Is layer feed ok at 9 weeks old???


9 Years
May 18, 2010
I went to the feed store today and figured I'd get my chicks off the starter feed and switch over to a grower feed. The lady there told me that layer feed is fine and they should be laying within the next month or so. This is our first time ever having chickens so I trusted her because I don't know much about chickens yet. Well I got home and looked at the bag and it says it's for chickens over 20 weeks old. Is this okay for my chicks to eat right now?? Also, the bag says there's copper added to the that normal?!?!
I might just go back and trade it for the grower feed, I'm ticked. When we bought the chicks we dealt with the same lady and I hate to be rude but she seems like an idiot, she gave us some bunk info then too and screwed up a bunch of things at check out. And when do chickens really start laying anyway?? 3 months seems too young, I don't think this lady at the feed store has a clue what she is talking about.
Well you are right about the lady not knowing what she is talking about. The bag tells you that much. Growing chicks need grower food. I feed start and grow which is for chickens right up until they are laying. Since different breeds will start laying a different ages it may very some, but 20 weeks is a good length of time to expect to feed grower food. My adult birds prefer grower food over layer food if they can get it as well. But with a laying hen I give them the healthy stuff, very much like kids in that regard.
My suggestion is to do your homework before going shopping then you don't have to worry bout what the lady says. good luck
The "copper added" comment is a prevention statement for those people having livestock that are sensitive to elevated levels of copper that might get into the chicken feed...I think it is sheep and goats?

I have Purina products available here. So I keep my new chicks on Start N Grow so that they get the anti-cocci protection from the med in the food. Then I move them out to the bigger brooder in the coop around 4 weeks of age. Once they have been outside for about two weeks (long enough to build a few antibodies for disease protection) I switch the entire flock over to Purina Flockraiser, and supplement my layers with oyster shell for calcium/keeping good eggshell thickness. The young ones don't seem to get into the calcium. And it is easier for me to supplement a bucket of calcium in the shed and let the entire flock of all ages come and go as they please during the day, rather than try to keep the little ones separated any longer and keep everyone eating the correct food.

Once I see an egg from the raised up chicks, generally around 20-24 weeks, then I have no problem switching the entire flock back to layer pellets. The Flockraiser is only available as crumble in our area so there is a bit of waste while feeding it vs. the layer pellets. However, if the birds start to molt or look ragged I tend to buy the Flockraiser again as it has a bit more protein than the layer pellets.
Thanks so much for your input!! I went back this afternoon and got a couple more bags of the starter feed, they don't sell a separate grower formula there. Right on the bag it says that it's starter/grower and that the chickens should be fed this for 18 weeks then fed the layer feed. Why the lady told me they should be on layer feed already I don't know......I can only hope she misheard me when I told her how old they are. lol
The extra calcium in the laying pellets can cause organ failure in your chickens at such an early age....DO NOT GIVE THEM THAT THIS EARLY...go back and tell that woman she is not correct in her information she has given you..but it's a learning process so if you have given them some, you are fine..just switch it out now.

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