Is 14 weeks too early??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chickeneyfoot, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. chickeneyfoot

    chickeneyfoot Chirping

    Dec 17, 2011
    I have 20 14 week pullets that are eating flock raiser. They ran out just today. The feed store is out of stock on everything except layer. Is it ok? Thanks

  2. amillecay

    amillecay Songster

    Dec 29, 2011
    I started mine with layer to early not intentional though! I say too early feed them lots of scraps
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    It would be too early for ME to feed layer feed to 'em. Is the feed store ordering any, I hope, and when do they anticipate its arrival?

    If it's just a few days, give 'em foods you would normally feed them as treats. Lots of greens, kitchen scraps, cooked rice or noodles to fill 'em up. It won't hurt them for two or three days. And they'll be thrilled as heck "getting treats."

    I don't feed layer feed at all, because my flock has all ages plus ducks and geese, too. I use Nutrena's All Flock and provide free choice crushed oyster shell in a separate dish, 24/7. I'd feed chick starter to young birds before I'd feed 'em layer feed before they began to lay.

    But that's just me. I'm kinda odd in many respects. [​IMG]
  4. Clay Mudd

    Clay Mudd Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    South MS swamps
    You may or may not be odd, but that looks like good advice to me. ;)

  5. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Songster

    May 1, 2011
    Me, too!

  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Another vote for Too Early. A few days is one thing, for the next 6 weeks? Too much. The renal/kidney damage cannot be seen or judged from the outside. They'd be better off eating scratch for a week or two, frankly.

    There must be chick starter, grower, something at the feed store? That they are "out" of everything but layer, I think I'd search for another feed store.
  7. chickeneyfoot

    chickeneyfoot Chirping

    Dec 17, 2011
    Thanks. I called and they said they'll be out for 2 weeks. Is it proven that layer will hurt them?>?

  8. lolita117

    lolita117 Songster

    Mar 12, 2011
    Hestand, KY
    I haven't had personal experience with this but I just started my girls on layer and they are 32 weeks old. I will be switching them back to flock raiser as soon as I feed out these 6 bags I bought. I feed free choice oyster shell on the side. I like the idea of being able to bring in new babies and not worry about switching back and forth from layer to raiser. A lot of people say that until they start laying, layer is not good. And it makes sense. Its just too much calcium for their bodies to process, damage will happen. If there is any way I would go to a different county's feed store or go to TSC, there has to be a couple close to you. I have 2 within 30 miles in 2 different directions from me. 2 weeks might not hurt them so bad, but I wouldn't risk it when its known to not be good for them.

  9. berniezahm

    berniezahm Songster

    Oct 24, 2008
    I agree with Gryeyes and the others that advise against feeding layer feed to early.. To much calcium can damage your pullets internally.

    Page 188 In Storey's Guide to RAISING CHICKENS (New Edition) under the heading Feeding Pullets says "Do not feed a layer ration to pullets before they reach the age of lay, the higher calcium content may interfear with bone formation and result in weak legs, kidney damage, and possibly death." [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
    1 person likes this.

  10. KFaye

    KFaye Songster

    Mar 19, 2011
    I had to put my 14 wk pullets in with my year old hens. They seem to get along since the run and coop are large enough. I tried to keep two feeds going as they naturally stick to their own age groups but a few little ones keep going to the layer feed. Should I stop feeding layer all together then? with oyster shell on side?

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