Feeding Mixed Ages

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
791
1,502
236
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Hello fellow knowledgeable chicken people! I have just moved my old hen (6 yr old Barred Rock) into the run/coop with my Littles (ages 11 wks and 12 wks) and was wondering if it's okay for me to mix in some lay pellets and all flock pellets with the chick starter.

I've read in different places that chicks need to eat chick starter for 16 weeks and pullets shouldn't get lay pellets until they start laying. I have already started mixing in some all flock pellets and a tiny bit of hen scratch with their chick starter feed, but is it safe for them to get the lay pellets this early? Thanks!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I Want Ice Cream
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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You don't need to feed the layer feed. You can just feed either the non medicated starter grower or an All Flock ration. Put out a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs. It isn't a good idea to feed any chicken that isn't laying a layer ration.
 

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
791
1,502
236
San Luis Obispo County, CA
You don't need to feed the layer feed. You can just feed either the non medicated starter grower or an All Flock ration. Put out a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs. It isn't a good idea to feed any chicken that isn't laying a layer ration.

2x Saves on storage space and alot cheaper.

Thanks for the advice! I shall hold off on the layer feed until I start seeing eggs from the Littles :frow.
P.S. Is it okay for my little cockerel/roo to eat some layer pellets when everyone else starts? I keep them all together - at least for now.
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Jun 23, 2013
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If you insist on serving layer it's your choice but have read layer for chicks, cockerels, roos may/can cause kidney/live issues due to the amount of calcium in it. It's also less protein whereas it takes alot for the hens to produce eggs which are protein ... There's a thread about it. It's not necessary to feed layer to pullets/hens even when they're laying. You can continue with the Grower (non medicated) or switch to an All Flock, Multi Purpose, Flock Raiser, or what ever else that's not age specific. Just add an extra/separate dish of Oyster Shells when the girls start laying.

I've stopped feeding layer to my girls for a few years now, Flock Raiser and Oyster Shells in a separate dish when they started laying. Haven't had any issues with their laying ability nor shells :fl
 

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
791
1,502
236
San Luis Obispo County, CA
If you insist on serving layer it's your choice but have read layer for chicks, cockerels, roos may/can cause kidney/live issues due to the amount of calcium in it. It's also less protein whereas it takes alot for the hens to produce eggs which are protein ... There's a thread about it. It's not necessary to feed layer to pullets/hens even when they're laying. You can continue with the Grower (non medicated) or switch to an All Flock, Multi Purpose, Flock Raiser, or what ever else that's not age specific. Just add an extra/separate dish of Oyster Shells when the girls start laying.

I've stopped feeding layer to my girls for a few years now, Flock Raiser and Oyster Shells in a separate dish when they started laying. Haven't had any issues with their laying ability nor shells :fl

Ack! Thank you for the heads up! This is good to know. Don’t want to cause harm to my boys and I have a dish for oyster shells in the coop/run. Might install a few more ;).
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I Want Ice Cream
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,837
80,692
1,522
Wisconsin
Thanks for the advice! I shall hold off on the layer feed until I start seeing eggs from the Littles :frow.
P.S. Is it okay for my little cockerel/roo to eat some layer pellets when everyone else starts? I keep them all together - at least for now.
I have found that roosters that eat a layer ration can have shorter lives. It's one reason I no longer feed a layer.
 

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