feeding layer rations to non-laying pullets?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chick4chix, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. chick4chix

    chick4chix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2009
    So Cal
    I've heard and read you are not supposed to feed layer rations to pullets until they have laid their first egg.
    So... my first girl laid her first egg at 21.5 weeks and she (and everyone else now) is now on laying ration (because I'm not going to feed them seperately)
    They are all now 23.5 weeks with only the one SLW laying.

    My question is this: Why the "Hoopla" about waiting to start laying rations until after they lay their first egg- when theoretically the rest of the flock will be on it for several weeks before they begin to lay? Thanks for your input in advance
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I've always followed the rule that you start layer feed @ 18 to 20 weeks OR when you get your first egg, so you're fine.
  3. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Layer feed has lower protein and higher calcium. The protein is needed to finish growth and the excess calcium can cause organ damage and growth problems if they aren't using it up. Starting them slightly before they begin laying should not cause any problems. Many start their pullets at a set time such as 4 or 5months instead of waiting for the first egg. If one is laying and the others are the same age it's definitely safe to put them all on layer feed. However no harm comes from staying on other feeds forever so long as they aren't medicated and you put out oyster shell for the extra calcium. All mine eat game bird starter so I don't have to worry about when to switch. Some feed nonmedicated chick starter or grower to everyone especially if they have chicks around frequently and again just leave out oyster shell to make sure they can get enough calcium if they need it.
  4. koifarm

    koifarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Bump, ditto.....good advice
  5. chick4chix

    chick4chix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2009
    So Cal
    Thanks everyone- that makes sense [​IMG]
  6. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    I usually start my girlies on layer feed at about 20-22 weeks in hopes that they'll start laying at about 24 weeks. Seems like the Easter Eggers will come through for me at about 24 weeks but that leaves those darn Rhode Islands on layer feed for almost 12 weeks before they start laying eggs. Hasn't seemed to hurt them, I have some gorgeous Rhode Islands, they're just lazy when it comes to laying eggs.

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