Chick Starter? Flock Raiser? Layer Pellets?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jeremy, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. jeremy

    jeremy CA Royal Blues

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    I'm beginning to integrate a couple different age groups into one large flock for the upcoming winter months.

    Group 1 is 16 weeks old and is not laying.
    Group 2 is 20-24 weeks old and some are laying, others have not reached POL yet.
    Group 3 is 1-2 years old and are laying everyday.

    Right now for group 1 is getting nothing but chick starter.
    Group 2 I'm feeding them a chick starter crumble, with oyster shell free choice for those already laying.
    Group 3 gets a layer pellet.

    Should I continue to offer both kinds of feed, starter and layer when I mix the flocks; with oyster shell for those who need it?
    Or should I switch everyone to flock raiser (I have never used this before, what is it?) and supplement with oyster shell?

    I'm worried about the younger hens eating the big girls food and getting too much calcium, or the older girls eating the baby bird and the opposite happening.

    Advice?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2010
  2. mboreham1

    mboreham1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Honestly, i have my chicks on starter up until about 8 weeks, after that, they are in with the rest of the flock, they get fruit, treats etc plus layer pellets, i have never lost a bird with this method
     
  3. jeremy

    jeremy CA Royal Blues

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    I've heard too much calcium at a young age (before POL) can cause problems internally with young birds? [​IMG]
    And I don't want soft shells by feeding only starter feed.

    Plus I'd really like to only have to buy 1 type of feed when I go to the feed store, for some reason chick starter is $2 more expensive than the layer pellet that I buy from.
     
  4. tnchickenut

    tnchickenut It's all about the Dels!

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    First off, flock raiser is for mixed flock of chicken, duck, turkey...ect ect

    Keep group 1 on CS
    Group 2 on layer
    and of course 3 on layer

    You are planning on integrating the flocks here shortly? I would go with layer for all if you do. I have started "youngens" on layer a bit early because of a mixed flock without complications. I have also fed layers chick starter for a day when I would run out and be short of layer. Group 1 could be laying soon (assuming the breed is Dels) and I don't think it would be too early for them to get layer.

    My neighbor who just sold me the rest of her flock that didn't get killed (different story) gave me the food with them since she wouldn't have chickens to feed anymore. They are just now 14 weeks and she fed them layer. They are healthy, so it won't kill them (though they have been on CS since the day I got them).

    Hope I didn't confuse you... [​IMG]
     
  5. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use gamebird or flockraiser with my mixed age/species flock, but with your youngest group at 16 weeks I think you would be fine with everyone on layer.

    If you want to keep the youngsters off of the layer until they actually lay you could also put the whole flock on flockraiser (all purpose feed usually around 17% protien, no extra calcium added) or non medicated starter/grower with oyster shell free choice.

    I use the second option, but I also have a much greater range of ages then what you're dealing with as well as a few ducks and turkeys. I really think you'll be fine either way so whatever is easiest for you.
     
  6. tnchickenut

    tnchickenut It's all about the Dels!

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    Quote:It's $2 more because they know those chicks eat more than the big ones who get to get out and find more food! I think it's a scam! lol. Plus, anyone else notice Layena has grit in it now? You pay for 50#... now you dont' get 50# of feed ... you get 50# of feet AND grit.


    And Jeremy... I hardly ever have to give oyster shells... I think three times EVER. There is sufficient calcium in the layena. IF you see the shells getting thin, then add some for awhile.... shells that are too thick are hard for the babies to crack and you will get more full terms not getting out. I know you are breeding, so it matters.
     
  7. jeremy

    jeremy CA Royal Blues

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    Quote:Yup, the young ones are my Braden Dels. [​IMG] I was a bit worried about integrating them, but today I had a hard time telling them apart from the older hens, they've grown substantially over the past couple weeks. Size wise they're about as tall and round as the others, but when you pick them up you can tell a difference.

    What happened to your neighbor's flock Stacy- and what did you get out of the deal?

    I'm thinking layer pellets might be the way I go for everyone. A lot of this stems from me not wanting to have to buy different bags of feed, L0L. The pellets are cheaper and I've got a lot of mouths to feed. [​IMG]
     
  8. lamelde

    lamelde Out Of The Brooder

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    I was just asking the same question at the feed store last month when I mixed my flock together.

    She told me that it "might not" harm the young ones to eat the layer - but it definetly "won't hurt" the older hens to eat starter.

    So - to be safe (and $2 is a small price to pay for being safe) I went with starter for the whole flock & will switch over when the young ones get around 18 weeks.
     
  9. jeremy

    jeremy CA Royal Blues

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    Quote:Our egg shells are very hard! Sometimes I have to hit them twice against the frying pan to crack them open.
    That's good advice, thank you Stacy, I would feel terrible if the (hypothetical, at this point, my incubator has been taken away from me...) little ones got stuck in the shell due to something I did wrong.
     
  10. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I switch EVERYONE to Layer at about 16 weeks... All fine here! [​IMG]
     

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