Ok - What kind of food? Different answers everywhere!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Diesel84, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Diesel84

    Diesel84 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Gotha
    Ok - So i've come to the conclusion that my feed store isn't exactly the best source of information for raising my 3 Black Asutralorps. [​IMG]
    My girls are going on 21 weeks and have yet to lay an egg - but they are still getting starter food, because according to the feed store, I am to feed them starter until they lay their first egg - then I can switch to layer feed. But ... almost 21 weeks and STILL not a single egg.. they have a nest box, with a golf ball in it (It's been sitting there for a couple weeks and no progress [​IMG])

    If i switch them to layer will that help? And is she right in saying that the starter is what they should eat until an egg is laid? 2 of them already have their wattles and combs and are red.. we have one that's always been smaller and hers are still pink.

    [​IMG] I just want egggggss!!
    I'm due to buy food soon and I was wondering if I indeed DO have to switch them to layer should I make a gradual change and mix it w/the existing starter? Or just straight shoot to layer cold turkey?

    HaAaaaLpPppP!! [​IMG]
     
  2. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    21 Weeks old. Switch to Layer. Add it to the starter over a 3-4 day period, adding more each day. That would prevent loose poo problem.
     
  3. Diesel84

    Diesel84 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Gotha
    Ooh.. I didn't even think about the poop issues they may have w/the switching of food. Do I need to add oyster shell? They have an open bottomed run and are free to pick at the ground for bugs and whatnot all day - plus they free range in my yard as soon as I get home from work and let them out.
     
  4. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Layer food has oyster shell in it. Only add it after they start laying and it is only needed if they lay a thin shelled egg. (Some chickens just need more calcium to produce their eggs). 1st eggs will be a bit off until they get the hang of it so waite a few weeks before you decide to add oyster shell, it may not be necesary.

    The poo reason is the reason that you switch gradually. It is not absolutely necessary to switch them over gradually, but it is easier on their digestive system. I have switched suddenly when I was out of starter and had to start grower immediately with no real problem. (Like last week when I went to buy starter and they were out- so chicks started on grower a few weeks early).
     
  5. chickchalet

    chickchalet Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2010
    My girls are spoiled and will not eat LAYING feed. They only like GROWER feed is it ok to continue feeding them GROWER they are 7 months old?
    They free range during the day.
    They were all laying but, my EE stopped laying two months ago and has yet to start up again -I live in AZ and it is hot,I have been told this could stop her from laying.
     
  6. Boo-Boo's Mama

    Boo-Boo's Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm feeding Flock Raiser since some of my girls are laying and some are not. I offer oyster shell in another container for those who need it.
     
  7. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2009
    Offer oyster shell free choice in a separate container. They should definitely switch to layer by now.
     
  8. Organics North

    Organics North Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2009
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    Hit them with a good dose of protein for about a week,, they will lay,.,, IMHO..[​IMG]
    I would consider changing to a better feed.

    A grower with free choice calcium would be my choice,,, If I had to use a commercial feed...[​IMG]

    Sorry I am opinionated... If that starter is medicated please get them off ASAP. If it is not medicated it is fine as it has higher protein. Be sure they have some grit too.

    Are their combs red? Do the squat for you? Those are signs of being ready to lay too,,,,[​IMG]

    ON
     
  9. Diesel84

    Diesel84 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Gotha
    I called my feed store and they have Nutrena layer crumbles that I was going to pick up this weekend - is that a good brand to switch to? Will they still need Oyster Shell on top of that? they have an open bottomed coop and are able to pick dirt and pebbles for grit. I believe what they were getting before (Per recommendation of the feed store) is Nutrena starter. I've heard that BOSS is a good treat to sprinkle on the ground for them as well? Our local wal-mart sells a decent size bag at a good price. And that in our hot weather, scratch is not good for them or cracked corn.. Is that true? Here is a pic of my girls!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    What do you think? They are all squatting when I pet them.. soon? Should I add more fake eggs?

    Organics - What kind of protein should I give them?
     
  10. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Your girls will lay when they are ready to lay and layer feed will not make them lay any sooner...
    To me a hen will start laying when she stops growing, and as long as there not laying yet that means that they are still maturing and growing.

    I have Rhode Island Reds that I breed and show and I have never had a hen lay a egg before 11 mounts. No matter how I feed.
    Now I will say I Do Not use layer feed, I feed everything a high protein game bird feed and when they start to lay I mix in a 14% protein "scratch grain" to there regular feed to drop the protein to around
    18 - 20 percent protein and offer oyster shells. I get lots of extra large eggs from nice big birds...

    Chris
     

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