Layer feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chick1043, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. Chick1043

    Chick1043 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2011
    Idaho
    What's the soonest you can feed layer feed to your chickens? Thanks.
     
  2. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Ohio
    Quote:I never feed a layer type feed before hens start to lay.

    Chris
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Since it is "layer" feed, when they lay.

    Sure, some cheat a bit and feed it a week or two early, but why bother? The only reason I can think of is shopping convenience or similar.
     
  4. Chick1043

    Chick1043 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2011
    Idaho
    I have a couple of hens who are laying but I can't feed them layer feed yet because I have 9 week olds eating the same thing as them..I've heard you start feeding them layer feed at 16 weeks? I also have a couple of pullets who are 29 weeks and STILL aren't laying!! lol So should I wait until they're all laying?
     
  5. daver

    daver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Linden, NC
    Quote:Not saying this is right or wrong, but I ran out of starter about month away from the anticipation of point of lay so I went ahead and bought layer feed. Was told that a few weeks would not hurt.

    Well that few weeks turned into six. But I don't see any problems. Not recommended but.........

    Since we have no guaruntees as to when chickens will lay, I think it's situational.

    Dave
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:Not saying this is right or wrong, but I ran out of starter about month away from the anticipation of point of lay so I went ahead and bought layer feed. Was told that a few weeks would not hurt.

    Well that few weeks turned into six. But I don't see any problems. Not recommended but.........

    Since we have no guaruntees as to when chickens will lay, I think it's situational.

    Dave

    Which, frankly, is all too often the case. Folks are sooooo anxious for eggs they resist buying that last bag of grower at 14 weeks, thinking the eggs are coming any day, when it actuality, the eggs are a month, sometimes two months away. There is also that psychological thing about feeding layer. We want our pullets to mature and hurry, so we hurry, when it is absolutely not necessary. A pullet could easily lay, unharmed, for weeks with no pumped-up calcium. Even regular starter/grower has some calcium. The pullet eggs are small and allow plenty of time for the flock owner to make a run for layer feed.

    Just an observation more of human behavior than of the birds.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    It's simple enough to offer only a grower or flock raiser feed, with oyster shell on the side. I've gone months never buying layer when they were of mixed ages. I've yet to see a young chick eat any oyster shell; they check it out and walk away. Some of the layers eat it more than others.
     
  8. Chick1043

    Chick1043 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2011
    Idaho
    So until I start feeding them layer pellets what should I feed them? Right now I'm feeding the cracked corn..Is there something else that's better for them?
     
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    What if you have chickens mixed at different ages? What could the pumped up calcium do to the younger ones? Curious.. I have two feeders with both options, though I have seen the laying hens eat the growing crumble... [​IMG]

    I've also seen the younger ones eat the layer pellets, so will it hurt them? They seem fine. My youngest is 13 weeks old - she's been eating the layer feed, but prefers the crumble.

    Should I withhold the pellets, even though I've seen no problems?
     
  10. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Quote:This was our first year with mixed age flock and I held off purchasing Oyster Shell, thinking the shells would soon get thin and we'd have to. It turned out that with their free ranging we never had to. All stayed on grower until the wee ones were past 20 weeks and ran out so all went to layer mix.
     

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