May 17, 2018
Afton, Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
I have three 23 week old pullets and three 18 month old chickens, all heritage breeds. The pullets have not started to lay yet and because of their breeds may not for a while yet. The pullets began living in the same coop/run with the older girls six weeks ago and I have been feeding all six grower feed with oyster shells offered separately on the side. Grit is also available to everyone. I'm wondering if it's ok to switch everyone over to layer feed now even though the pullets aren't yet laying or if I should keep everyone on the grower feed. It is my understanding that grower feed has a bit more protein than layer feed and the older chickens have not begun their molt yet. I've read that chickens benefit from a higher protein feed when they molt as well as when it's very cold during the winter. Any recommendations are welcome!


Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
Is there any reason you'd wish to feed layer over all flock? Layer is a convenience for commercial laying operations so they don't need to mess with oyster shell. Small flocks really do not benefit from being fed layer, and they really do prefer the taste of the higher protein feed.

In answer to the question, it's no, only active layers should be given access to layer feed.

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