layer feed??

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

  1. shellybean40

    shellybean40 Songster

    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 Songster

    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 Songster

    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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