Help with feeding pullets

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sedodge, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. sedodge

    sedodge In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2008
    Hi all,

    I am new to chickens and have run out of chick starter and I'm not sure how to proceed. I have 3 15 week pullets - I have been feeding them chick starter mixed with oats (about 1/3 oats) and had planned to follow my Storey book directions to mix to a 50% oats/feed mix until 18 weeks and them shift over to layer feed. My problem is that I've unexpectedly run out of chick starter. My local feed store folks say I can start them on layer feed, but I'm not certain I trust them since they also told me that the only difference between chick starter and layer feed is the size. So, what do you suggest I do? Should I go out and buy another 50 lb bag of chick starter and go back to the original plan or can I dilute layer feed with oats or something else?

    Many thanks in advance for your help and advice!

    Sara in Oregon
  2. jacyjones

    jacyjones Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Aberystwyth, Wales
    At that age I would say you would be fine to go on to layers pellets, I always have and I usually get my chickens at about 14 weeks old. They also manage fine with corn at that age. It seems unnecessary to buy more of the starter stuff again, by all means dilute with other feed if that is what you intend to feed as adults.
  3. lovemychicks9

    lovemychicks9 Songster

    Apr 29, 2008
    South Carolina
    I do believe the difference between starter and layer is the layer has more calcuim , protien and the size is different . I think that they are probably about old enough to handle the transition though. Trudy [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. soctippy

    soctippy In the Brooder

    Dec 22, 2007
    I am assuming that they are not laying yet, so I would go with chicken starter and continue tomix it with oats. Often times layer rations also have hormones along with more calcium, and i have heard that it could hurt younger chickens. Another option is to feed them pig feed, from your local elevator. Ask for a bag with the same percent protein as they are getting now and also make sure it is not medicated feed. Hope this helps! (I to like following the Book)
  5. ChixFlix

    ChixFlix In the Brooder

    May 13, 2008
    Lake Worth, FL
    I'm also new to this chicken thing!

    By oats, do you mean like uncooked Quaker Oatmeal - not the instant, but the slow cook type?

    If not, exactly what do you mean, and where can I purchase it?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  6. ORChick

    ORChick Songster

    May 20, 2007
    I too am interested in any information on this topic, as my 5 girls, and one boy are also 15 weeks old, and we are getting towards the bottom of the 20# sack of chick feed. Another 20# would be way too much, but I don't want to start them on layer feed earlier than I should.
    Thanks for starting the topic, sedodge.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
  7. soctippy

    soctippy In the Brooder

    Dec 22, 2007
    you can usually purchase whole or crimped oats at any feed store, by the 50 pound bag. i have found that younger chickens don't seem to eat the whole oats, so I recently diluted a ration for my 2month old pullets with instant oatmeal, this however can get expensive its $3 something for a couple pounds. Old fashoned oatmeal should work fine, just see if they will eat it first. I'm thinking that its hard for the young ones to digest/ eat whole oats due to the hard shell that surrounds the meat of the seed. But adult chickens love them!

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