Best food for combined flock of pullets and laying hens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by alaskanest, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. alaskanest

    alaskanest Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Aug 27, 2014
    My 6 pullets are 14 wks, not laying yet. They are in a pretty open but rainproof coop with attached run & have 24 hr supplemental heat lamp as temps are below freezing at night. We're in south central Alaska, so we have just under 10hrs of daylight, losing 6 min/day. We've had snow, but we still have maybe a week - 3 weeks before we have snow on the ground for the rest of the winter. I'd like to move the pullets into the bigger more sheltered coop with my 6 layers and rooster while they still have dry ground in that attached run so they have room to sort out their pecking order. My dillemma is: what do I feed 14 wk old non laying pullets that would also be good for my mature laying hens.
    My pullets are still on chick starter - 22% protein. I could get Pullet Grower - 15% protein or All Purpose Poultry Ration - 17% protein and 2.90 - 3.10% calcium. My laying hens are already on 16% layer ration. Any feedback would be helpful. My main concern is not giving the pullets too much calcium, while giving my layers enough protein.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Actually, pullets should have more protein than layers. Your pullets only require grower feed for another 2 weeks, but they'll grow better on it. I would very much avoid what your feed brand is calling a "pullet grower". Pullets and cockerels should have at least 18% protein in their grower feed, 15% is far too low.

    Your best bet is the 17% all purpose, if you cannot find anything else. The calcium is high but not high enough to cause damage at that age.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,477
    7,697
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I like to feed a 'flock raiser' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and 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.

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

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
     
  4. alaskanest

    alaskanest Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Aug 27, 2014
    Thanksf for the advice! I went with the "All Flock" feed with higher protein content and eveyone is doing fine. They're still figuring out who's who in the coop, but getting along pretty well.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by