Okay give layer feed to 16 week old chickens?

Heatwaves

In the Brooder
Dec 2, 2018
7
4
14
Greetings everyone.

I ran out of grower feed today. My seven chickens turn 16 weeks tomorrow and haven't begun laying yet. As we proceed into winter, my guess is that they won't actually start laying until around 24 weeks in February. I live in Southern California, so the weather is still nice, but due to less daylight hours I'm doubtful that they will lay soon.

I already have a couple bags of layer feed, so would it be okay to start them on this? Or should I go buy another bag of grower feed until some start laying.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
 

ChickenCanoe

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As you noted, this time of year there is no telling when they will start to lay so I think it is early to start them on layer. It's ok to feed the layer till you have a chance to go to the store and buy more lower calcium feed. You can always mix it with the layer after they start laying to use it up. Just be careful you don't store feed too long. I noticed you said you have a couple bags of layer so I suppose you have mature hens as well.
 
Jul 13, 2018
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I started feeding them layer feed when they started squatting. I too live in Southern California my hens lay every morning or in the middle of the day. So, they will get time to lay. If you really want to feed them layer feed, I would go for it. There’s no harm in it.
 

Heatwaves

In the Brooder
Dec 2, 2018
7
4
14
Just be careful you don't store feed too long. I noticed you said you have a couple bags of layer so I suppose you have mature hens as well.

Thank you. There was a great Black Friday sale where I lived, so I stocked up. It should be fine though. It's high quality whole grain feed that was bagged in early November, so it should be nutritionally sound for the next six months. I figure it will be consumed long before then.
 

123RedBeard

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Oct 20, 2014
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Try to find more grower ... don't starve them, if you have nothing else the layer won't be the best choice, but better than nothing ... hold off feeding the layer until their combs turn red.
 
Last edited:

Trux

Crowing
Mar 26, 2018
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SoSoCal
Greetings everyone.

I ran out of grower feed today. My seven chickens turn 16 weeks tomorrow and haven't begun laying yet. As we proceed into winter, my guess is that they won't actually start laying until around 24 weeks in February. I live in Southern California, so the weather is still nice, but due to less daylight hours I'm doubtful that they will lay soon.

I already have a couple bags of layer feed, so would it be okay to start them on this? Or should I go buy another bag of grower feed until some start laying.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
We are in SoCal as well. We got 15 last year about July 10th and got our girls started in Dec and were full on cranking out 10 to 12 eggs a day by Feb. We got a mixed flock of Barred Rocks Orps buff and white, Columbian Wyandottes and Jersey Giants...3 of each.
So depending on what breeds you may start seeing eggs as soon as 19 weeks. Our first egg came from a Wyandotte...as for the feed, I have mixed feelings about that, you can buy smaller bags of grower. When our chicks got here I started out with a 10 lb bag and then went to a 20 lb bag then 50 lb. So you do have options
 

Heatwaves

In the Brooder
Dec 2, 2018
7
4
14
We are in SoCal as well. We got 15 last year about July 10th and got our girls started in Dec and were full on cranking out 10 to 12 eggs a day by Feb. We got a mixed flock of Barred Rocks Orps buff and white, Columbian Wyandottes and Jersey Giants...3 of each.
So depending on what breeds you may start seeing eggs as soon as 19 weeks. Our first egg came from a Wyandotte...as for the feed, I have mixed feelings about that, you can buy smaller bags of grower. When our chicks got here I started out with a 10 lb bag and then went to a 20 lb bag then 50 lb. So you do have options

Good to know. We have a barred rock, australorp, jubilee orpington, ameraucana, 2 spitzhaubens, and an olive egger.
 

Heatwaves

In the Brooder
Dec 2, 2018
7
4
14
Try to find more grower ... don't starve them, if you have nothing else the grower won't be the best choice, but better than nothing ... hold off feeding the layer until their combs turn red.

They certainly won't be starving. Our girls are quite pampered. In addition to the feed, we regularly give them treats of sprouted barley & oats, black oil sunflower seeds, mealworms, crickets, and homemade flock blocks.
 

Timothy Menezes

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Nov 27, 2017
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Monterey, California
It's best to have them on layer about a month before they start laying, so you are getting close. I would buy some more grower (not allot) and start mixing it with the layer so it's a gradual transition. You don't want to shock their system going cold turkey off one feed onto a completely different feed. If they were laying, that can make them stop laying for a bit while their body adjusts.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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St. Louis, MO
We are in SoCal as well. We got 15 last year about July 10th and got our girls started in Dec and were full on cranking out 10 to 12 eggs a day by Feb. We got a mixed flock of Barred Rocks Orps buff and white, Columbian Wyandottes and Jersey Giants...3 of each.
So depending on what breeds you may start seeing eggs as soon as 19 weeks. Our first egg came from a Wyandotte...as for the feed, I have mixed feelings about that, you can buy smaller bags of grower. When our chicks got here I started out with a 10 lb bag and then went to a 20 lb bag then 50 lb. So you do have options
You started getting eggs well after winter solstice.
I wouldn't expect eggs from any breed at 19 weeks when they reach that age during the shortest days of the year. Under ideal conditions, it still takes some weeks of increasing day length for it to have an impact on production.
 

MANNA-PRO

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