Feeding hens laying food???

the3ofus+oursixchicks

Songster
8 Years
Apr 22, 2011
1,273
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154
alabama
I am just wondering if its healthier to feed my girls the laying feed. I love my girls and if they give me an egg that's great but if they don't that's ok to. I have just been wondering which is healthier for them to have the feed and lay everyday or let them lay when ever they lay? Can anyone help thanks
 

sumi

Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
39,154
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Layer feed is specially formulated to meet the laying hen's nutritional needs. It contains high levels of calcium as layers deposit quite a lot of calcium on each egg they produce. It doesn't make hens lay regularly, it enables them to, by meeting their nutritional needs. Egg laying is triggered by hormones and to some extend by the number of daylight hours. So, unless a hen is too young, old, broody, sick, or otherwise physically incapable, she's going to lay eggs. If she's not getting the required levels of calcium for egg shell formation from her feed, she's going to deplete her calcium stores and start laying soft shelled and shell less eggs, which in the long run can cause serious health problems for her. So layer feed really is the best feed for active layers.

If you want to stop feeding layer feed, what are you planning on feeding them? You can make up your own feeds or feed them another formulated feed such as grower or all flock, but you will need to make sure they get enough calcium and other nutrients for egg laying and body maintenance from the feed.
 
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Studio2770

Songster
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
1,064
64
191
What sumi said. Funny thing though, I integrated our younger chicks with our laying leghorns who were on layer feed. We put them all on grower. I crushed the egg shells from my leghorns to feed them as a calcium supplement. They don't always have access to the eggshells, they kinda make a mess with them. They went a week or two without any calcium supplement and their eggs are still fine and they lay them just fine. I do plan to sprinkle egg shell down for them just in case.
 

chynasparks

Songster
6 Years
Jun 21, 2013
548
24
118
Texas
I've asked feed question before and never got an answer. I have 3 21 week old hens and one rooster. They live in same coop eat same feed drink same water will layer feed be harmful to the rooster?
 

ChickenLegs13

Songster
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
1,401
194
143
Lower Alabama
I have no facts to support my position so this post is IMO. Unless you're growing chickens off the ground on a large scale and need to get 110% out of their performance & feed costs and the difference of 1c per bird per day make a noticable impact on profits, it makes no difference in the type of chicken feed the average back yard chicken eats.
Starter, grower, finisher and layer all basically cost the same, have the same ingredients, and do the same thing, with the exception of layer & it's added calcium.

I use DuMore so I'll use their specs for discussion purposes.
It makes no difference if my hens eat 16% protein layer vs. 15% grower. They can make up the 1% difference by eating a piece of poo or a junebug.
If my hens eat 20% protein grower or 24% starter so what? I give them mooched up egg shells free choice for the needed extra calcium.
If my bittys eat 15% grower vs. 24% starter I don't care because I have no vested interest in an accelarated growth rate. I don't care if they mature in 6 months or 7 months.
Reason I feel that way is because I have bittys, growers and mature birds and don't want to handle 3 different kinds of feed. So with the exception of layer, I feed *any* chicken *whatever* kind of feed I have on hand. I never buy layer anyway.
I know this is sacriledge but I'll feed any of them scratch feed all week if that's all I have on hand.
I understand that people want what's absolute best for there pet chickens and that's cool. Your chickens, your hard earned $$$, free country, personal choice, etc but don't overthink it, except for layer, chicken feed is chicken feed.
 

ChickenLegs13

Songster
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
1,401
194
143
Lower Alabama
I've asked feed question before and never got an answer. I have 3 21 week old hens and one rooster. They live in same coop eat same feed drink same water will layer feed be harmful to the rooster?


OK I'll be the one.
Layer won't harm your almost full grown rooster. Layer's extra calcium is only harmful to young developing birds.
But if he croaks off next week don't blame me! ;)
 
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chynasparks

Songster
6 Years
Jun 21, 2013
548
24
118
Texas
Thanks chicken legs 13. I wouldn't blame you for my chicken's croaking :) I'm just wanting a generalized opinion on roosters eating layer feed. I can't separate them so they're stuck eating the same feed. Bill was supposed to bea girl but, SURPRISE. Thanks for your feedback
 

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