13 weeks.... starter/grower or layer?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DebB11, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. DebB11

    DebB11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2011
    I have 4 barred rocks (at least I think they are BR's) and 2 black stars. I just bought a 50lb bag of starter/grower...still unopened... My friend just told me this morning she already put her 13 weekers on layer pellets. She said her other chickens began laying at 16 weeks last year.

    Should I go ahead and switch mine over? I thought it was a bit too early? Also when would I start the oyster shell? Once they begin laying?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I would not feed them Layer. They are still growing and the extra calcium can damage them. Not that they will immediately fall over dead, but it is possible that it could cause long term damage. Why take that chance if there is no reason?

    Many of us don't feed Layer if we have a mixed age flock. We just feed Starter, Grower, Starter/Grower combination, Flock Raiser, whatever, with oyster shell on the side. If you look at the analysis on the label, the only significant difference between the 16% Layer and 16% Grower is the calcium. Any other differences are real minor.

    If it were me, I would feed what you have and, when they start to lay, offer oyster shell on the side.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  3. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    Quote:Yep thats what I'm doing and its working just fine, besides it's alot easier just having one food than trying to figure out who's eating what when their mixed ages. I don't think I'll be going back to layer at all everybody seems happy and healthy on the grower and since I switched egg production has gone up about 20%. the grower I have is 18% protein but the extra protein with oyster shell on the side seems to be working well for me.
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I agree.
  5. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Very interesting, I guess I'll have to label read a tad bit closer and may swap to that route. I usually feed Layena pellets, crumbles, starter grower for the chicks and then flock raiser to both broilers and turkey's. Very interesting, I clicked on the wrong thing...I thought, but low and behold, I learnt something! Thanks!
  6. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use purina (and I know lot of people either love or hate it, but it's what seems to be best available) and it even recommends staying on starter/grower/raiser until 18 wks, so 13 wks shouldn't be an issue.
  7. jaketheeggman

    jaketheeggman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2010
    Green Bay WI
    I feed my leghorns layer at 8 weeks and they are doing great
  8. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    I had been using starter for my new chicks but just recently switched to Flock Raiser,they are at 8 weeks. Also just switched the big girls to Flock Raiser as well as the newbies have been spending their days in the big girl pen and their own condo at night. Oyster shell on the side for the big girls,will be switching back to layena on the babes get laying.
    What I did with my first batch was kept them on starter/grower until 16 weeks and mixed in layer till the grower was gone. When they get to 16 weeks maybe give them some free choice oyster shell.

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