Can I mix the starter and laying pellets?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dbounds10, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have about a 1/4 of a bag of starter left and did not want to buy more since the girls are 19 weeks old and should be close to laying. So I bought a bag of layena. Can I just mix the rest of the starter in with the Layena and start feeding them that? OR do I need to wait til I see an egg to switch them?

    I raise dogs and I know that when you switch feed you should mix the new with the old so their tummies get used to it, was not sure if this is the same with chickens.

    Thought/Advise?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    It won't hurt to mix them. I've tried that and mine prefer the bigger chunks. They leave the small stuff and powder until last. If I don't refill it, they will clean it up. Other people post that their chickens eat the small stuff first and leave the chunks. Three generations of mine have gone the other way, but I certainly believe the other posters. There is nothing consistent with chickens.

    Feeding them the layer now will not hurt them. It is what I would do in your situation since you already bought it. Another option woul have been to buy more grower and offer oyster shell on the side. That way the ones that need the extra calcium would eat the oyster shelll and the rest would not. But mixing it and feeding them the layer will not hurt them at 19 weeks of age.
     
  3. MomKat

    MomKat Out Of The Brooder

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    I was about to ask this exact same question! Thank you! I learn something here every day. I love this place! [​IMG]
     
  4. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, I actually had just filled the feeder with starter and that ususally takes them a week or so to empty out. I very well may have eggs before I need to refill it and mix the starter and layer. We are working on building a pvc oyster shell feeder this week. I have it, just dont have an efficient way to deliver. They will waste a ton of it if I just offer in a bowl. My BR was investigating the nest box this morning so I think i am close!
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Our girls wouldn't touch the oyster shell if left free choice. It worked best if I hammered it smaller (wraped in an old tower) and mixed into their feed. The real difference with starter and layer blend is the amount of calcium. Mixing the oyster shells into the starter to use it up takes care of that. Once the girls are on straight layer you don't need oyster shells anymore. And once laying you can just feed them back their own egg shells for extra calcium if their egg shells are thin.
     
  6. Cadjien_De_Louisiane

    Cadjien_De_Louisiane SWLA Gamefowl Breeder

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    Some of my hens are about 16-18 weeks old and I started mixing my chick grower and laying pellets Half and Half till they start laying.
     
  7. Britt417

    Britt417 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 7 week old chicks that are eating the layer feed because they are now in with the larger hens. Is this bad?
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Quote:It may be. Studies have shown that chicks that eat excess calcium can suffer internal organ damage or bone deformation. It depends on how much calcium they eat. It's not so much a percentage in the feed but how much total calcium they eat. And one bite will not harm them. It is eating excess calcium over time. The results are not always immediately obvious. They may fall over dead for no apparent reason a year later. Those damaged kidneys finally gave out. It's been a while since I looked at these studies. If I remember right, the British study used Layer to supply the excess calcium. My memory is not what I wished it was sometimes though. I could be wrong.

    Avian Gout
    http://en.engormix.com/MA-poultry-i.../avian-gout-causes-treatment-t1246/165-p0.htm

    British Study – Calcium and Protein
    http://www.2ndchance.info/goutGuoHighProtein+Ca.pdf

    The way I get around this problem is to feed them all Grower and offer oyster shell on the side. The ones that need the calcium for egg shells will eat it. The others may experiment a bit, but they will not eat enough to hurt themselves.
     

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