how to handle new arrivals


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 10, 2011
can`t wait for spring, our new ready to lay birds will be arriving on April 7th. We have 30 ordered. Here is my question and what I plan on doing. I`m almost finished prepairing there coup. It`s 27 ft by 17 ft. lots of straw ready to go down and feeders and waterers ready to be filled. These red sex links will be 18 to 20 weeks old. Also been raised in 12 hrs of light. I was wondering, do I feed them laying feed and oyster shell right away or just normal feed and then add it after they get a chance to settle in. I also plan on adding longer light times by an hour a week, how am I doing so far.

I make my own feed with a mixture of things and lay crumbles is one ingredient. I feed them that from the beginning. The gentleman that I get all my birds from feeds the same thing. What will the previous owner be feeding them? IMHO I would say to feed them the lay crumbles or whatever you have for lay feed. They will be very close to POL and the protein won't hurt them any.
If they haven't started laying, give them normal feed. The day you see an egg, switch them over to layer crumbles.
I began feeding my pullets layer feed at around 17 weeks of age. They had not started laying yet, but their combs were getting pretty red. But using the flock raiser and oyster shell would work too. I would say that by mid April, you probably won't need to supplement light. That can wait till winter time.
Yeah, I would get a 50#bag of grower or flock raiser. You can switch over to layer gradually, mixing them when you see an egg, so you won't waste any grower. Some people feed layer at 20 weeks, eggs or not, on the assumption that they are making eggs or will be soon, and need calcium to make them. I don't know that either is proven to be a better approach. If you go with grower, you could also put out some oyster shell separately. Supposedly they will take some for the calcium if they feel the need.

Good luck with your new flock!

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