Conflicting info on layer pellets

Aug 17, 2020
112
179
101
Manchester, UK
So before I start her is a little info - I am uk based and I have 5 beautiful girls; 3 silkies & 2 BCMarans pullets. The silkies and one maran currently lay, the last girl Esme, has a skin condition at the moment & is experiencing a stunted development which I hope to resolve, albeit, she is on the mend 🤞

I was informed by the farmer I bought them from, to switch to layer pellets at 16+Weeks however, after much research and deliberation, I thought this to be too young. Once the silkies started to lay ( 22 - 28 wks) I started a slow integration of layer pellets into the growers feed (Fauna the B CM laid her first egg at 30wks on the this diet). All the girls are now on layer pellets, but my concern is that the one who isn't laying is also on this and I wonder if this is damaging her development!

I have read lots of things that layers are crucial after certain age or layers aren't nescessary if they have oyster shells freely (which they do), and now I'm just confused at what best to do!

There's no way I can separate a tub of growers and tub of layers and the girls differentiate between the two. It's like a philosophical conundrum, do I feed them all the layers for the greater good or feed all growers to appease the non laying girl? Or can I have both mixed in together?

Is protein the key ingredient here as I'm aware layers tend to have less protein than growers but how can I assure they have adequate calcium to keep producing their wonderful egg!

I am obsessed with my girls, and want them all well and content, but all the conflicting information that's knocking about, it sure does give me a headache 🤪

I am currently shielding due to the UK lockdown, so I am interested in firmly educating myself as best as I can. I spend hours reading this forum but yet seem to always go in a circle and doubt myself and my approach to chicken keeping. So any information would be FAB! Thank you x
 
Aug 17, 2020
112
179
101
Manchester, UK
I feed Flock Raiser, which is a higher protein, and then have oyster shell in a separate container. The girls only eat what they need, to get the adequate calcium.

Go with the higher protein and provide the calcium separately.
Thank you, it seems that flock raiser (purina) isn't available in the uk, just a variety of growers. I will have to check the protein of each brand and work out which is best.
 

RojoMarz

Songster
May 21, 2020
549
863
181
Southern CO...at 8600 ft
Thank you, it seems that flock raiser (purina) isn't available in the uk, just a variety of growers. I will have to check the protein of each brand and work out which is best.

Yes, there are so many choices...then you add in all the opinions and what's a person to do, lol. If you "think" the remaining girl will lay soon, the additional calcium in layer, for a short time, will likely not cause any problems, from what I've read. Long term, would be different.

I just prefer the high protein, as we are in an arid location with a high elevation. We have cold, snowy winters. In the spring/summer, we are dry, with not many bugs for the girls to snack on.
 

U_Stormcrow

Crowing
Jun 7, 2020
1,614
3,446
286
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
I mix 18% layer pellets w 22% game pellets and give free choice oyster shell.

Like Nigel, I am making my own by mixing what's available fresh from a local mill - in my case 2 bags of 24% game bird to 1 bag of 16% layer. and of course free choice oyster shell. Protein is a bit high for developing ducks, and the final calcium content is closer to 1.5% than 1.0% where I would prefer to be, but it seems to be the best available balance of cost to growth to potential long term problems for my birds. Since very few of my male hatchlings are expected to live a long and productive life (short and productive, otoh...) the marginal increase in risk of long term problems is one I'm willing to accept, AND they are on 24% for the first 8 weeks anyways, w/o the additional calcium.

The good news is, you only have to do your research on the bags once to come up with what you need, its not like they are constantly reworking feed brands, names, and nutritional content.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
13,938
26,498
982
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
I have read lots of things that layers are crucial after certain age or layers aren't nescessary if they have oyster shells freely (which they do), and now I'm just confused at what best to do!

Is protein the key ingredient here as I'm aware layers tend to have less protein than growers but how can I assure they have adequate calcium to keep producing their wonderful egg!

No, layer is not "necessary." They just need a source of calcium for strong eggshells, which is what the oyster shell is for.

There are some layer feeds with higher protein but as a general rule, layer has less protein than grower or starter.

Since the other folks responding mix their feeds, I'll also add that I feed my flock both grower and layer pellets, to increase protein slightly and lower calcium a bit. It's not necessary but it's how I choose to manage things. When I have chicks I switch to an all flock type feed in lieu of pellets.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
92,182
117,862
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I will have to check the protein of each brand and work out which is best.
There ya go!......check the calcium too.
Hopefully it's the law there to list those things.
Also learn about mill dates so you don't end up buying old feed.
Here they are printed onto the bottom sew strip or on the nutritional tag.
Some are easy to read others are coded.
 
Aug 17, 2020
112
179
101
Manchester, UK
Wow everyone, thank you so much for your help.
I think mixing growers and layers to be best in this situation. I buy Robinwood brand (uk) and despite my research, I can't find the nutritional content for the brand. Where I am based, north Manchester, there isn't many feed shops local, so I have to travel 40 minutes to the most reputable one. I'm not a mad fan of [email protected] prices and products. I will start the mix tomorrow and check the dates on the bags.
My fear is messing too much with food changes will disrupt them, so I will go back the original growers food they had with no issue, and add this to the current layers mix

thank you all ❤️
 

linguini

Chirping
Jan 8, 2021
105
160
98
Bridgewater NJ (Central NJ)
I have a question - most people suggest grower feed for all with oyster shell on the side - how do we know that layers get enough calcium? And will it be ok to give layer feed to all, and just provide additional protein such as hard boiled/scrambled eggs, mealworms? Will too much additional protein such as eggs (or I read that some people give catfood to their chooks) do any harm?
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom