6 month old Buff Orpingtons not laying - is layer feed ok?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Aidragonfly, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. Aidragonfly

    Aidragonfly New Egg

    Jul 10, 2014
    I have 3 buff orpington chickens that are 6 months old now and still aren't laying. I have had them on grower feed because I read you shouldn't give them layer feed until they are actually laying. I'd hate to buy another huge bag of grower just to have them lay and have to get a different kind. Do you think its okay to give them layer feed anyways? Should I have given it to them at 18 weeks? I am worried I caused some sort of nutritional deficiency and that's why they aren't laying. [​IMG] Any advice would be great thank you!!
  2. SkyWorld

    SkyWorld Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2014
    You can get a bag of laying feed and do a half and half of each until you use up the grower feed. That's what I did and I also gave them as much green veggie as I could. Make sure you have extra calcium, egg shells, oyster shells or my husband spoils the girl with provolone cheese. They jump all over him for it. I like to give them plain yoghurt mixed with oats or corn meal. The other thing you need to keep in mind is the shorter days mean less sunlight for the egg making process and unless you wish to add more light into their day, they will be less productive during the winter months. I have six chickens about 8 months old and I get about one egg a day. Just before the winter came I was getting four eggs a day. Don't stress it and enjoy your hens and if your still not sure post a few pictures.[​IMG][​IMG]
  3. Aidragonfly

    Aidragonfly New Egg

    Jul 10, 2014
    Okay! Thank you!
  4. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    I agree, they're probably not laying due to the short days. When they days get longer, they will start laying.

    Another option is to continue feeding the grower for the rest of their lives and keep crushed oyster shell on the side. They will eat the oyster shell when they need it and won't when they don't. This is easier because when one of your hens go into molt (in another 6-12 months), she will stop laying and shouldn't have layer feed during the molt. You would need a seperate coop to feed her and it would be stressful on her to be seperated. If all 3 of your hens molt at the same time, it's a moot point, but that probably won't happen. Even if this did happen, while you wouldn't have the issue of splitting your hens up during the molt, you would still need to buy and feed grower or starter feed during the molt.

    The only difference between layer and grower feeds is the layer has a lot more calcium and the grower is usually a bit higher in protein. The extra protein is good for them.

    Feeding layer feed to a non-laying adult chicken can lead to visceral gout and kidney problems. Feeding it to chicks can result in deformities or even death.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I like to feed an 'all flock' 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 and have calcium available at all times for the layers, oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

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

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