Egg Layer Feed

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Petersingh, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. Petersingh

    Petersingh Just Hatched

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    Sep 9, 2014
    Good morning,

    I have 6 chickens that I hatched using an incubator about 4 weeks ago.
    They are all getting nice feathers, beautiful colors.

    I went to a local feed supply shop here in Canada- more specifically in Brampton for those who might be from around here.

    The person at the store said that I can start feeding them an egg layer feed after they grow their feathers.

    Couple questions I have which I'm not clear on:

    1. I know I have at least 1 rooster. If he gets at the feed will it have any unwanted affects in him?
    2. Do I have to isolate the hens and make sure only they are getting the feed?
    3. If the rooster is not present, will the hens continue to lay eggs?
    4. What age will they start laying eggs? The lady said I should start the feed now, and they should start laying within 3-4 weeks of starting the feed.

    Any other comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Rule#1 - Never listen to feedstore employees on how to care for your chickens. Most don't have a clue.

    Four week old chicks should not be on layer feed. You can keep them on starter/grower until you get your first egg or (if available) feed them a grower-only feed. You want a grower feed for laying birds, not meat birds.


    1. I know I have at least 1 rooster. If he gets at the feed will it have any unwanted affects in him?
    Some folks will argue with me and say that roosters should not eat layer feed, that the calcium is hard on their kidneys, but the calcium in most layer feeds is barely enough to give hens, and all my adult roosters have ever eaten. My laying hens are offered oyster shell on the side for their extra calcium needs and the hens that need it will eat it.

    2. Do I have to isolate the hens and make sure only they are getting the feed?
    No. If you are really concerned about the small amount of calcium in layer feed harming your rooster, look for a flockraiser-type feed instead. If using a flockraiser you will definitely need to offer oyster shell on the side to meet the needs of your hens and ensure strong eggshells.

    3. If the rooster is not present, will the hens continue to lay eggs?
    Yes, a hen is going to lay eggs with or without a rooster present. The only difference between a flock of chickens with a rooster is that the eggs will most likely be fertile - and still be perfectly okay to eat. Roosters are useful for two things - protection of the hens and reproduction, in case you are interested in hatching homegrown chicks in the future.

    4. What age will they start laying eggs? The lady said I should start the feed now, and they should start laying within 3-4 weeks of starting the feed.
    O-M-Gosling! She seriously believes that you are going to be getting eggs from 8 week old pullets?!? Depending on the breed, you will likely start getting eggs when your pullets are closer to 16 to 20 weeks. Some of the larger, slower to mature breeds can take as long as 9 months. I've gotten first eggs from a pullet at 14 weeks (earliest) and my slowest to mature pullet didn't give me her first egg until she was a full nine months old.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    #5. Layer feeds do not MAKE hens start laying eggs. No matter what her age is. Layer feeds supply the necessary nutrients so a hen can lay as good quality an egg as her genetics will allow.

    And I have to agree, most feed store employees do not know what they are talking about when giving advice about chicken care!
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    [​IMG]
     
  5. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    :)
     
  6. Petersingh

    Petersingh Just Hatched

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    Sep 9, 2014
    Thanks everyone. that helps a great deal.
     

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