12 week old pullets - time to limit feed?

pathognomonic

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Jun 9, 2013
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I have a group of 12 week old pullets that includes production reds, Easter Eggers, partridge rocks and buff Orpingtons. We joke that you wouldn't want to fall down and hit your head in their pen - they'd eat you alive.
Knowing that I don't want them going in to lay heavy, when should I start limiting their feed? They are on a starter/grower ration from Purina.
 

azygous

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Why would you want to limit their feed? Are they becoming fat?

If so, why not just feed them twice a day? I feed fermented feed and my flock gets a little over half a cup of fermented all flock grower feed per day per bird.

If they are running out of chick starter, I would feed the grower ration, even after they start to lay, as long as you supply oyster shell on the side to meet their calcium needs.
 

pathognomonic

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Jun 9, 2013
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My point was that right now they are on free-choice feed, the joke about them eating me alive was just that they are voracious eaters and will chow down on whatever is in front of them. I want to optimize their growth, but slow them down soon enough that they aren't potentially overweight when they come in to lay. My production reds will come into lay in the next 6 weeks. I keep them on the starter/grower because it is medicated, rather then switching them to a grower/finisher ration.
 

Ol Grey Mare

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*I* have never had reason to limit feed for pullets, etc and have not had them go into the point of lay anywhere near being heavy in condition.
 

donrae

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I've never limited feed for my laying flock. They have grower type feed available 24/7. They're in great condition. The birds really don't over eat...in that they have more sense than I do, lol.
 

aart

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I've never read about limiting feed for layers either....meat chickens yes, but not layers.
Never read about using medicated feed for more than a couple months either.

But to each their own.


I like to feed a 'flock raiser' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and all molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat.

Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided on occasion and during molting and if I see any feather eating.

The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer.
 

donrae

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Chickens don't really eat at night, and food left out is an invitation for rodents.


If this is in reference to my post, I have enough barn cats and farmdogs rodents are not an issue. Plus, way too lazy to take food in and out of the coop each day, even if I were home to do so.

But thanks for pointing that out for others with different management styles.
 

Ol Grey Mare

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If this is in reference to my post, I have enough barn cats and farmdogs rodents are not an issue. Plus, way too lazy to take food in and out of the coop each day, even if I were home to do so.

But thanks for pointing that out for others with different management styles.
X 2!
 

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