Feeding and lighting question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by pzlehr, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. pzlehr

    pzlehr Hatching

    Apr 28, 2012
    Am new to raising chickens and so have been looking at different forums. This seems quite specialized so I am thinking I will get "good" answers here.
    First question is about when to give the chickens laying feed? My chickens are about 6-7 months old and are quite big compared to my daughters next door. I read where they needed laying feed in order to lay eggs. Did chickens back in the 1800's get laying feed or is this something fairly new? Also, I read where having a longer "daytime", 12-14 hours during winter is better than using laying feed. You just run some lamps, maybe heat lamps I suppose and leave them on so they get the 12-14 hours of "daylight". Any info will be appreciated!

  2. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Crowing

    Apr 5, 2013
    You can start feeding a layers ration at about 16 weeks. (so now you could technically make the switch) Do it over a few days time. Start with 1/4 of the layers and 3/4 of your current feed (I'm guessing it's starter?) then go to 1/2 and 1/2 then 1/4 original feed with 3/4 new feed. After about a week or so you should be on full layers feed.

    Also think about adding a dish of oyster shell free choice for extra calcium. It helps replenish what they use to make eggs. If you feed any scraps or free range add a bowl of grit too.

    It does help to have at least 14 hours of daytime, but some people believe by using light to get eggs say during winter you use up their number of eggs quicker in life. Others disagree you'd have to research and decide what you want to do.
  3. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Crowing

    Apr 5, 2013
    Welcome to BYC by the way.
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Layer feed is meant to be fed to laying fowl, when I did feed a layer feed I never feed it before first egg.
    Most good feed Mfg.s will recommend not feeding layer feed to non-laying hens.

    Quote: Buckeye Nutrition Chicken don't need layer feed to lay, most people never feed a layer feed and instead the just continue to feed a good Starter/Grower and offer Oyster Shells on the side. Also Layer feed isn't good to feed to roosters either, the high amounts of calcium is hard on the kidneys of any non-laying bird.

    Lighting in the winter months is good for keeping hens laying.

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