Question about laying mash..

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenchickenbulkbulk, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. chickenchickenbulkbulk

    chickenchickenbulkbulk Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Will laying mash make the hens egg production work harder than it is suppose to? Is it hard on the hens to be given this to early? When and how much should they be given? Does this make a hen lay out quicker than a hen that has never had it? Maybe I think to much, but I would rally appreciate any input. Thanks DJ
  2. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    From my experience--layer crumbles/mash gives the laying hen what she needs to produce good eggs--calcium for hard shels, proper amoutns of protein etc. Chicks should be started on chick starter as their needs are different. When they are close to laying age-switch to laying mash/crumbles.
  3. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    I would actually be worse to not feed her layer. It has all the necessarys to lay an egg. It would not be good for her to lay an egg and not have the right nutrients. Most likely she wouldn't lay long.
  4. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    I switched mine to laying mash when I ran out of starter at 18 weeks.

    As to how much, in my opinion they should have free choice mash or pellets and also water at all time.
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    They should not have layer feed until at least 18 weeks of age. I do not begin mine on layer feed until one in that pen begins to lay. Starting them too early can cause problems later on. You don't want to rush it!!
  6. chickenchickenbulkbulk

    chickenchickenbulkbulk Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Thanks for your input. I will put mine back of the laying mash/crumbles. Do you need to feed them oyster shell along with this? DJ
  7. CarolMinnesota

    CarolMinnesota In the Brooder

    Jul 26, 2008
    I examined the labels from the laying crumbles and the grower/starter crumbles and the only significant differences were the amount of calcium and the protein percent.

    So, to cut costs, for about a month I have been giving my 6-month-old hens free choice calcium, grower crumbles and enough whole corn to adjust the protein to about 17%.

    And they get greens and some table scraps.

    All eleven hens are laying. I am averaging 8 eggs per day, which seems fine to me, considering the young age and the breeds (mostly duals, including two Ameraucanas). The two Leghorns and the Red Star rarely skip a day.

    So, obviously, this system is working in the short run, but any opinions on if I am doing damage in the long run? I plan to keep these hens at least a couple of years.

    Thanks in advance for your inputs!

    Carol in Minnesota
  8. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    Giving a laying hen grower feed with free choice calcium is not going to kill a hen. However, the grower feed is usually higher in protein and probably the fat content. A laying hen needs to be kept lean in order to be healthy and produce a large amount of eggs. A fat hen is a very unhealthy hen. Grower feed is ment to increase the weight, so a laying hen does not need this. Corn has no nutritional value for a chicken, it just increases their weight.

    Layer feed will not make a chicken lay eggs. Layer feed is just a feed that is balanced in protein, fat, calcium, and vitamins needed for a hen to produce eggs. Chickens that arent laying yet, dont need the lower protein and the higher calcium. I wouldnt recommend feeding young chickens a layer feed.

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