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Acting hungry - are they getting ready to lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mcf3kids, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Songster

    Mar 24, 2011
    My girls are all 17 weeks and are all acting like they are always hungry - I am curious if this is like a teenager in puberty who is always hungry? We changed their feed from grower/finisher to layer crumbles - wondering if this is the reason or is it the age? I am not sure if it is age related or feed related OR NORMAL behavior - thank you all for your insight!

  2. gordonburrito

    gordonburrito Songster

    Apr 4, 2010
    I don't think you're supposed to use layer crumbles until after they start laying.
  3. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Songster

    Mar 24, 2011
    hmmm I was wondering if that could be the problem - the bag says at 18 weeks to change them over. As fate would have it and the timing of one bag ending I didn't want to buy 50 lbs of feed for a week so I just got the layer. Might buy one more bag of grower finisher.

    Do they act different before they start laying?
  4. Kaeta44

    Kaeta44 Chirping

    You may as well move them on to layers mash now, it won't hurt them. Depending on the breed, they will start laying from 20 weeks - 26 weeks old, but they're certainly mature enough for the layers mash.

    Some chickens will do practice squatting before they start laying, others don't. Some will go and sit in the nest without producing anything, just to try it out, others will just go in and lay when they're ready.

  5. Hey...Girrrl's

    Hey...Girrrl's In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2011
    At 18 weeks I was told by the farm home store to mix the laying with the grower for one week. At 19 weeks I switched completely to laying feed. At 20 weeks one of my RIR laid her first egg. My other RIR laid at 21 weeks. At 22 weeks my Ameraucana's each laid their first eggs. Which was this past weekend. [​IMG] I am now waiting on my 2 Buff Orphingtons to lay their first eggs. My RIR get very noisy before they go in their nesting boxes. They also walk around in the coop and pick up shaving and lay it on their back. It's quite funny to watch.

    Good Luck...It's a beautiful thing when you get your first egg!!
  6. epeloquin

    epeloquin Songster

    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    I just bought a 50# of layer crumble, my girls are 19 weeks and have been squatting. I took the last five pounds and mixed it in at the top of the bucket. I put the 50# in two 5 gallon buckets to keep it fresh. I did notice my squatters eating more too. I supplement their regular feed with scratch, yogurt, crickets, fruit etc. Plus I let them freerange for 1-2 hours every day so they get grass, flowers, bugs etc.
  7. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Songster

    Mar 24, 2011
    I like the idea of mixing the feed - and thank you for your responses. I feel like I am seeing some different behavior and am thinking that these gals are going through a change of sorts - [​IMG] Will an egg show up soon??? [​IMG] I sure do hope so!! [​IMG] I went out today and bought another bag of grower and I think I will now mix this with the layer feed I have and see if that helps them transition better. I would just LOVE to see some of them squatting but I know it will happen soon - thanks for the encouragement!! [​IMG]

  8. BCchick

    BCchick In the Brooder

    Sep 3, 2011
    Mine seem to be going through the feed more quickly and there are two factors.
    1. They are eating layer feed now.
    2. They are laying eggs.

    A bag of flockraiser used to last me 3 weeks, but now that they are on layena it is only lasting about two weeks. I can't tell if they are just eating more of it, or wasting it, or if the bag just doesn't have as much in it as the crumbles (even though both are 50# bags).
  9. Carolyn

    Carolyn Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    What kind of chickens do you have? Production breeds lay earlier, most others later 20 to 25 wk range ususally. What is your weather like? Mine eat more in cool weather than they do in very hot weather.
  10. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Songster

    Mar 24, 2011
    I have my breeds listed in my sig line - a variety of sorts - think the RIR's may lay first or the White Plymouth Rock? Whoever lays I probably won't know but I just want to make sure they have what they need to thrive

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