Another feed question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by pbjmaker, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    I have been feeding my two chicks "Chick- Go" and it says on the package to feed that to them until they are 18 weeks. The guy at the feed store said I should switch them to layer feed now (they are about 8.5 weeks)
    They are free ranging most of the day right now eating bugs, grass and the occasional raisin that somehow accidentally finds it way to the ground in front of them...

    My other concern is if what if they aren't both hens?
    Will layer feed affect a rooster?

    Thanks for your expertise!
     
  2. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    The layer will not hurt a rooster.

    At about 10 weeks old I start mixing layer in with my chick feed. A little a first and slowly increase the amount of layer. At about 14-16 weeks they will be on all layer mix. The slow change keeps them from getting the runs that they can get from feed changes.

    Matt
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  3. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    ARRGGHHH! Why are feed store people so clueless sometimes!!

    You don't want to switch them over to layer feed UNTIL they are ready to lay. It's too high in calcium for growing chicks and can cause problems with their skeletal system, etc.

    Follow the instructions on the package, not what the feed store guy said. Don't give layer until at LEAST 18 wks, and many here don't give it until the pullets have already laid their first egg. My chickens that get to good size (around 14 wks) do go in with the other chickens and get the layer feed, but at least they are much more mature at that point - basically full grown size wise.

    As far as the rooster...my rooster eats the layer feed. No ill effects so far. There's just no way to keep him separated to feed them and still have him living with his harem of girls.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  4. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:I totally agree - some feed store employees need to go back to their mall jobs......[​IMG]
     
  5. Eggseronious

    Eggseronious Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 6, 2008
    East Tennessee
    Or do a little farming first! [​IMG]
     
  6. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2007
    MERRY LAND
    I agree with Arlee, mine are on Starter till the first eggs arrive, then they get switched over, however they have snuck in and sampled the layer food on occassion, its the Hens sneaking down to get starter that is the problem here. Chickens know no rules, they take what they want, regardless of what I tell them. [​IMG]
     
  7. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2007
    MERRY LAND
    Quote:I totally agree - some feed store employees need to go back to their mall jobs......[​IMG]

    So when the EXPERT at tractor supply said that poultry scratch was just as good for All poultry as the starter or layer, I shouldnt trust him, and I thought labeling as starter and layer was just a skeme by the manufacturer to charge me more money for the same thing.
     
  8. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    Thanks
     
  9. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:Do you know this person is an EXPERT? Most of the people at our two local TSC stores know heaps about dogs, cats, pigs, horses and cattle. BUT very few have actually raised chickens. I know because I ask everyone I go to for advice if they've ever raised a chicken. When someone tells me "No but my grandparents had 'em when I was a kid" they are not an expert in my book. Ok off my soapbox...

    Most scratch is junk food for chickens and it just won't supply the protein, calcium, and nutrients a healthy chicken needs. Back in the day, more people fed scratch because it was the odds and ends from harvest. My grandparents would have laughed out loud at the thought of paying for scratch. Of course, they also kept their birds just for a year or two before the birds became dinner.

    There isn't a problem if your hens are eating the starter or start & grow feed. The problem comes when the young chicks get into the layer feed. Layer feed has higher levels of calcium than are good for young developing birds.

    Seriously, read the labels of what you are feeding your flock. Look for the differences between starter, start and grow, and layer. The layer feed better have some noticeable differences in ingredients and percentages or you should look for a better feed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2008

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