ok to start layer ration? 12 week pullets

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by HathawayHens, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. HathawayHens

    HathawayHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you all think it is OK to let the 12 weekers have access to laying rations now? I am adding the newbies hatched this fall in to the flock... was going to leave out the laying ration (purina Omega layena) in one feeder and flock raiser in the other... I do have oyster shells if needed for the older girls. Would it be better the switch them all to flock raiser? At what point can pullets tolerate higher calcium in the feed? Thanks!
     
  2. rirbrahma

    rirbrahma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, 12 weeks is too early. Wait till at least 16 weeks old. [​IMG]
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I just read a post the other day about this, by an experienced chicken keeper who had researched this. Basically he said no one knows at what age the chicks can tolerate the higher calcium level. I just feed everyone a grower or flockraiser ration when I have mixed ages like this, and offer oyster shell on the side. I've never seen chicks eat oyster shell. On the other hand, I've read recommendations that 12 weeks is old enough, so some people do it.

    Not a lot of help, sorry. [​IMG]
     
  4. Orpy Lady

    Orpy Lady Out Of The Brooder

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    I rear mine on growers until they lay an egg, then I give them layers pellets. I want to give my birds a good start in life such as all the vitamins and protein that growers contain.
    As for oyster shell or mixed chicken grit I mix it into the food for the day once a week as it is there only to grind down the food in the gizzard and they do not digest it like food and it can take ages to wear and go through the gut. Oyster grit contains cacium so be careful not to supply too much of this as you can make the chickens "go off their legs" (body weight too big for the legs to carry)
    Sandy

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There is quite a bit of published research on the early introduction of 4.5% calcium to adolescents. If it were proved to be helpful you gotta know the commercial industry would be all over it. The fact is that it doesn't work out well and in some cases there are some difficulties attached to the practice. I've read enough to know that I'd wait. Many birds won't come into serious lay until 22-26 weeks. You're only half way there, perhaps. I'd wait.
     
  6. Fred's Hens :

    There is quite a bit of published research on the early introduction of 4.5% calcium to adolescents. If it were proved to be helpful you gotta know the commercial industry would be all over it. The fact is that it doesn't work out well and in some cases there are some difficulties attached to the practice. I've read enough to know that I'd wait. Many birds won't come into serious lay until 22-26 weeks. You're only half way there, perhaps. I'd wait.

    x2

    You should be on non medicated chick starter or flock raiser still.​
     
  7. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

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    I just introduced 11 week olds to my laying flock. I switched everyone to flock raiser feed - and I put out bowls of oyster shell. The older pullets who are already laying eat the oyster shell. The younger ones don't seem to touch it.
     
  8. Quote:I apologize...I did not read all of your post when i responded. So ill add a little.
    Many, many of us (especially those that breed or have a constant influx of new chicks) have encountered this problem and solved it by going to either a non medicated starter, flock raiser, all flock, or blue seal breeder pellets (or a mix of any of those) as the main feed and then offer calcium free choice. This solves the problem of young birds and roosters getting 500% more calcium than they need and your laying hens will take what they need free choice. All your birds will be much healthier for it, trust me.
    I have three pvc feeders set up. One has a mix of flock raiser and some other things, one has oyster shell, and one has grit. The one with grit is probably over kill since my run has plenty, but it is there anyway. I have never had an egg shell problem.
     

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