Freaking out! Was I supposed to change my chicken feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DairyChickenGal, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. DairyChickenGal

    DairyChickenGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2014
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    I changed my chickens feed from Grower Finisher to Layer crumble when they where done with the 50 pound Grower Finisher. At the time they were 16 weeks old when they were done with the Grower Finisher. Are my chickens O.K? I herd if you change their food before 18 weeks then they would get sick! :( [​IMG]They use the bathroom just fine if that matters.


    Here are my hens now:

    They are 19 weeks old in this picture:
    [​IMG]
    (There's another chicken in the back round, Carrie)
    [​IMG]
    (That's Carrie)
     
  2. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2013
    New Jersey
    You're chickens should be perfectly fine. Layer feed has a higher amount of calcium for egg production, however nothing super detrimental. The pullets body is preparing to lay, and the calcium boost should not cause them any harm. To be honest, I don't believe it can. I had an orpington who did not lay until roughly 8 months of age, and she ate layer feed from the time she was 20 weeks till her point of lay. That is 4 months of layer feed with no eggs and she was fine. Now, that isn't to say that something can't go wrong, but your pullets are more than likely preparing their bodies for laying and digesting the feed normally. The real harm with layer feed can come when birds that are like 6-8 weeks get into it, and their bodies can barely handle many of the layer feed components, particularly calcium. Don't worry too much, especially if there are no negative health effects. Many people feed layer at 20 weeks regardless of what the chickens are doing. I had to, because more than half of my flock was laying and I couldn't keep them undernourished. If any negative side effects arise, post in the group, and I'm sure somebody can help you out.
     
  3. DairyChickenGal

    DairyChickenGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2014
    Virginia
    Thank you so much [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  4. sssharon

    sssharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2014
    Well, if you're concerned than I'm really concerned. My 19 week old chicks have been eating both chick feed and layer feed. All of my chicks and chickens are in one pen and other than separating them so the chicks can eat their own feed I just let them all eat the same. The adult chickens have been stealing chick feed from the get go and the chicks do the same with the layer feed. I gave up on it. All of my chickens look good. I have one chick that is 12 weeks old that is bigger than some of the adult chickens. My question is , is it okay to give my chickens bread every day?
     
  5. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    West Sound, Washington
    If you have a mixed flock of ages (and sexes) I've been told it best to give a feed that is high in protein but lower in calcium (chicks and dudes don't need the extra, and large quantities of extra can be detrimental.) Offer a calcium based suppliment on the side (typically oyster shell) for the girls who are laying. The boys and the chicks should ignore the oyster and the girls laying will feel the urge to eat it.

    The names of these feeds can vary depending on the brand. Flock Raiser is the common Purina version. I feed my girls (and guy) "grower" from the brand I buy. It's almost identical to the layer except it's a bit higher in protein and provides about 1% calcium. Then I offer free-choice oyster shells for the girls. Ike the roo ignores it.
     
  6. sssharon

    sssharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2014
    Thanks for the advice. I'll have to try that. I actually think I might be safe now. My youngest chicks just turned 3 months old. What do you think. I actually try to single them out and pen them up in a smaller pen so they can eat chick feed. I have the rottenest leghorns that won't let anyone go near the food. It's a constant fight.
     

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