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Question about switching to layer feed.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Jsto, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    First of all--hi everyone! I haven't been around much lately. School, work, and chickens have been keeping me busy [​IMG]

    My girls will be 16 weeks this weekend (my gosh, how did that happen?!) and I'm almost out of starter. I've got a bag of Layena, but am worried that it's still too soon. I don't want to buy another 50 lbs of starter if I don't need to, but the back of the bag of Layena says specifically not to feed before 18 weeks. Is 16 weeks too soon for it? I worry about their calcium intake being too high.

    On the other hand, even though I have no experience with this, I swear my one Black Star looks like she's about to drop an egg any day now. Logically I know it's too soon, but I'm just getting this feeling. A feeling strong enough to have me (stupidly!) checking the nestboxes every day [​IMG]

    Anyway, any help would be much appreciated!
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I would switch to the Layena now, since you mentioned having black sex links. They will come into lay up to a month sooner than purebreds. I'd say once the calcium hits their systems, they'll start dropping eggs for you.
  3. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    It probably won't hurt them at 16 weeks...if you are still concerned, buy a bag of each and feed them a blend. That's what I did when they got to that age.
  4. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2007
    Galesburg, IL.
    I was going to suggest you buy another bag and mix the two. My BSL started laying about 10 days ago and they are almost 19 weeks old. They've been on the layer feed for awhile now because of the older chickens. We always provide oyster shell, grit, scratch, fresh fruit and veggies, grass and then their feed. Sometimes they get yogurt with oats too. I don't think it's going to hurt them since it's getting so close.
  5. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Thanks for the help, guys! My one BSL began squatting randomly today, which kind of gave me my answer right there!
  6. barg

    barg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Nothing to add except, Hey! [​IMG] Nice to see you back [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2007
  7. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    I would also suggest mixing the 2 start with something like a 75-25 blend then 50-50 than 25-75 untill your switched over or run out of the starter. If you switch too quick it could give them upset stomachs which means you get to clean up really stinky poo's
  8. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

    Jul 14, 2007
    EXIT 109 on 95
    Quote:yeah what she said, dont make the switch "cold turkey" give them a chance to blend into eating new food
  9. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Can't you mix like some scratch with the layer to reduce the protein and keep them from coming into lay too soon? [​IMG] I don't know, I'm just asking because I'd like to learn this too [​IMG]
  10. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

    Jul 14, 2007
    EXIT 109 on 95
    when you switch to layer you should be lowering the protein from 20-24% down to 16% the protien isn't the problem its the extra calcium and such that is added to layer that real young chicks should not need yet

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