chick start vs layer food

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mom28chicks, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. mom28chicks

    mom28chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2012
    Pucon, Chile
    Hi - I hatched out some chicks and ducks at the same time and kept them together. I fed them a "flock" start good for both chicks and ducks. The problem is .. was... when they got bigger around 3 months or so the older chicks and ducks would eat their food and the babies would eat the layer food. So i stopped buying the start and just let them eat the layer with the other birds. They are about 20 weeks or so now and look great... but will it hurt them starting them on layer food sooner than normal? How will it effect them? Also, will they lay for me this winter or should I expect them to start lay in spring because of winter? I am giving more light.
     
  2. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    If you are already at 20 weeks and everything seems OK, then you are fine. Continue with the layer feed.

    The possible issue with switching to layer feed too early has to do primarily with the lack of protein and excess calcium in the layer feed. It is best to keep them on starter feed until they are sexually mature (mature enough to begin laying/reproducing). But it is not an exact science, at least not for us mere mortals.

    I'd say that you are in the clear at this point!
     
  3. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    In regards to when they will begin laying, I have no experience with ducks (yet). But with chickens, some pullets will begin laying in the Winter's lower light durations and some won't. It is somewhat dependent on the breed, and somewhat dependent on the individual bird. And even influenced by the weather/temperature. There does not seem to be a definitive answer that spans all situations.

    So, my advice is to be pleasantly surprised if it happens this Winter, but be prepared for them to start next Spring.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  4. mom28chicks

    mom28chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    26
    0
    80
    Jun 17, 2012
    Pucon, Chile
    Thanks Y'all.... I am pretty much go with the flow type person.... but I thought hummm maybe I should ask what could happen ... maybe it was really really bad.... I try to feed 18-20% layer feed because of the ducks anyway so I'll just wait to find my little presents :)
     

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