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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by msperry97, Jan 20, 2013.
What age can I start my chicks on laying pullets?
Here are two studies that show what happens to growing chicks when fed excess calcium, similar to the amounts in Layer. In these studies experts that know what they are looking at cut the chicks open to see the damage caused. One study starts Layer at hatch. The other study starts Layer at 5 weeks.
British Study – Calcium and Protein
I can’t tell you when it is absolutely safe to switch growing chicks to the excess calcium in Layer. Commercial laying operations do that about 20 weeks with their specially bred chickens and with them controlling when they pullets start to lay by manipulating the light. 20 weeks is not a bad choice for us. I prefer to wait until they start to lay, which can be before or after 20 weeks. Pure personal preference. Civilization as we know it will not end if you do something different.
Many of us never switch to Layer. We offer oyster shell on the side so the ones that need it can get it. The ones that don’t need it generally don’t eat enough to do themselves any harm. This is really what I generally do. I usually have younger chicks in with the flock so I just feed Grower with oyster shell on the side.