Layer feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dtown2002, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. dtown2002

    dtown2002 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 3 18 week old chickens and a 12 week old eating the same thing. Will it hurt to start feeding layer feed or wait a few weeks?
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    I wouldn't feed layer to any bird younger than 16 weeks. The older ones can do fine without layer until they begin laying and even for a week or two after, but it will wreak havoc on chick's kidneys.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, it will hurt.

    Continue grower or any 1/% calcium feed and provide oyster shell or other calcium source in a separate container for those that need it.
     
  4. dtown2002

    dtown2002 Out Of The Brooder

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    But the chick will get curious and eat it too.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    No it won't. They don't have a taste for it if they don't feel the need.
    If they eat a bite, it won't hurt them and they won't eat again until they want some.
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    There is no reason at all to ever switch to layer feed. In fact, it's often not a good choice for most backyard flock keepers. There is no magic ingredient in layer feed. And it doesn't 'make' your birds lay. A grower, all flock, or flock raiser feed is a much better choice, and much safer if you have multiple ages, genders, and non layers in your flock. All the laying birds need is a source of calcium. And that can be provided by setting out some crushed oyster shell. The birds that don't need it, won't eat too much.
     
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  7. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    x2. Personally I recommend layer feed to the backyard, suburban, 4-6 hen flock type folks. Anyone else who has any more than a few birds, or any roosters, or does even a bit of breeding is best off using a grower or flock ration.
     
  8. dtown2002

    dtown2002 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ohhh. So the layer feed just gives them extra calcium!! I'm gunna but out some crushed shells of some sort. Does it matter what kind of shells I put out? I only have clam shells.
     
  9. dtown2002

    dtown2002 Out Of The Brooder

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    Or how else can I provide calcium?
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Most of us buy crushed oyster shell by the bag, not living on the beach! I'd guess that washed crushed clam shells will be fine, they're just another oyster, right? Pay attention to particle size; it matters. Get a small amount of oyster shell for poultry to compare. Also, a call to your state poultry department wouldn't hurt. Mary
     

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