14 weeks too soon for layer?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Nicole01, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    My 2 youngest chicks are 14 weeks. The rest of the flock is 17-21 weeks of age. I'm almost out of starter(grower is not available) and I have a bag of layer sitting in my basement unopened that dh bought 1-2 months ago jumping the gun on their feed.

    Is it too soon to switch to layer or should we head out to the store tonight for a bag of starter for one more month? Will layer cause kidney damage in 14 week old chicks? Thanks.
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    I think it will be just fine for you to switch over a few weeks early.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    14 weeks is too early for later maturing breed. If their normal point of lay is 22 weeks, then you'll have them prematurely on layer ration for far too long, imho. Part of the problem is that layer is only 16% protein and developing pullets benefit from 18-20% protein during those adolescent weeks. The only breeds I would switch at 14 weeks would be the known early commercial breeds such as leghorns, ISA Browns, etc.

    Continue to feed a starter/grower/raiser to everyone. That is simply the easiest solution. Offer shells on the side. Then, once everyone is in full lay 7 or 8 weeks from now, you can certainly feed the entire laying flock the layer pellets/mash.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  4. Gerry2011

    Gerry2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What does "ISA" stand for?[​IMG]
     
  5. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    My youngest two are the D'Uccle and Easter Egger. I don't know the average laying time for those breeds. I'm assuming 20 weeks.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Isa is one of several commercial breeds of laying hens. They are specially bred for the commercial egg laying business.

    You might check out this thread about feeding Layer to growing chickens. Personally, I would not do it but would feed Starter, Grower, Combined Starter/Grower, a 15% Grower/Developer, or Flock Raiser with oyster shell the side. I would not feed Layer to 14 week olds.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=550983
     
  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Quote:Wow! I didn't think a few weeks would make a difference. Glad I looked back to this thread.......What do you do, when you put the younger ones in with the mature ones then? If you've got layer feed, then you've got grower feed.......It's almost impossible to be sure they're eating the right stuff.....

    AHH CONFUSING!
     
  8. Gerry2011

    Gerry2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks...[​IMG]
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Wow! I didn't think a few weeks would make a difference. Glad I looked back to this thread.......What do you do, when you put the younger ones in with the mature ones then? If you've got layer feed, then you've got grower feed.......It's almost impossible to be sure they're eating the right stuff.....

    AHH CONFUSING!

    Almost any feed other than Layer with oyster shell on the side.
     
  10. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you. I'll buy one more bag of starter. It will last me a month, then I'll be ready to make the switch. I can not put oyster shell on the side. My 14 week old EE loves it. She snuck a couple of pieces on accident when I was giving it to my oldest 3 chicks.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011

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