Is the chick starter feed a problem for mature hens?

chickadee2

Chirping
Oct 13, 2008
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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?
 

AllynTal

Songster
5 Years
Aug 22, 2014
572
333
186
Mississippi Gulf Coast
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?

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:

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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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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