layer feed??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by shellybean40, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. shellybean40

    shellybean40 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Boerne, TX
    okay, chicken experts!! I have three 20 week old bantam cochins, 1 13 week old EE, and six 9week old chickens. I believe we have removed all of the roos, time will tell. I am currently feeding them starter feed with grit and de mixed in. One of my banties has laid 2 eggs, and I would like to put them on layer feed. Is it safe to feed it to everyone? How do I feed oyster shell to just the layers?? I don't want the young ones to damage their kidneys. What to do??
  2. the lemon tree

    the lemon tree Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2009
    It's still a little early to give layer feed to the 9 week olds-the calcium is too much for them at this age. You can start the 13 week olds on it (I did with mine, they are fine) but add it a little at a time, over a week or two so their bodies can acclimate to the change. Ideally you'd want to hold off until around 18 weeks to start the layer.

    With a mixed flock of different ages, I would mix up yogurt/cottage cheese/scrambled eggs with some crushed oyster shell and give it to the older ones as a treat on a regular basis. That way the older birds get what they need without harming the younger ones. Good luck!

    ETA: With the cochins already laying-you should still introduce the layer feed slowly (over a few days) so they don't get shock from the sudden surge of calcium.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I don't give my birds layer feed. They get grower/finisher feed from the age of 8 weeks onward - all of 'em. I put crushed oyster shell in an empty tuna can nailed to an inside wall of the coop, so those which need it will take it. I keep it full.

    I've got a general population of 11 week olds, 16 week olds, 21 week olds, 9 months, and 2 about 16 months old. Plus a pair of 21 week old Cayuga ducks. There are four 6 week old chicks in their own coop and enclosure; they are still getting chick starter.
  4. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Just put the oyster shell out free choice. The youngsters might check it out a bit, but they won't chow down on it. Like gryeyes said, the ones that need it will eat it and those that don't won't.

    I have a mixed age/species flock and I feed gamebird and keep oyster shell out free choice, never had a problem with youngsters eating it but the layers go after it like a 4-year old does a chocolate bar.

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