Moving Pullet From Growers to Layer Feed

Lucy_Dobinson

Chirping
Apr 6, 2020
65
84
91
Hey all!

I have a bit a of a dilemma..

I currently have a 22 week old Silkie pullet in my chick/grower area with two 11 week old Araucana chicks all eating grower pellets, they get along well.
I then have my main flock of 8 older girls on layer pellets. In the last week my Silkie has been showing signs she’s about to lay, (squatting when I put my hand on her etc)

My question is - I know she should now be on layer pellets, but I don’t want the chicks who are only 11 weeks eating too much calcium. And I could try introduce her alone to the main flock, but I’m worried doing it with her alone - don’t want her being bullied. What is the best option? Or would it be mean to keep her in a seperate house for 7 ish weeks by herself until the 11 week old Araucanas are old enough to go in the main flock with her?

any other suggestions/advice appreciated!

:)
 

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NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,660
18,968
726
USA
You can put out a dish of oyster shell for her as a source of calcium.
Chickens are usually good at eating the right amount of oyster shell, so she will probably eat enough of it and the younger ones will probably try a few bites and then leave it alone.

Calcium is the only special thing in layer pellets, so you don't need to worry about any other nutrients when she is eating grower feed.

(And if you get tired of messing with two kinds of feed, it is fine for the adult laying hens to eat grower pellets too, as long as they have a dish of oyster shell available for calcium.)
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
5,155
15,495
606
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
here I am, again joining the chorus. For the typical backyard owner, of the typical backyard flock, with typical backyard management practices, feeding an All Flock/Flock Raiser plus free choice oyster shell is the simplest choice for the owner, while maximizing nutrition for the birds.

Layer was designed as a minimal cost single feed for production egg layers producing large+ eggs almost every single day, under commercial management conditions (meaning their expected lifespan is until first adult molt when egg production slows and they become pet food, feather meal, chicken by-product meal, etc). I don't believe either Silkies or Araucana meet those conditions (large+ eggs near daily), and its my (limited experience) that Silkie and Araucana owners tend to keep birds for a longer period. Assuming those things are true for you, layer feed has, on average, too much calcium for their long term health.
 

Lucy_Dobinson

Chirping
Apr 6, 2020
65
84
91
Thanks all! I put some oyster grit (was already mixed with some lime calcium/DE pellets in a dish attached to their run, the chicks have had a few pecks, but not too interested.
 

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