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layer vs chick feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by fiddlebanshee, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    My chicks are 14 weeks old. They are starting to waste a lot of the crumbled feed I have them on. I'm trying to find an equivalent to flock raiser in pellets but cannot find it anywhere locally. All I can find in pellets is layer feed. Would it be too early to switch them to a layer ration? Would I do too much damage with the upped calcium? Or should I just suck it up for another bag (it's almost time to buy them one last one) before I switch?

    Anyone live near Frederick MD and knows where I can get a pelleted pre-laying feed? Southern states only had crumbles, and so does TSC in my area. From what I see of the local farmers coop website they also only have crumbled chick feed.

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    You won't watch them drop dead, because you fed them layer. What you won't notice is the internal difficulties the high calcium might do. They may not lay until 24 weeks. That wouldn't be uncommon at all. Thus, you'd have fed them 10 weeks of unnecessary calcium. That is just too big a risk for me. Everyone has to do what they have to do, but I would not, plain and simple.

    Drizzle corn oil on the crumbles. This glues it together bit.
    Use a bit of water to glue the material together as a super stiff porridge.
    Portion feed. Chicken who are hungry don't waste alot of feed. Boredom? They'll mess around with it.
    Place a pice of plywood under the feeder to "catch" any spills. Don't re-fill until they've cleaned up their mess and they will, if you don't re-fill.
    Get a better feeder. A good feeder doesn't allow beaking and waste. There are a good number of designs.

    Best regards,
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    If you can't find the flock raiser your looking for then I'd go ahead and feed out one more bag of chick starter.
  4. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Thanks for confirming my thoughts. I will continue feeding what I have if I can't find the same/similar product in pelleted form. I have a galvanized pan under the feeder that catches most of the waste (I hope). I work long days so I can't ration the feed (I leave before sunrise and come back well after sunset in the winter) but I do dump what they billed out in the pan back into the feeder when it's time to fill it again. Sometimes it is about 1/4 of a 7 lbs feeder worth of feed in about 2 days. I'm not sure how much gets thrown out on the bedding in addition to that!
  5. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    Aug 26, 2011
    I started my younger chicks on layer feed when they were about a couple of months old because I was having the same problem. They experienced no issues, but that might just be my luck. [​IMG]
    Here, we have three varieties of feed, chick crumble, "pullet pellet" and layer feed. [​IMG]
  6. Azriel

    Azriel Songster

    Jun 19, 2010
    I think Nutrina has a pelleted feed very much the same as Flock Raiser. The store that I was looking at only had the pelleted when I was looking for the crumbles.
  7. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Songster

    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    I too would be careful upping the calcium so early. We had a baby bob this year that was not weaning well. There is a lot of extra calcium in the formula to support growth. He ended up having hyper calcification of his teeth, leading to his gums being cut up, and that was only the effects we could SEE. No telling what his growth plates were looking like...[​IMG]

    I had that problem with my babies too (and my big girls won't eat pellet, so I have to buy layer crumbles [​IMG] ). I saw another BYCer sollution...put the feeder in one of those tall round livestock feed tray thingies...the ones that hold like three to five pounds of feed...the black rubber or galvanized ones. Well, I don't have a big feeder, so I just put the crumbles in the pan...it works GREAT! they hardly waste any feed [​IMG] The next step is to get a big feeder to put in the pan...then I won't have chickens standing in the feed pan [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011

  8. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010
    I will chime in also, I would hold off with Layer feed till they are at least laying or as close as you can get to 22 weeks...some will lay earlier, and in the winter months, it may take till spring.

    You can add water and make a mash..mine LOVE this even at 40+ weeks! Its like a treat...they rarely waste it that way...add enough to make an oatmeal consistency.
  9. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Quote:This is a great idea, but most days I have no time for this, as I leave at 4:30 am and do not return until after 5:00. It's dark out and the girls are on the roosts at both times. Putting out wet food (which will probably freeze as well) is not going to work on those days. But I may try this in the weekends and on days that I am at home. I guess you'd take about 1- 1 1/2 oz per chicken per feeding?

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