Is this feed right?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Gracefulspice, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. Gracefulspice

    Gracefulspice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2007
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    I just adopted 5 pullets each 8 weeks old. I have them on Grower Feed. I need to switch them to Layer Feed at about 18 weeks right?
    And what will happen if my older hens, 1 approx 10mo. and 1 at approx 2 yrs. eat the grower food? [​IMG] Will they put on too much weight? Should I try to keep it seperate? And will it hurt the 8 week olds if they eat the layer? [​IMG]
     
  2. joannamarie

    joannamarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2007
    i was trying to find out on here the same answers as i have never hatched chicks before.
    i was told that if laying hens eat the growers you cant eat the eggs
    and if chicks eat the layers pellets it can cause problems one of them being they start to develop early which isnt good.
    i was told i could hang hens layers pellets up higher but i decided against this as the hen would break up the layers pellets and feed to chicks.
    so i decided it would be much safer to keep hen and chicks seperated from the other layer hens, and mum and chicks are both on chick crumbs at the moment.
    it was a shame as i wanted them all together but it seemed the only way to keep all of them eating what they should be.
     
  3. joannamarie

    joannamarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2007
    also i have just read on another post that layers pellets for chicks can have to much calcuim in it affecting there protein levels
     
  4. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

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    Mar 7, 2007
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    Quote:Layer rations have 4x the amount of calcium that starter/grower rations have. This can lead to calcium toxicity in younger animals. Pullets not yet laying should not have access to laying ration if possible. Really doesn't have anything to do with calcium affecting protein.
     
  5. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

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    Mar 7, 2007
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    Quote:If you can't keep them separate, it would be better if the laying hens ate grower rather than the 8 wk old pullets eating layer ration. Just make sure you have oyster shells available for the laying hens because the grower is much lower in calcium and the laying hens will need the oyster shell to ensure strong egg shells.

    When to switch from grower to layer usually occurs when the pullets start to lay (not an age based switch).

    It is advisable for the young pullets to not eat laying ration because the high calcium can cause toxicity problems in pullets not yet laying.
     
  6. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

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    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    Quote:Chicks eating layer pellets will not cause them to develop early (quite the opposite because it is lower in protein). The problem is too high calcium levels in the layer ration that can cause problems.
    If you have hen and chicks, you can make a "creep" area (a box with a small door that chicks can go through but hens can't fit). You can keep chick starter in the "creep" and the hens can still have access to laying ration. If you use a hanging feeder for the hens, place it at the height of the hens back and the chicks won't be able to access the laying ration very easily...they will prefer to eat the chick starter in the creep area. The creep can be as simple as a cardboard box turned upside down with a small hole for the chicks to go in and out. I made a wood box with 2 doors (one for chicks and one for small pullets).
     
  7. joannamarie

    joannamarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2007
    i was just tryng to help by saying all that i was told when i asked this question, which is what i was told.
    i dont know if you have seen a mother hen and chicks but i have now experienced it for the first time and the mother hen will break everyhting up into smaller pieces for her chicks mine does anyway, sawdust, paper towels, anythng thats there and the chicks eat it.
    so she would layers pellets aswell the hen tells the chicks to eat and they do.
     
  8. Gracefulspice

    Gracefulspice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2007
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    I'm trying the box idea....how simple was that, Thanks [​IMG]
    I cut a door out big enough for the 8 weekers plus a few windows for extra light. But they seem afraid of it. I guess in time they will notice the food in there. I also hung the layer pellets higher so the 8 weekers can't reach it. My only other alternative was to wait till I got home (approx 4-5 hrs.) to let my older girls free range and dispurse food then. I didn't want to make them all wait till I got home, so the box idea was very simple!! Now all I have to worry about is the nasty excesive heat warning we are having today [​IMG] Thanks Again for the tip!!
     

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