Question About Switching to Layer Feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ejcrist, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. ejcrist

    ejcrist Songster

    Oct 16, 2015
    Desert Hills, AZ
    I have nine Leghorns and 25 Barred Rocks that are nine weeks old this week. I was told to switch them from chick starter feed to regular layer feed after they start laying. Sounds simple enough but then it dawned on me today that the Leghorns will start laying at around four months and the Barred Rocks at around six. So how would you handle this? I can't put the Leghorns on layer feed and leave the BR's on starter since they're all housed together and I haven't taught 'em to read yet to know which is which. Absent any new info I'm thinking to leave them on the chick starter until I start seeing white and brown eggs, but after seeing the leghorn eggs first maybe I'll put out a separate dish of oyster shell. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  2. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

    Nov 12, 2015
    Nor Cal
    So most will say keep them all on starter till they all start laying. Best to put oyster shell out at about 16-18 weeks or as soon as the first starts laying to supplement till they can all have layer. I have to transition my 6 off their layer soon for the 6 chicks (3 weeks) that will be moving to the coop in about 2 more weeks. Best to just keep oyster shell available yet separate at all times, even with layer feed as some hens may need more from time to time where others may need less
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
  4. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Songster

    Sep 30, 2015
    keep them what they are on util the barred start laying and then switch to layer feed, but have calcium (oyster shell) ready so they can have it as they need it.

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