Feeding 16 Week Olds

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by LaurenM23, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. LaurenM23

    LaurenM23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 16, 2010
    King George, VA
    Please help me with some confusion on the feed end. I currently have four 16 week olds (1 BR roo, 2 BR pullets, and 1 Australorp pullet). I've been using the Purina Start & Grow from Week 1 for the babies and the bag suggests that at 18 Weeks I switch to Purina Layena.

    I know that I want to stay with the Purina family, but is Layena (pelleted) right when they are a mixed crowd (as in can my roo eat it as a sole ration without issue)? Do I switch them at 18 Weeks? I've seen some folks switching earlier on here or going to Flock Raiser. Everyone is growing super well and seem very happy and healthy. Their weight seems to be right on track and their plumage is shiny and well defined, so I'm not having issue with their condition. I just want to make sure that I am not waiting too long to change their protein/fat levels appropriately for their continued development.

    Edited because I cannot spell today. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You can keep feeding the start and grow until they actually lay (unless your bag runs out). Then if you had some younger ones still, you could keep on doing that same thing, just put out oyster shell in a tin for the layers to peck at. Make sure it is NONMEDICATED start and grow if you are eating eggs.

    Some use flock raiser, but I have no experience with it.

    What I have been reading from responses on here is that more protein is better (i.e.: switching them to a lower protein= layer is better to be done later rather than sooner as long as you give oyster shell).

    Also the layer has calcium which you don't want to give them until POL (point of lay).

    ETA: And if it were me, if I were out of my Start and Grow and had a small flock, I might just switch them. But technically you aren't supposed to do it until they are very close to laying age.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  3. LaurenM23

    LaurenM23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 16, 2010
    King George, VA
    Excellent. I've been using the medicated for the chicks. About how long should I give the medicated feed to work out of their systems for safe eggs? The Layena is safe for roos, too, correct???
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Roos can eat the layer feed (just not when they are young, like all chicks - they shouldn't have the calcium then).

    However, I'm one of those folks who don't use layer feed at all. I change chicks to grower/finisher (which is basically what FlockRaiser is, sort of) at 8 weeks or thereabouts. I have several ages of chickens, plus two ducks. Everybody gets the grower/finisher. I keep crushed oyster shell out, free choice, for those that need it.

    If you choose to keep feeding the medicated starter until your chickens lay eggs, and then switch to layer feed, you CAN eat those first eggs, as that medication is not like other meds such as wormers and all that.
     

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