laying pellets

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 1wanda1, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. 1wanda1

    1wanda1 Hatching

    3
    0
    7
    Apr 19, 2014
    I have been hatching chickens in my classroom for many years and this year I keep 4 hens. they hatched out in late April. They free range all day in my back yard. a friend told me she heard from her friend that got it from another friend that had chickens that I need to give my girls laying pellets. ??? I am giving them chick starter twice a day and they are loving my yard flowers and all. what is this laying pellets and do I need to get some. I read they will need calcium When they start laying. can someone shed some light on this?
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    18,462
    8,710
    671
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    Is the chick starter you are feeding medicated or non-medicated (it will say "medicated" on the bag or feed tag - or you will see amprollium or other medication listed in the ingredients)? If your birds hatched in late April they would be about 3 months old at this point - generally speaking, if you do go to a layer ration it is begun around 18 weeks (4 1/2 months) of age. I say "if" because you do not have to feed a layer ration - you can feed non-medicated starter or grower (ie flock raiser, etc) for the bird's life span. Many folks choose this route as there is higher protein content in the starter/grower than in layer rations. The layer ration advantage is the calcium level, which is higher than that of other feeds - but this is easily overcome by offering free choice oyster shell to your birds once they start to lay (I would offer it even if I was feeding layer ration as I prefer to allow my birds to take in extra calcium above what is in the ration if they feel they need it vs. having only what is in that feed). Shelling an egg takes an incredible amount of calcium from the bird's system - if you do not offer a source to replace this (in their ration and/or in shell, etc) you will see a decrease in shell quality and can also see a rise in issues such as egg binding, etc since calcium is also involved in the muscle contraction necessary for them to pass an egg.
     
  3. hebertchick12

    hebertchick12 Chirping

    148
    7
    68
    Jul 2, 2014
    Raceland, LA
    Our first time owning chickens and at 18 weeks we started them on Purina Layena Plus from our local Tractor Supply Co.

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/sto...plus-omega-3-sunfreshreg;-recipe-poultry-feed

    We have not had a problem at all with any of our eggs. Nice hard shells from the start and going on 2 months now that they are laying. It is a complete feed... so you don't have to supplement with grit or oyster shell. Some people complain that it's expensive, but our girls free-range sometimes too so they aren't eating a whole lot of feed. And you aren't having to supplement with oyster shell or grit as well.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by