How to feed a mixed-age pullet group, and general protein amounts

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Victoria-nola, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Victoria-nola

    Victoria-nola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 10, 2011
    Southwest Mississippi
    First time with chickens here. I have 10-week pullets and 3-week old pullets. When it's time to introduce the 3-week olds to the older group, they will all still be on start n' grow food. But when the older ones start laying, they are supposed to change to different feed, but the younger ones should still get the starter, and Storey's Guide says it is dangerous to feed the layer to the younger chicks. Aside from the issues of introducing the younger group and how that will go, how do handle the feed needs once they are all in the same coop? (I know, I should have started with more chicks to begin with, but comedy of [human] errors prevented that.)

    My plan is to feed free choice. Storey's Guide gives complicated instructions for changing the protein percentage at various times of the chicken's life, various changes when they are chicks, in summer heat, molting, etc. Do people generally get this technical in how they feed their chickens? I'm learning that Storey's Guide isn't always considered the best source of information by folks on this forum.

    Thanks so much, this forum is excellent.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You can feed them all the same thing. You could feed them starter/grower or feed them all a flock raiser type feed.
    Those "complicated guides" are just that. Complicated and unnecessary. Mostly marketing hoo haw.
    Once the older pullets begin to lay, you can offer shells, on the side, which only those layers, who's body calls for additional calcium, will pick at.

    Personally, I'd not feed layer until everyone is laying, if you wish to feed layer at all. The additional calcium in layer feed is, indeed, not possible for the younger metabolisms to process.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  3. flockof4

    flockof4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Fred. It's probably ok to keep them all on the chick/starter feed until they all start laying. Just offer oyster shell or some other calcium supplement free choice when the older ones start to lay. The younger ones won't go after it until they need it. Good luck.
     
  4. Victoria-nola

    Victoria-nola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, thank you, that's certainly easy. I did not know that feeding layer feed was optional. I will need to research this some more before we get to that point.

    Thanks very much. It is such a pleasure to be able to get answers to my questions in such a timely fashion.
     
  5. shellybean40

    shellybean40 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Boerne, TX
    I have some that are laying, some that are close to laying, and some 10 week olds. They all get flock raiser and I put oyster shell out for the laying hens.
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Everyone can eat Starter. Everyone can eat Grower. Everyone can eat Raiser.

    The percentages of protein vary between them, so take your choice, as you see fit.

    Feed the shells on the side and only the layers, who need them, will pick at them. See, it's simple, really.
    If and when your whole flock is a laying flock, then everyone can eat the high calcium layer formula.
     
  7. Victoria-nola

    Victoria-nola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 10, 2011
    Southwest Mississippi
    All right I'm good then! Thank you! [​IMG]
     

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