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Quick help - I have layer feed, but younger chickens!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DianeS, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. DianeS

    DianeS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2010
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    The subject line says it all. The chickens I got last night are younger than I expected. I have one year-old hen, and three exactly 4-month old pullets. But because I was expecting them to be older, I only bought Layer pellets. What is the best option for feeding these chickens between now and Wednesday when I get back to the feed store for Flock Raiser? For tonight I put out just scratch and greens.

    (And I assume the mature hen will be OK on flock raiser with free feed oyster shell until the pullets start laying - let me know if that's not OK.)

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    First, yup, your mature hen will be fine on FlockRaiser with free choice oyster shell. Matter of fact, I only feed grower/finisher to my entire flock all the time, with crushed oyster shell out for the layers.

    Now, for the chickens in the interim, you can feed them a variety of things and they won't waste away in just 2 or 3 days from not having their commercial feed.

    Rice, macaroni & cheese, scrambled or boiled eggs, rolled oats, cooked oatmeal, thawed frozen vegetables (or even cooked!), just about anything without salt or sugar added. Crumbled up bread, shredded cheese, cut up apples, pears, melon, strawberries, etc.
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Four month old pullets will be just fine eating laying mash/feed. Its only when they are chicks and very young that you need worry. Your pullets could be starting to lay at any time or they may not lay until they are a couple of months older but this type feed won't hurt them at this age. They are, for all intents and purposes, young ladies now.

    I have 3 mo. old pullets that are starting to lay. Today they started on layer mash.
     
  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I agree with Beekissed. 4 month old pullets will be fine with a layer ration.
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Agreed. I am just about out of grower for my 16/17 week old chicks. They will be starting on layer pellets this week.
     
  6. lmblackburn

    lmblackburn Out Of The Brooder

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    What about younger chicks? I have 12 week olds that have been eating layer rations...can I just add more protein to this diet, like BOSS?
     
  7. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    It is not so much about the protein in younger chicks, but that layer ration has too much calcium and can cause bone problems. I would not feed layer ration to 12 weeks old chicks. I would use a chick grower or flockraiser product for this age group.
     
  8. DianeS

    DianeS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's great to hear. I'll start them on the layer feed tonight, and keep adding extras so the calcium isn't so high a percentage for a while yet.

    BTW, my chickens apparantly like bread and tomatoes, but not lettuce. At least the lettuce is what's left in the bowl but the rest is gone. [​IMG] I added some cucumber this morning, it's fun to see what they prefer to eat.
     

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