Effects of feeding layer feed before the right time?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by RavenStorm, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    This is my first time having chickens, and I know that you are supposed to feed them chick starter until they are around 8 weeks, then developer until they start laying or 20 weeks (whichever comes first), and then start feeding the lay mash along with a calcium supplment of eggshells or oyster shells. My feed store did not carry any developer feed, so I was told I should just stick to starter until it was laying time. The problem I had was that through some bad circumstances, I ran out of chick feed the same time that my feed store ran out of chick feed and for some reason they would not be able to order any more for a few weeks. I had to buy lay mash and feed it to them, or they wouldn't have anything to eat. The chickens were only 2 months old at the time, and they have now been on that feed for one month. My question is, should I switch back to starter feed or keep them on layer mash? Will this affect their health and egg laying ability later on?
     
  2. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Excess calcium in immature (nonlaying) birds can cause skeletal issues as well as kidney (renal) failure and gout.

    Jody
     
  3. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    Quote:Yeah, I had heard that and that was why I wanted to stay on chick starter. That is why I want to know if I should switch back now that my feed store can get it again.
     
  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Definitely switch them back. Just do the changes gradually, so not to disrupt their digestive system too much.

    Jody
     

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