Can my 8 week olds eat layer food?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Birdine, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. Birdine

    Birdine Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2015
    Hello, I have 5 8 week old chicks and since day one i have fed them layer food. They are 8 weeks old but they are not very big. I wondered if I need to provide more protein for them (sunflower seeds). Anyone know? Thank you!
     
  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

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    Chicks up to 18wks should NOT be getting Layer, the calcium will affect their liver/kidneys (one or the other)! I've read at least the first month on Chick Food, then ok to put on Flock or Multi Purpose. You'll be getting more peeping in about this. There's more protien in Chick than Layer, what breed of chicks do you have? Think freeze dried mealworms (treat) a better choice than BOSS at that age but I maybe wrong.
     
  3. GingersHuman

    GingersHuman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicks do need higher protein levels than what is in layer. Also, layer has 4 times the calcium of chick feed, which can make the chick's kidneys shut down.
     
  4. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for straightening my kidney/liver dilemma, never been about to get them straight, although I know we all got one liver & 2 kidneys :)
     
  5. Birdine

    Birdine Out Of The Brooder

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    OK. Thank you guys so much. They are 8 weeks. So do you think i should eat some chick starter or just chick feed? I was planning on blending the two flocks in 4 weeks. Will they be off that food by then?? Thanks bunches
     
  6. Leihamarie

    Leihamarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    at 8 weeks they can be switched to grower feed. If you have starter feed left, you can just mix it in with the grower feed no problem. If you have a mixed age flock (some layers, some pullets), it's best to have them all on grower feed and make sure to have calcium (crushed egg shells or oyster shell) free-choice for the layers. It's REALLY important not to give added calcium to hens until they start laying eggs, for the reasons already discussed. :)
     
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  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The OP doesn't have starter feed left because they've been feeding the chicks layer feed all this time.

    Chicks need more than the 16% protein in layer feed for proper growth but more importantly they should never have that much calcium.
    I wonder if you've ever bothered to read the feeding instructions on the bag of feed you buy.

    I'm quite surprised they're still alive.
    There are 2 kidneys, each with 3 segments. As long as there are 2 functioning segments, the birds will appear healthy but bad things are going on inside.
    8 weeks of feeding 4% calcium to chicks has likely already induced urolithiasis.
    When one of your chicks dies, send it off to a poultry lab for necropsy and they will find a cessation of renal function and calcification in joints, heart, other organs and tissues.

    They need a starter or grower feed immediately. And if by some miracle they survive 4 more weeks they can't go on layer then either. Eating layer feed before 18 weeks of age is a no no.

    http://nhjy.hzau.edu.cn/kech/synkx/dong/2bao/UrolithiasisChina.pdf
    http://www.worldpoultry.net/Breeder...-damage-is-emerging-in-laying-hens-WP008719W/
    http://ps.oxfordjournals.org/content/64/12/2300.abstract
    http://www.neobio.biz/database/n-5data5-2/n-5data5-2-7.pdf
     
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  8. Birdine

    Birdine Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice. No need to get mad though. I had know idea I will get them switched right away. I have been feeding my white leghorns layer food since day one and they are 27 weeks old and aren't dead. Do i need to by grower feed?
     
  9. Birdine

    Birdine Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2015
    Thank you very much. This was helpful.
     
  10. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    The only birds that should be fed layer feed are the ones actually laying eggs, no one else (even roosters). I currenty have a mixed flock, consistin of four laying hens, 1 dormant hen, 1 rooster and five pullets, so I have them all on grower crumbles and I have can of oyster and powdered egg shells for them to pick at as they see fit. And the birds actually seem to know what it is and whether they need it or not, as only those that are actually laying bother to eat any, the rest ignore it completely.

    I'm thinkng of starting up some sort of fermenter so I can augment their diet.
     

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