Is this right? Laying pullets can eat grower?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by llnmaw, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. llnmaw

    llnmaw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    I've seen it discussed a time or two...but want to be sure I'm getting it right. I have three 20 week olds and two11 weekers in the same run. I have separate feed areas for them but as you can guess, they like to share. When we got our first egg I bought a 50lb bag of Purina Layena. The babies are finishing off a bag of starter mixed with the leftover grower from the big girls. The Layena is rarely, if ever touched but I've seen the babies nibbling a time or two. I understand that the calcium in the Layena is not good for the babies. My big girls gobble up the grower/starter like crack [​IMG]

    So...I can just give everyone grower as long as I have an available bowl of oyster shells/egg shells and everyone will be just fine? My layers will be getting enough nutrients to make beautiful eggs? What is the point of the Layena? Extra calcium? Extra protein? Nothing? (I don't have a bag tag to compare from the grower.....)

    I'm not a big treat giver (food from our household) but they are allowed to forage in the grass/planted beds for an hour or so daily and get tossed a handful of BOSS 3 or so times a day.

    ~L. (BTW...BYC'ers are the best as answering the same tired old question over and over and over for noobs like me! Thanks!!!)
  2. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    They can have grower as long as you supply them with oyster shell for calcium. I don't think layers should eat medicated starter though. I have ducks and various age chicks/hens, so I feed all flock and supplement with egg shells/oyster shell.
  3. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    grower has more protien then laying feed, laying feed already has calcium added in. Offer oyster shells and grit (or let them eat dirt), and they'll assemble thier own from the buffet.
  4. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    If you are feeding a medicated feed with just the growth inhibitor for cocci in it then yeah, they can eat medicated starter. It won't hurt the eggs for eating.
    Starter is fine for laying pullets and if they gobble it down then that means they need the vitamins and minerals it provides and they aren't getting from layer feed. Chickens know what they need and unfortunately a lot of commercial foods do not provide everything. That is one reason I love to free range my birds. Unfortunately, I can't free range all my breeding flocks or nothing would be pure. Higher protein isn't always a good idea but the extra nutrients are very good for them.

    If you wanted to take the time to research out everything chickens need (and there probably isn't much info on it) and mix up your own vitamin/mineral supplement to add to the feed then you could just offer layer. I personally have used liquid Centrum to spray on the food and they have been very happy with it but I also have added Selenium lately in a powder form to the mash and they seem more content there, too.

    I have one group of chicks that have fits when I spray the Centrum on their starter. They jump on it every afternoon like white on rice but do not have the same fit over their breakfast. I am sure they are craving more vitamins and since they are a group of "runts" then I keep looking for more that they are missing in their diet.
  5. llnmaw

    llnmaw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    My layer/and soon to be layers really won't eat the Layena, not really sure why. To be honest it annoys me a bit because I have an entire bag that may not get eaten.

    So as long as grower is nutritionally appropriate for the layers (with calcium on the side) I guess I'll buy a new bag for the whole crew. It would certainly be easier to have them all eating the same thing!

    As a side, why is higher protein for a laying hen not always a good idea?

  6. Wildflower_VA

    Wildflower_VA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:The higher protein is for faster body growth, and the extra protein is needed to keep up with the uber fast growth of young chickens. When they are ready to lay, body growth slows down and they don't need all that protein. Some studies show that the higher protein encourages continued body growth instead of producing eggs.

    That said, many people feed the higher protein feed to all their chickens and they get enough eggs to suit their needs.
  7. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I feed ALL my chickens starter/grower right now since I have young chicks and teens mixed in with the adults. I add oyster shell on the side. If the feed store is out, I get flock raiser. So far so good. Next bag will probably be flock raiser or equivalent since the chicks will be old enough, I think.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011

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