Can They Eat Layer Mash?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cluckcluckluke, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. I have 2 pullets around 15 weeks old, can they be eating my hens layer mash.

    There is no way of me stopping them but should I supply them some chick starter?

  2. nanaluvsgps

    nanaluvsgps Songster

    Apr 5, 2012
    my pekins started eating layer mash at only a few weeks old (they had chick starter as well), because the surrogate mother needed that food and I couldn't not give it to her. Did them no harm at all! of course someone is going to come along saying give them chick starter cause you could cause them to get this and that, so i'm just saying that I have given it to mine with no worries. :)
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    When you have a mixed flock, you really cannot stop birds from eating the feed. Thus, one cannot intend one kind of feed for one group of birds and another kind of feed for another kind of bird. Birds just eat whatever is available and don't read labels.

    For mixed age flocks, Layer isn't a good feed choice. Grower is the better choice. Everyone can eat Grower. Some feed companies also make Grower with the names All Flock or Flock Raiser which better indicates that it can be eaten by all.

    The only thing that makes Layer special is the super high calcium, something not needed by adolescents, chicks, roosters, etc. Provide your hens a calcium source on the side and normally, they are the only ones who will mess with it.
    1 person likes this.
  4. WOW, Thank you so much. How could I not think of this.
    This will also save me money as well.
    Also glad some one understands I can't just give 2 hens out of a whole flock 1 kind of feed and then another kind of feed to some other aged chicken, it just doesn't work.
    Oh I don't know how to thank you more Fred.[​IMG].

    When I finish this last bag of feed I will be straight to the shop for some all flock feed!!!! or Flock Grower. I will grind up the chickens egg shells as a calcium lift.
    Any idea's on how to stop the hens tipping the calcium container over?
    I have tried this before but lost so much to the hens spilling it all that I gave up.

    Thank you also Nana, All help is appreciated.
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Take a gallon jug from a clean bleach bottle or even a gallon milk jug. Cut it in half. Take take a couple of screws and secure it to the wall of the coop or somewhere so it cannot get tipped over. You don't have to grind the shells, just air dry them until they are brittle. They'll easier shatter into tinier pieces.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  6. kannna

    kannna Songster

    Jul 2, 2010
    Martha's Vineyard
    I agree with Fred and his hens.

    We almost always have a mixed age flock. I always feed grower. Then you don't have to worry who's eating what.

    For Calcium we crush up quahog shells (it's a hard clam) and leave the bits out on the patio in a certain spot. I see the older ladies go over there all the time and the young ones ignore it.
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    We've always got mixed flocks. Chicks, adolescents, young pullets, laying hens, cockerels, etc. It is absurd to have 4 kinds of feed bags in the garage. Our local mill grinds their own Grower mash, both in 18% protein and another in 20% protein.

    Either one would be just fine for any bird, from chick to rooster, from adolescent to laying hens. Just makes life easier. Good to remember that all feed has SOME calcium added. Just not the 4% of Layer.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013

  8. Thank you all so much. I know just what to do now and were to start.
  9. K8ykat1

    K8ykat1 Hatching

    Oct 5, 2015
    Victoria, Australia
    I also found raising the height of the adult food useful when I had baby chicks. Everyone ate the baby food still, but at least the layers still had an option. Once they were bigger i switched them all to grower, by then they were free ranging and it was less of an issue.

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