Moving to layer mash? or pellets? And is it too cold?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by allig8r, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. Is there a big difference? Hennies are 18 (or 19?) wks old tomorrow and they're out of food. I figure it's time to start giving them layer feed... right?

    I live in NJ and it's already 38 deg. at night and high 60s in the day. I'm wondering when I need to start covering the run and insulating the coop with hay. They nest "upstairs" with a wire floor. The floor has a tarp that goes over it and I'm going to put some hay on top of that. But do I need to do it NOW?

    I have 9 hens in a Henspa that says it accomodates 8. Don't yell! I ordered 8 chicks and they sent 9!! I'm not complaining. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2007
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I have always started mine on layer crumbles, mash or pellets at that age...since your already out of feed , yes.....And I would say you can start getting your coop ready for winter soon...We had a good frost here this a.m.....Also a dish of oyster shell for calcium for them and a handful of scratch or cracked corn in the evenings is good for them to keep heat in their bodies at night during the winter months....

    Others will chime in on what works for them...
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2007
  3. newdock

    newdock Songster

    Jul 14, 2007
    British Columbia
    I have always preferred pellets to mash. Less loss if you have a messy eater. If your grower food is all gone, I would still buy another bag and mix it in with the layer to switch them over. I have always mixed them as an intermediate step in switching foods. You could offer some free calcium (oyster shell or ground up egg shells) to supplement so the ones getting close to or already laying are getting enough.

    Yes, insulate NOW. And it's for your sake, as well as the chickens!! The first year I had chickens, I waited until it got colder before I insulated and then our temperatures plummeted unexpectedly in November to MINUS 35! Yikes. My poor chickens. And my hubby was so mad at me for putting it off (not to mention that the chickens were 'mine', and he refused to have much to do with them - that has changed of course!!) so he wouldn't help....

    I was stuck out there, freezing myself to death in the dark, trying to insulate the darn coop. OY! It is not a happy memory. Needless to say, this year, the insulating upgrades that we did were done on a sunny September afternoon (and yes, hubby helped....).

    So, do it now! Trust me on this one [​IMG]
  4. Okay... insulating TODAY! :eek:

  5. My hens are a bit younger then yours about 2 weeks. I went to our feedstore and was going to buy layer food for them.

    I was told that durning this time of the year due to the cold that new layers they can become egg bound easier so they recommended that I keep my girls on a high protien chick starter until they are 8 months old.

    I had never heard that but was more then happy to buy another bag of chick starter because I still have four 8 week old chicks! The owner also has been raising chickens and milling chicken food for years here where I live. I use to buy some really nice show quaility birds from him, so I figured he knew what he was talking about.
  6. Egg bound? Is that where the egg is stuck "in there"?

    Great... I got the layer pellets already into the feeder (which holds a 50 lb. bag).

    Hope it's going to be alright... [​IMG]
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    They will be fine. A few weeks plus or minus won't hurt them. Mine sleep outside all winter too.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: