Chick Starter Crumbles vs. Laying Mash???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MyChickalees, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. MyChickalees

    MyChickalees Out Of The Brooder

    32
    1
    36
    May 16, 2014
    I have 6 hens, 1 is laying with an egg a day! And, we have 5 more NOT laying, yet!
    We just finished the bag of Chick-Starter Crumbles, and want to know if I should buy more Chick Starter or move them onto Laying mash!?!?!
    They are ALL are 18 weeks old! I have heard they should not have laying mash until 20 weeks!
    Going to the feed store tomorrow!
    What , should I do?
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    36,684
    4,699
    566
    Feb 18, 2011
    Ohio
    Congratulations on those first eggs! :ya It really shouldn't make any difference in the long run, (most commercial layer feeds say to feed after 18 weeks) so you could just feed them all that. Or as long as you have oyster shell on the side (which you probably want to do anyhow even if you feed Layer), you could get another bag of chick starter since most aren't laying yet, and move them all onto Layer with the next bag when more will hopefully have started. There is not much difference in Layer and Starter usually, Layer is just higher in calcium and Starter tends to be a little higher in protein.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,699
    6,824
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I like to feed a 20% protein flock raiser crumbles to all ages and genders.
    Oyster shell and rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells is provided in a separate container for the layers.
    Keeps thing simpler and the higher protein balances out with the 8% protein scratch grain they get everyday and kitchen scraps and other treats given occasionally.
     
  4. MyChickalees

    MyChickalees Out Of The Brooder

    32
    1
    36
    May 16, 2014
    Thanks for the information. I did buy more starter feed since not all of the hens are laying, and I bought some oyster shell. Is it ok to let the non-layers eat the oyster shell? And, the shell that I got looks like the pieces are kinda large, about the size of a green pea. Is that the normal size it should be??
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,699
    6,824
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Oyster shell won't hurt non layers, they probably won't eat much, maybe just check it out-if at all, if it's in a separate container.

    The oyster shell I've purchased does come in a range of sizes, I guess up to green pea sized. I try to mix the bag up so some larger pieces and some fines get into the container when I put it in there.
     
  6. MyChickalees

    MyChickalees Out Of The Brooder

    32
    1
    36
    May 16, 2014
    Thank you for your quick response!
    I mixed the oyster shell up and I felt much better about the size of it!!
    My Hubby fixed up a gravity PVC delivery system for the shell! As soon as we put it in there, ALL of them went crazy for it! To the point of after about an hour we capped it off!
    Any ideas on this reaction?
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,699
    6,824
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It's something new....were they eating it or just flinging it?
    Put out other food/treats when you uncap the shell to distract them.
     
  8. MyChickalees

    MyChickalees Out Of The Brooder

    32
    1
    36
    May 16, 2014
    Yes, they were eating it at first, then just pecking it out of the feeder! I thought the same thing about the newness, because they are VERY curious!
    Thanks again for your fast response!
    You are awesome!!!
    :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by