Just ran out of grower and not quite laying yet...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by suburbanoutlawchick, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. suburbanoutlawchick

    suburbanoutlawchick Chirping 7 Years

    Jul 18, 2011
    We have 4 EE pullets and 1 cockerel who are just over 22 weeks old. We've been feeding them organic grower pellets and our local feed store doesn't keep organic feed in stock, so we ordered some organic layer feed in advance. We just ran out of the grower feed, but the pullets aren't laying yet. How bad would it be to start feeding them the layer? We weren't originally planning on keeping the cockerel, but he's just so darn pretty that we might. We can order more grower and offer calcium on the side, but it will probably take a couple weeks to come in. What should we feed in the meantime? Thanks for your help!

  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Calcium isn't supposed to be good for chickens while they are still developing, but I don't know exactly how bad it is. I have read that it can encourage the pullets to lay earlier than may be good for them. You could add organic grains like oats and corn to their layer feed or you could break down and buy a bag of non organic grower.
  3. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Crowing 10 Years

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    They are 22 weeks old, fine to feed them layer. Layer doesn't make them lay eggs, it just gives them what they need to stay healthy while laying eggs. Cockerels have eaten layer feed through time. If you have layer, go ahead and feed it!
  4. My girls were part of a mixed age flock and got the same layer that the older girls got from 6 weeks old. Didn't hurt them any and they are healthy and strong at 8months old. Great layers too and didn't start early.
    Good luck.

  5. mlm Mike

    mlm Mike Sunna and Mani Premium Member Project Manager 7 Years

    Aug 14, 2010
    Hardy Township, OH
    At 22 weeks,layer should be fine.
  6. PtldChick

    PtldChick Songster

    Jun 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    x2 - they're close to laying age anyway, and I've read that it's good to start them on layer before they start laying so they get enough calcium to make the eggshells. At that age, they've stopped growing significantly.

    Or, you could order more developer and just feed that with oyster shell and not get anymore layer food. That's the big difference (calcium). Developer may have a bit more protein in it, but that's probably a good thing.
  7. ceeceeholt

    ceeceeholt Songster

    Aug 17, 2011
    I started my girls on layer pellets at 19 weeks and I got my first EE egg at 20 and then again at 21 from another:) They are healthy and happy girls:)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by