Layer feed question.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mamaj323, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. mamaj323

    mamaj323 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We ran out of our normal All-Flock feed yesterday so DH picked up a bag on his way home and fed the birds when he got home. Most of the ladies are 16 weeks old, the others 18 weeks. We also have a couple cockerels. Well, when I went out today to check on them I discovered that he had bought a bag of layer pellets! Is it okay to give to my flock? Are the ladies (not yet laying) too young? Will it be okay for my boys? Will they at least be okay for a few days, or do I need to find a way to get them new feed in the AM? Sorry, I'm new at this. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. fintuckyfarms

    fintuckyfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ugh, that sucks my son just did the same thing. Luckily my girls are older but they still prefer the crumbles over the pellets. The layer shouldn't hurt they if they can swallow it. You can still feed it by putting it in a ziplock and smacking it with a hammer to make the crumbles. Just make sure they have grit to help break down the pellets.
     
  3. mamaj323

    mamaj323 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They seem to do okay with the size. I am just wondering about the calcium levels of the layer feed since the girls aren't laying and the boys are... well boys. What do you think? :/
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    They don't need it as they are not laying and the roosters/cockerels never do. It will be alright to feed the bag. It seems you've many birds so the bag would only last two weeks or so. It's extended periods of high calcium for birds that don't need it that will cause permanent health problems.
     
  5. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    They'll be fine. Finish off the bag, then go back to your preferred feed.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There are studies out there that show the excess calcium is harmful to young growing chicks. It’s really hard to find studies that show at what age it is safe to give the excess calcium. The closest I can come is a study where they started feeding excess calcium to 16 week old pullets that were going to be a commercial laying flock to see if preloading them with calcium instead of waiting for them to start laying to get excess calcium had any benefit to the early egg shells. The results were kind of inconclusive but not really any benefits.

    The study was not to see how the excess calcium affected their internal organs specifically but I infer that since they were willing to up the calcium at that age the excess calcium was not a problem. This was the commercial egg laying industry so I’d guess they have all kinds of tests and studies about this kind of stuff.

    That was for chickens that did not get any treats. All their food came from the layer feed. I don’t know if you are feeding any treats or not. If you are, that would cut down on the amount of calcium they are actually eating. The problem is not how much calcium is in one bite, it’s how much total calcium they eat each day, and as was mentioned, over a time period.

    I can’t give you any proof, but my personal opinion is that it’s not a big deal, you can go ahead and feed it if you wish. You can get another bag of flock raiser and mix them too if you wish to cut down on the total calcium they get each day though they are likely to either pick out the pellets and leave the crumbles or pick out the crumbles and leave the pellets. I’ve had different flocks do both of those but if you let them get a bit hungry they won’t starve. They’ll eat it all. That might make you feel better and it certainly won’t do any harm. I would not let that bag of Layer get old and stale. It’s too expensive to waste.
     
  7. mamaj323

    mamaj323 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much everyone! I feel much better now!
     

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