Feeding different breeds of pullets with diffrent point of lay?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by off-grid hen, May 19, 2011.

  1. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,130
    30
    168
    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I love my chicks, everyone is doing well. I think I have one roo, but we'll see. Other than that, everyone is feathering out and all have that wonderful tufty-feather rock star look. [​IMG]

    I have some rose comb brown leghorns, some dominiques, and some partridge rocks. When it gets close to the earliest breed's point of lay (about 18 weeks for the leghorns- someone please verify?!) I was thinking of switching to flock raiser and have some oyster shell on the side for them- but all the hens would have access. Does it really matter if I switch everyone to the layer pellets at 17 weeks? I don't know the points of lay for the other breeds but I'm sure it'll be easy to look up.

    I guess my question is... will the other breeds eat the oyster shell and have it cause problems, or what? I also have hard well water with calcium in it. If they get enough in the water will they just supplement with the oyster shell or will they overdo it?

    Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I don't think non-laying birds would gorge on shells. Your idea of using Raiser and offering shells is a good one.

    If the youngest of the flock is 17 weeks, you certainly could just buy layer and also be done with it. At 17 weeks, many (most) commercial houses make the switch in anticipation of POL. There's even some research which suggests the calcium at 17 weeks is beneficial in preparation for laying.
     
  3. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,130
    30
    168
    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Thanks you Fred's Hens, I highly respect your advice. [​IMG]

    I guess the reason I'm asking is because I am not sure what the POL is for the other breeds. If there is say, a 4 week stretch between the breeds, or 8 week stretch, it'd be trickier, which is why I wanted to just switch to flock raiser. Just checking to see about the gorging on eggs shells for the less developed pullets. The girls are only 5 and 4 weeks old, so I'm just trying to keep ahead. I'll finish off my 20% starter/grower (unmedicated) then see where this brings me age-wise.

    So if anyone could just rattle off the POL for dominiques and partridge rocks in weeks of age instead of months? [​IMG]
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Because I am always hatching and adding new chicks to the flock, I just do not use layer feed at all. The babies get chick starter until they are about 10 to 12 weeks old (because it's medicated and I keep them in grow-out coops and pens until I integrate them), and everybody else gets All Flock, 18% protein feed. With crushed oyster shell in a separate bowl, free choice.

    The youngsters taste test it, but don't really consume any appreciable amount.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  5. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,130
    30
    168
    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Quote:Thanks. I think the flock raiser I can get (VERY RURAL area) is purina, which is 20%, the other stuff is 24% protein which I don't know if I want to go that high with the protein.
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Because POL is dependent on a number of variables, and, coupled with the reality of different strains of breeds do different things, I would only paint with a very wide brush.
    Production strains of Leghorns and Red Sex Links POL as early as 17 weeks. Most RIR are production strains and I'd peg them at 20 weeks, sometimes earlier. Doms are traditional and I personally wouldn't expect much activity much before 22 weeks. Partridge Rocks will also be a bit slower than a production strain. Again, painting with far too wide a brush here, but I hope this helps.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by