Feeding 16 week olds layer feed

ehoneybee

Songster
Apr 22, 2017
513
347
186
Southern Berkshires, MA
Is it really THAT harmful? I gave them grower fed up until this week when I ran out. Rather than buy some more, I'm wondering if I can just start them on layer feed. They are not laying yet.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Nov 23, 2010
32,129
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St. Louis, MO
Do you still have any grower? Depending on how many birds you have, you could mix layer and grower half and half at this age.
Commercial egg farms will start incrementing light period at about 16 weeks or more so all the birds in the barn will start laying at the same time. During that time, they will begin a pre-lay diet that is about 2.5% calcium so the birds approaching POL can begin storing calcium in their medullary bones.
4% calcium for birds not building egg shells, can damage kidneys. The longer fed a diet of 4% calcium without laying eggs, the more potential damage.
Your day length is currently decreasing by 2 minutes 45 seconds each day now. That is a signal the birds receive to their pineal gland that tells them to shut down and not produce eggs. So 16 week olds at this time of year may take many months to begin laying.
 

ehoneybee

Songster
Apr 22, 2017
513
347
186
Southern Berkshires, MA
Do you still have any grower? Depending on how many birds you have, you could mix layer and grower half and half at this age.
Commercial egg farms will start incrementing light period at about 16 weeks or more so all the birds in the barn will start laying at the same time. During that time, they will begin a pre-lay diet that is about 2.5% calcium so the birds approaching POL can begin storing calcium in their medullary bones.
4% calcium for birds not building egg shells, can damage kidneys. The longer fed a diet of 4% calcium without laying eggs, the more potential damage.
Your day length is currently decreasing by 2 minutes 45 seconds each day now. That is a signal the birds receive to their pineal gland that tells them to shut down and not produce eggs. So 16 week olds at this time of year may take many months to begin laying.
I have none but not a bad idea to give half and half. It's only 2 pullets, the rest are mature hens.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Nov 23, 2010
32,129
25,477
997
St. Louis, MO
Do you mean the feed?
If so, no. It is just commercial egg companies who all have their own mills that can fine tune the nutrients they feed their birds from day to day or week to week.
All we have as small holders is a high calcium feed (for layers) and all other feeds that vary in their protein levels but are all around 1% calcium for any bird not building shells.
 
Last edited:

ehoneybee

Songster
Apr 22, 2017
513
347
186
Southern Berkshires, MA
Do you mean the feed?
If so, no. It is just commercial egg companies who all have their own mills that can fine tune the nutrients they feed their birds from day to day or week to week.
All we have as small holders is a high calcium feed (for layers) and all other feeds that vary in their protein levels but are all around 1% for any bird not building shells.
I'll just get another bag of grower feed. I'm almost out of layer anyway. I've been supplying oyster shell the whole time :)
 

thepick4uchicks

Songster
May 23, 2020
982
1,639
143
Mississippi
Do you still have any grower? Depending on how many birds you have, you could mix layer and grower half and half at this age.
Commercial egg farms will start incrementing light period at about 16 weeks or more so all the birds in the barn will start laying at the same time. During that time, they will begin a pre-lay diet that is about 2.5% calcium so the birds approaching POL can begin storing calcium in their medullary bones.
4% calcium for birds not building egg shells, can damage kidneys. The longer fed a diet of 4% calcium without laying eggs, the more potential damage.
Your day length is currently decreasing by 2 minutes 45 seconds each day now. That is a signal the birds receive to their pineal gland that tells them to shut down and not produce eggs. So 16 week olds at this time of year may take many months to begin laying.
So I have 9 16 week olds. Are you saying that it will be several months before all of them lay their first egg? None will lay before the first of the year?
 

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