Feed questions chicks staring to lay at different times.

spartantx117

Hatching
Jul 31, 2016
2
0
7
My wife and I got 14 chicks back in mid to late March. All within one week of each other as far as age. They are a mix of breeds. We went out today and one hen has started laying. We still have them on Purina starter/grower and planned on that for the next 2-4 weeks. Should we switch them all to the laying feed now? This is our first time trying to raise chickens so we aren't sure what to do and our local place wasn't much help when we asked. Thanks for any info.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,807
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southern Michigan
Welcome! I feed everyone Flock Raiser, and have a separate dish with oyster shell, free choice for the laying hens. Layer feed is not meant to be fed to birds who aren't in lay, as roosters, youngsters, and molting or older birds. It's easier to have one type of feed for the whole flock. Mary
 

FlyWheel

Crowing
Mar 19, 2016
2,119
2,428
302
35.111165 -81.226586
My Coop
My Coop
Same here. I have a mixed flock with a hen-a-layin (I had two, but a predator got one) the rest are still pullets +1 cockerel. I give them all grower crumbles and leave a bin full of ground egg shells for the layer. She pecks the calcium down, the rest ignore it completely. It's been at least a month now and her egg's shells are still good.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,190
123,465
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SW Michigan
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I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.
 

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