Layer Pellets for 14-15 week pullets????

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by RissyMcD, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. RissyMcD

    RissyMcD In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2014
    I have a flock of mixed ages and I'm wondering if it's safe to give them all layer feed now.

    We have a flock of 7 hens/pullets. Half of the flock is around 18-20 weeks old and the other half is around 14-16 weeks old.

    Three are currently laying and another one looks to be ready to lay any day now. The other three have a few more weeks to go before they start laying.

    They free range during the day and usually only eat about a cup of feed per day as a combined group. However, on rainy days when they stay in coop/run they'll eat up to 4 cups as a group. So I'd say most of their diet is free range.

    Given that some of them aren't 16 weeks yet, it it safe for them to eat some of the layer pellets for a few weeks before they start laying? Considering the fact that it isn't the main source of their food.

    Also, I've read about oyster shells, should be providing them with that as well? I've only had chick grit out so far and I've never seen them touch it. Perhaps they get enough grit from outside? I've seen them eating snails shell and all.
  2. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Songster

    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    I would recommend keeping them on chick or grower feed until they are all at least 18 weeks old. I would also put out Oyster Shell and have it available at all times. Grower feed can actually be fed all the time and many people do this that have roosters in the flock to prevent issues with calcium for the roo. The hens will eat the oyster shell for their calcium needs. IMHO

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