old farmer

new chicken mommy

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 25, 2008
athens vt
Ok I was talking to an old farmer today , and he told me that my chickens at 16 weeks should be on layer feed. From what i have read on here they shouldnt be on it until they start laying is this true?
We have had chickens forever and as soon as they are big enough to come out of the brooder they get layer crumbles. Never have sick chickens, or deaths (not related to predators). No matter what anybody leads you to believe, raising chickens is not rocket science. They didn't even have feed 100 years ago.
There are many ways you can do it. Switch at 16, 20, at laying time. Just do what works for you and try it out. I switch when the babies move in with the adults... as the adult coops get adult food!
Ours are 18 weeks, and we just started giving them laying pellets. Their combs and wattles are just now starting to grow and turn red, so I figure it won't be much longer until they are laying.
I switched mine to layer feed at 16 weeks only because I did not want to waste buying another bag of starter.

Just switch gradually when moving from starter to layer and they'll be fine.
i start my with chickstart,, then 3 weeks i start mixing their food with the adults ( i give adults game maintenance, conditioner,and scratch all mixed, and they get chickstart once a week) ,, and when their 8 weeks old they go to straight adult food. i dont have any deaths or sickies , and i dont give me hens "laying pellets", and they have eggs every day ( cept once a week per hen). BUT this is just the way i do it,, others have told me im doing it wrong,,, but i show them pics of my birds, and they have nothing to say. that said ,, i think it also matters where you live, i might do it different.
I give all of my Flock Raiser by Purina. I'm feeding my hens, rooster, quail and guineas all from the same bag of feed. The whole crew if healthy and I get 7-10 eggs a day from my 10 hens! I give egg shells and oyster shell free choice.
I fed mine layer feed straight from the hatchery. They are now 2 mo. old and huge, healthy and happy. I'm with the previous post about feeding chickens not being rocket science. I feed all ages with layer mash, crimped oats, cracked corn, sunflower seeds.

I've yet to see any conclusive proof that feeding layer feed to chicks/pullets causes any health problems. Maybe someone can provide a link for this info?
But you see, you are diluting the high-calcium content of the layer feed with "crimped oats, cracked corn, sunflower seeds."

How 'bout this: ". . . if an immature chicken is fed a layer diet, the calcium level is so high that the young bird will experience improper bone formation, kidney failure, and possibly death." That's from J. P. Blake and J. B. Hess, Extension Poultry Scientists and Professors, and K. S. Macklin, Extension Poultry Scientist, Assistant Professor, all in Poultry Science at Auburn University.

That may not be "conclusive proof" but these are the poultry scientists.


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