Are we feeding our chickens the wrong thing?

Valk

Chirping
6 Years
May 14, 2013
112
11
63
Durango, Colorado
Hello, I have 6 ladies that are a little over 18 weeks old. They have been on layer feed for a couple of weeks and now have a dish of oyster shells. We still have no eggs. I am a bit worried that we started them on the layer feed too early and have caused them internal damage. Oh, the breeds are 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Wyandottes, 1 Buff Orpington and 1 Blue Cochin.

One more issue: I have 6 ameraucanas that are 3 weeks younger than the 6 mentioned above, and they have been on the layer feed. I would have no idea how to separate their food, so they all just eat the same thing. Are we totally screwing up our chickens by doing this?

I read that pullet starter is a good all-purpose feed for all ages. Should I go back to pullet starter and supplement the big girls with oyster shell? Any advice would be most helpful. Thanks!
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
May 3, 2009
133,470
448,240
2,097
New Jersey
Everything is fine, relax. 18 weeks is too early to expect eggs from the breeds mentioned. It would even be somewhat early for the Mediterranean and sex linked birds. You have not 'screwed' anything up.
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Not very likely you harmed them. It is indeed a good practice not to rush the layer. Layer holds no magic, of course, so it baffles me why folks wish to rush feeding it.

Anyhow, it takes feeding layers for a longer time, to younger birds to cause the gout and renal issues that you are concerned about. They'll be fine.
 

Valk

Chirping
6 Years
May 14, 2013
112
11
63
Durango, Colorado
Thank you for the responses sourland and Fred's Hens, it is most appreciated! I have a half-full bag of medicated starter that was accidentally purchased. Perhaps I'll mix that with the layer feed until it's gone.

Thanks for putting my mind at ease!
smile.png
 

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