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Feeding different ages on one feed - is it bad?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mynameisj, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. mynameisj

    mynameisj Hatching

    Apr 16, 2012
    In the past six months I have acquired four generations of chickens. To make a long story short, half the birds I bought turned out to be roosters (a little heartbreaking - can't keep roos in Dallas), and I bought at least two birds to replace every one I took back. I now have twelve birds. Out of the original three, one just started laying last week, and the youngest are about three weeks old. They're all eating starter feed right now, plus grass, scratch, fruits, veggies, and yogurt.

    So, getting to the meat of my question now... I need to buy more feed today. Do I need to get special feed for my layers now, or can I keep on giving them all starter indefinitely? The starter feed is supposed to be high in protein which should be good for layers too, right? If I'm feeding them other stuff (listed above), wouldn't it be best to give them the highest protein feed... forever? It seems reasonable to me, but maybe it's not. I should also mention that I mix the starter feed with corn meal (1/3 corn meal). That was recommended by the man I bought the chickens from. So, is my method of feeding good enough for all as is, or does laying feed have something magical I don't know about?

  2. terryg

    terryg Songster

    Jun 5, 2007
    New England
    Layers can eat chick feed, but chicks can't eat layer feed. If you can give your older birds access to oyster shell where the chicks won't be interested in it, that'd be great. I give mine oyster shell free choice out of a rabbit feeder. Quite tidy and no waste. You can see that here as well as sensible feeding guidelines for backyard birds:
    It's great that your birds are getting all of those greens and veggies along with the commercial feed. Be careful with the yogurt and the youngest ones. Too much calcium can cause major problems (dairy is fine for older birds.) I wouldn't feed scratch corn as it is fattening and low in protein. It can cause problems for layers. But, the other stuff you're feeding is great! This time of year you can cut open a pumpkin and the'll eat it up, seeds and all.

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