4 1/2 months old. What to feed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sinfonian, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Sinfonian

    Sinfonian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2011
    Seattle area
    Hey, my hens are nearly ready to start laying and I'm almost out of starter feed. Should I just buy layer feed now or invest in more starter? I plan on supplementing with baked crushed egg shells for added calcium, and let them forage on grass and weeds, but want opinions on their feed for the next month or so.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    eh..I think you could go either way...but I'd prob. go layer..they are close enough...besides; on the back of pkgs they have
    differing opinions...diff. brands = diff. opinions...
     
  3. Peep lePleaser

    Peep lePleaser Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2011
    You should take them off of the Chick Starter and start them on a good Chick Grower until theyre laying good (maybe 2-3 weeks into laying), incorporating oyster shell and a laying pellet or mash (16% or more). When theyre laying good, (meaning the eggs are no longer mal-shaped, soft or small) you can take them off the Grower and put them completely on the mash, scratch feed, cracked corn, etc.

    I also recycle all my (cleaned, ground up) eggshells that we eat, back into their feed somewhere. Be careful not to leave too big pieces if you do this though, else the hens may take a notion to start eating their own eggs! I make sure theyre all in tiny, tiny pieces before doing this, which is best. It is a very good source of calcium for them, and can also take the place of some of the oyster shell they need.

    Good luck and Happy Laying!!
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Depending on when I run out of Flock Raiser or Grower, I generally start feeding (or they have access to my big girls' feed) Layer feed around 18 weeks - so your birds will be fine on layer at 4.5 months. [​IMG]
     
  5. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    Mine are about the same age, and I have switched them to the layer feed, but they still go over and steal the chick grower from my 2 month chicks. Rotten theives. LOL
     
  6. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    Quote:I wouldnt put them just on mash/scratch/cracked corn...you really need to have a good layer feed...unless u let them free range and they have access to everythign they'd need..
    I never put them on grower; I do chick then layer...
    I'd only use grower if I'm doing meat chickens..
     
  7. Alethea

    Alethea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2011
    I think you can give them layer feed. They'll start laying any time now and it would be unforunate to be stuck with a bag of grower feed you aren't going to use. Bok.
     
  8. Sinfonian

    Sinfonian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2011
    Seattle area
    Thanks folks, they're actually almost 5 months and my feed store recommended against grower, thus this current bag of starter. They have access to forage all day and get kitchen scraps for treats, but still go through lots of feed.
    I will definitely switch to layer and likely make the pulverized baked shells a choice.

    Thanks!
     
  9. Sinfonian

    Sinfonian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2011
    Seattle area
    Man are there ever opinions out there. My brother convinced me to go a few more weeks of starter feed, basically on the advice we got from the feed store. I got there today and they told me any hen over 4 months should get layer feed. Go figure. Same place, different official opinions. Anyhow, I got their Made in Washington Scratch and Peck organic layer feed and it looks a lot like seeds and whole grains. First ingredient is peas for goodness sakes! Bet my girls will love it! Can't wait for that first egg!
     
  10. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2011
    It's crazy how far and wide the opinions go. My feed store insisted on grower. Ha ha
     

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