How long to feed chick starter?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Cowgrl4life, May 3, 2010.

  1. Cowgrl4life

    Cowgrl4life In the Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2010
    I've got a variety of ages of chicks, how old do they need to be before you switch to a layer feed? And would it be ok to keep feeding the older chicks the chick starter until they are all ready to have layer pellets? My oldest is about eight weeks with my youngest around two weeks. My thought was to feed chick starter until they were all able to be on the same food. Would this work, and at what age should they make the switch to layer?
     
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  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

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    I keep them on starter until they start to lay, then I switch to layer and oyster shell
     
  3. DIMBY

    DIMBY Songster

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    Last year, with my first babies, my chicken lady maven recommended that at about 12 weeks, mix the chick feed with adult layer feed, 50-50, then by about 16-17 weeks or so, totally on the adult feed. She also suggested holding off on the extra calcium until about 20 weeks or so, until right before they started to lay.
     
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  4. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Songster

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    Quote:Thats what I do to.[​IMG]
     
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  5. juicebox

    juicebox In the Brooder

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    May 4, 2010
    hi, i'm new to chickens. my girls (rocks) are 13 weeks old. i've got 2 questions.
    1) i'm running out of grower food (it'll maybe last another 2-3 weeks). would it be too soon to switch to layer food?
    2) once on layer food that has calcium, is it still necessary to feed oyster shells?

    thanks
     
  6. bock

    bock Songster

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    I feed my girls Layena without any oyster shell, and they lay lots of great quality eggs! [​IMG]
     
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  7. newwithchickens

    newwithchickens In the Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2010
    from what ive been reading the oyster shells are for IF they dont have/get enough calcium to lay so if you just keep it out there to where they could get it IF needed so not really a requirement but good idea from my understanding.
     
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  8. AuntGoose

    AuntGoose Chirping

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    I too am new to chickens of my own - I have:
    2 RI Reds
    2 Buff Orpingtons
    2 Americanas
    I will switch to laying pellets when they are ready to start laying... [​IMG] when are these girls ready to start laying?
     
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  9. gamefowl guy

    gamefowl guy In the Brooder

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    My computer
    I keep mine on starter for 8-12 weeks, then grower (16.5%) until they are 5-6 months. The reason most folks don't keep young on grower until they start laying is because sometimes they develop too fast due to the high protein content, and lay prematurely which can be damaging. And the reason most people don't switch on to layer until they are about laying age is the high calcium content can harm the young's kidneys. Young birds who are not laying do not need so much calcium.
     
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  10. gamefowl guy

    gamefowl guy In the Brooder

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    Quote:Most heritage breeds lay at 6-7 monthes
     
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