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Laying mas vs. No laying mash: Would like some opinions from BYCer's

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PeeperKeeper, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have only 2 RIRs that are getting close to laying age. I also have 55 young pullets ranging in age from 6 weeks to 14 weeks. My husband thinks we should put out laying mash. I don't think the majority of the chicks need it and everybody has access to the feeders.
    Also would like any opinions on using laying mash. Does it have "hormones" in it to make the hens lay? Does it have to be used at all for a healthy flock of egg layers?

    Anxious to hear from everyone.

    Jean
     
  2. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Virginia
    I asked a similar question because I have 4 birds who should start laying around the same time and 2 more who won't be at laying age until about 2 months later. I was told to stick with chick feed and offer oyster shell free choice until everyone is at point of lay. The rationalization was that layer feed has calcium in it that the younger chicks don't need and can actually be harmful if they get too much.
     
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:Most people use layer feed/mash because it is somewhat easier than trying to make up your own feed if you are trying to ensure that your flock is getting the nutritional balance needed for good health and eggs.

    Hormones are not used in the poultry industry - not even at the industrial/commercial places.

    Start reading the labels of different brands of poultry laying feed to determine what you will be comfortable with - as far as the ingredients and the cost.

    Personally, I prefer to use organic layer and Purina SunFresh Layena would be a second choice.

    This site has a lot of great information on nutritional needs, making your own feed, and other stuff.... http://www.lionsgrip.com/chickens.html
     
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    No, laying mash/pellets doesn't have hormones in it to make the hens lay. They do that all by themselves. [​IMG]

    It does have increased amounts of calcium, which can be harmful for very young chicks that are still growing.

    You can get around your problem by continuing to feed your grower formula, and adding a feeder full of oyster shell for the ones that are getting laying age. That way they have extra calcium if they need it, but it's not in the feed itself.
     
  5. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the info. It makes me feel a lot better knowing I can cover the needs of the whole flock instead of just one segment.[​IMG]
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Quote:I've read that statement a lot on here and I am curious from where people are getting this information. I have done several searches to try to find info on this assertation but can find none. Can someone provide links to scientific studies that prove this contention? I'm very curious about this topic.... [​IMG]
     
  7. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    Virginia
    If you look at the line of poultry feed that Purina sells, it mentions the added calcium in the description of their layer feed. I imagine if you looked up the brand you buy, or call them and ask, you would find they also add calcium to their layer feed.

    http://www.purinamills.com/OurProducts.aspx?product=poultry
     
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Quote:This doesn't exactly answer my question, but thanks! [​IMG] I don't need info on added calcium, just what, if any, the short-term and long-term effects it may have on chickens, if fed during the chick/pullet stage.

    Is this just something people have surmised, or are there actual facts and studies to support this theory? Do these studies cite the actual safe dosage of calcium per chick and the side effects apparent when these maximum dosages are exceeded? Does it list the observed side effects discovered in a controlled experiment? Or is this a theory ventured because some people have had bad results and maladies related to hypercalcemia? If so, how many people have recorded these and are they certain these anomalies were caused directly by the amount of calcium in the laying mash?

    This is the type of information I would like to discover, so I can make an informed decision about the diet of my young chicks. [​IMG]
     
  9. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    Gotcha, I misunderstood what you were asking.
     
  10. GRAM49

    GRAM49 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I may be late in the game for a response, but this is what I did with my mixed flock. The two groups are 14 weeks apart in age. Everyone eats non-medicated Purina Flock Raiser. Oyster shell is a free choice. The older ones have been laying two weeks now and the eggs are still small but absolutely beautiful with a very strong shell. When the younger group nears laying age we will switch to a laying formula - maybe. Depends on the price of each at that time and if everyone is thriving on the Flock Raiser I may keep them on it. I got this idea from another poster and it has worked very well for us.
    Gram
     

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