grower & laying mash

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by joenelz, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. joenelz

    joenelz Hatching

    Mar 10, 2008
    I just found out about grower mash. I always brought home each of my new pullets and put her in with my backyard hens to share their laying mash in the coop when they were locked up and forage together when they were out. I've just raised my first chick (in a separate little cage with starter crumbles). She'll soon be 6 weeks and need to go in the big coop, but now I guess she's supposed to eat a different food until begins laying (as should the other pullets over the years, but didn't). How do people feed different birds different foods? Unfortunately my new pullet will soon be bigger than my layers because she's a Fayumi standard and they are various Banties.
  2. fowlwoman1

    fowlwoman1 Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    Wenatchee, WA
    I was actually wondering the same thing! I had always fed my chickens just cracked corn because that was what my mom fed them when I was growing up. Now I want better nutrition for them and have heard that the extra calcium in the layer is bad for little ones. I've heard that lots of people just feed them all grower plus oyster shell that the hens can peck at as needed. But I had just bought 6 bags of layer that was on sale, so I"ve been mixing it together. 2 parts grower to one part layer. Plus I have oyster shell available.
  3. plfreitag

    plfreitag In the Brooder

    Jun 28, 2007
    wright city mo
    What I do when it's time to mix the birds together is slowly switch the older birds back over to grower feed and then make sure they have free choice oyster shell. The higher protein in the grower feed won't hurt the older birds, but the higher calcium in the layer feed can do bad things to the chicks.

    Then when they're all together, they all eat the grower feed till the babies start laying. We switch back to layer feed at that point.

    Trisha in MO
  4. kiwilady

    kiwilady In the Brooder

    Dec 25, 2011
    Thank you for answering this perplexing question, Trisha! We are faced with the same problem and now see how we can solve the problem. Excellent!
  5. Agree. Feed the entire flock grower. Some producers, like Purina, also sell an "All Flock" or "Flock Raiser" product that all can eat.

    The potential damage to a young bird eating the high calcium of layer is internal and may not be particularly evident. High calcium layer mash, when fed to pre-laying birds, has been shown in study after study to cause severe damage to the renal system, especially the kidneys. While it may not be visible or apparent, there may future consequences, deaths, or shortened lives that result, even if the owner doesn't connect the dots as to the cause at the time.

    You doing the right thing in not feeding high calcium layer to your younger birds.

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