Is it safe to switch from grower to laying feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bambi, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. bambi

    bambi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2010
    Mo.
    Good morning, my hens are 17 weeks old (only have 5) and I am out of grower feed. I don't want to buy grower if I have to switch to layer in a couple of weeks because then I will have a big bag of feed that will be wasted ( I have about 25 lbs of starter that just is sitting and going to waste couldn't find anyone that wanted it). My RIR are free ranging and they don't eat much feed as it is. What kind of damage will I do if I just go ahead and switch to layer feed now insted of waiting until they start laying. Thanks for everyone wisdom it really helps us newbies
     
  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    It'll probably be fine, I've done it in the past. I usually feed starter up until 16-18 weeks and then start blending in layer pellets. Mostly because when I started raising chickens grower wasn't available! Haven't lost any due to malnutrition in 18 years, so I guess it's okay!
     
  3. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    Don't wait till they start laying to switch to laying feed. Now would be a good time to switch as they need some weeks to get all the medication out of their system before they start laying eggs that YOU WILL EAT. [​IMG]
     
  4. bambi

    bambi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2010
    Mo.
    Thanks for putting my mind to rest. Well off I go to buy new feed [​IMG]
     
  5. Bloomie

    Bloomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2010
    Rural Nevada
    Quote:I was seeking the same kind of info about feeding layer pellets to 17 week old hens, ( one of which laid an egg last night. [​IMG] ) that have been eating unmedicated all-purpose/grower crumbles
    The need to purchase more feed brought this same question to mind.
    Can I switch all the hens to layer pellets even tho not all are laying yet?

    They havent been on any medicated feed since being switched from medicate chick starter to the all-purpose feed.
    Do I still need to have a waiting period?
     
  6. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    Quote:I was seeking the same kind of info about feeding layer pellets to 17 week old hens, ( one of which laid an egg last night. [​IMG] ) that have been eating unmedicated all-purpose/grower crumbles
    The need to purchase more feed brought this same question to mind.
    Can I switch all the hens to layer pellets even tho not all are laying yet?

    They havent been on any medicated feed since being switched from medicate chick starter to the all-purpose feed.
    Do I still need to have a waiting period?

    I switched all of mine once the first one started laying. I also keep a little feeder with crushed oyster shell available all the time so they can 'supplement' calcium as their bodies need it. If your food was not medicated for a couple of weeks its OK to eat the eggs. As long as you don't have much younger chickens in the flock it should not be an issue at that age
     
  7. Bloomie

    Bloomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2010
    Rural Nevada
    Quote:I was seeking the same kind of info about feeding layer pellets to 17 week old hens, ( one of which laid an egg last night. [​IMG] ) that have been eating unmedicated all-purpose/grower crumbles
    The need to purchase more feed brought this same question to mind.
    Can I switch all the hens to layer pellets even tho not all are laying yet?

    They havent been on any medicated feed since being switched from medicate chick starter to the all-purpose feed.
    Do I still need to have a waiting period?

    I switched all of mine once the first one started laying. I also keep a little feeder with crushed oyster shell available all the time so they can 'supplement' calcium as their bodies need it. If your food was not medicated for a couple of weeks its OK to eat the eggs. As long as you don't have much younger chickens in the flock it should not be an issue at that age

    Thank you for makin' me think about the age difference in the hen house.
    16 hens are 17 weeks...... 10 hens are 14 weeks.
    We just returned from the feed store with 4 bags of 16% layer crumbles.
    Will that be alright for the 14 week old pullets?
     
  8. MaKettle

    MaKettle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was looking for the same information...

    I have 5 chickens that are only 15 weeks old & my Golden Comet (I think) laid her first egg yesterday. Just went out & found another one this evening. I didn't know if I should switch them or not...I think I may just mix until I'm out of the chick starter...Just went out & bought the layer feed but I don't want to throw away the 10lbs of chick feed that I have left..
     
  9. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    I think at 14 weeks you should be able to use the layer feed, it woll be too hard to control who is eating what if they are a mixed flock......if you still have some of the grower feed left you could mix it 50/50 till you run out. I would just keep oyster shell available and maybe feed a little more protein type treats to the younger ones. If they get to forage they'll be able to eat a lot of bugs and weeds anyway and rely less on the commercial feed. 14 weeks could be getting close to laying age for some too. JMHO.... [​IMG]
     
  10. Bloomie

    Bloomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2010
    Rural Nevada
    fldiver97 wrote: I switched all of mine once the first one started laying. I also keep a little feeder with crushed oyster shell available all the time so they can 'supplement' calcium as their bodies need it. If your food was not medicated for a couple of weeks its OK to eat the eggs. As long as you don't have much younger chickens in the flock it should not be an issue at that age

    Someone from BYC informed me that they've read its a bad idea to offer laying feed (crumbles or pellets) to hens that arent laying yet...... delaying their egg laying is the result.

    The feed store said it would be alright to offer the (approximate age) 14 week hens the 16% layer crumbles along with the hens that have laid.....which they also said had enough calcium already in it, but if I saw mushy eggs I could add free access oyster shell.

    I'm confooooosed. [​IMG]
    We use Nutrenea Chicken Feed Products.
    Medicated Chick Started until 6 weeks of age
    All Purpose Complete Crumbles from 6-20 weeks OR until laying begins. ( 16 % protein with calcium min 0.7 to max 1.2 % )
    Thats where the feeding thang has stumped me.
    At least one of the hens has begun laying....leaving 25 others behind.

    Nutrena's Naturewise Layer Complete Crumbles 16% (protein) is made for hens laying 5 % of their egg production & has min 3.7 % to max 4% calcium
    I'm interpreting that "5% of their egg production" means this blend of feed is appropriate for the "beginner hen" [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Would that be how ya'll read that?


    If added calcium isnt good for the Roos what the heck are they supposed to eat? They're in the same coop.​
     

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