Is the chick starter feed a problem for mature hens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chickadee2, Jul 17, 2016.

  1. chickadee2

    chickadee2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2008
    Our mature chickens are loving the chick starter and the increased protein has possible been the reason for the increase in eggs. Hopefully the chick starter will not be a problem for them. I have scattered the oyster shell calcium supplement in the coop to try to help compensate. The layer crumbles are still there, but ignored. any suggestions?
  2. AllynTal

    AllynTal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2014
    Mississippi Gulf Coast
    It's been my experience that it's just fine feeding chick starter to the hens as long as they have access to oyster shell. The extra protein is good and they'll peck at the oyster shell if/when they want the extra calcium.

    What do you mean, you "scattered" the oyster shell? It's in a feeder available for them if they want it, yes?
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    The higher protein can boost egg production and for a while isn't a big problem. I usually feed something like that when hens are molting to help them build feathers.
    Excess protein has to be processed by the liver and can end up in the bedding as ammonia.
    The oyster shell has to be in a separate container. If it gets spilled on the ground or in bedding, my chickens tend to ignore it.
    I assume you have chicks living with hens as the reason for starter being there. Can the chicks access the layer feed?

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