Laying feed at 3 months?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by xshoshin, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. xshoshin

    xshoshin Chirping

    I just had an interesting conversation with the lady at the feed store. She said she feeds medicated starter for the first three months and then switches to laying feed. She said chickens are sexually mature at 3 months and that's when they should start laying eggs. This seems contrary to everything else I've read about changing at 6 months. This woman has raised chickens successfully forever. Is she right? Is she wrong? Is it possible that it really just doesn't matter?

    On a side note: my chickens are now 2 months old. They do not roost at night. They roost on an old bench I have in their yard during the day but in the henhouse at night they al clump together on the ground. Is this a problem?

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    The lady is wrong.

    Layer feed is not magic. It does not make them lay eggs. It is merely a Starter type or Grower type feed with a heavier dose of calcium ground right into the feed. That's all it is. Until or unless they are actually laying, a growing bird has no need for such high calcium content. It fact, it is contra-indicated for growing birds and has potentially harmful effects if fed too early and too long. Just keep them on Starter or Grower or an All Flock/Flock Raiser type product. It is highly unlikely that your birds will lay eggs of any substantial amount until they are at least 18 weeks old. Many don't begin laying until they are 6 months old.

    Chicks like to huddle. They'll take to the roost eventually. If the roost is too high, they aren't necessarily comfortable jumping up high to sleep, at least not yet.
  3. I agree, it's also true that layer feed doesn't have as much protein in it, which growing birds need, I would just keep them on grower [​IMG]

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