    larcie Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2014
    Derby England
    Thanks for you input everyone. Unfortunately the baby's are stuck on layer for a few weeks as my feed supplier can't get grower pellets. I'm trying my best to offer a good mix of fruit, veg, oats, mealworms, crickets and seeds in the hope that the baby's won't eat much of the layer pellets.
     
  8. newchickenista

    newchickenista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wondering if you could provide an update on this for me? Since it has been nearly 2 years since you posted this, have you ever noticed any poor health in these chickens that were offered laying feed at 12 weeks of age? Are they still living and laying?
     
  9. nive

    nive Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 17, 2015
    Hi, the chickens are in fantastic health, lay very well including throughout winter (they're not heated or given light throughout the darker months)
    I've noticed they're a little bigger than the other chickens and lay larger, often double yolk eggs, couldn't say if it's anything to do with being fed layer pellets early or not but I'm guessing the noticeable size diffrace is likely due to that. But no, no noticeable health issues at all.
     
  10. newchickenista

    newchickenista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for the update! That is very helpful, to know that at 2 years old your chickens are still happy and healthy!
     

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