Help! Delaying layer feed?


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
Hi everyone,

We got 4 pullets a few weeks ago, and I went out and bought the most cost effective 50lb bag of developer feed that the store recommended. We've barely put a dent into the bag at this point, and probably have a least 40lbs left. I just realized tonight after re-reading her email, that she said I can put them on a layer feed in the beginning of October, and that I should expect eggs the first or second week of October.

So, so I need to waste the remaining developer feed and switch to layer feed in a week or so? What is the difference between developer & layer feed? Will it harm them or delay egg production if I finish the bag of developer and not start a layer feed until a month or so later than she said I could start them on it? I have to chickens that feel like solid, heavy chickens, (white langsham & EE/Americauna) and two that are much lighter and could probably stand to gain a few lbs. (barred rock & buff orph).

We also give scratch and whatever extras we find in the kitchen, usually bread & veggies.

Any insight would be much appreciated:)
She said you COULD give them Layer feed. She did not say you had to. And you don’t.

There are only two things that are significantly different in the different types of chicken feed, protein and calcium. The only significant difference in Starter, Grower, Developer, Flock Raiser, and most other chicken feeds is percent protein. There may be minor differences in fats, fiber, salt, and some other things, but they are not significant.

The only real difference in Layer and the other is percent calcium. Protein can vary with some of them but that’s not really significant. The calcium is for the egg shells. That’s why growing chicks should not eat Layer. The excess calcium can damage them.

The way practically all of us would handle your situation is to feed the rest of that bag. It will not affect when they start to lay or how often they lay. But get a bag of oyster shell and offer some oyster shell on the side. The chickens that need the extra calcium for their egg shells will eat it. Those that don’t need it won’t eat enough to harm themselves.
Don't worry about it. The basic difference is the grower is higher in protein and the layer is higher in Ca. Feed the grower until it is gone and start feeding them egg shells or oyster shells for some additional Ca. It's not going to delay their egg laying but some pullets have first egg problems that can sometimes be attributed to too little Ca in the diet. You will be through the bag in a month. You could also go head and buy the layer and mix them.
Fantastic! I'm already offering them the oyster shell in a hanging bowl so hopefully we won't have any issues. Thank you!

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