Ready For Layer Feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by americanchicks, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. americanchicks

    americanchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey all!
    So I have a flock of ten pullets, one layer and nine teens. I have been feeding them flock raiser with oyster shell on the side. I noticed today after feeding them I will have to get a new bag of feed by the end of the week.

    Tomorrow three of teens will be 17 weeks old, the other five are about 15 weeks. I haven't seen any redding in the waddles nor combs, and no new nest in the nesting box. So the question is should I buy another bag of flock raiser or are they ready for the layer feed?
    Thanks
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    You can feed them what you are using for the rest of their lives. You are providing the oysters shells free choice, so their calcium needs are regulated by the chickens themselves. Layer feed is for actively laying hens, If the hens that are not laying yet, or are going thru molt, or on strike consume layer feed, then they are getting too much calcium. If your chickens are eating layer, not laying, and free ranging a lot, then their extra found whatever greens/insects, dilute the amount of calcium intake. Layer feed is not going to KILL your hens very quickly, but the excess calcium is bad for their kidneys and liver. It may shorten their lives. All depends on how long you expect to keep them. If just a short time and then you plan on processing the older ones, you may not see any adverse effects.
    I feed Alflock to my mixed batch. It is close to 2% calcium. Provide oyster shell free choice always. It also provides grit for them. All my chickens live long lives and are only pets. Layer feed has 2 times the calcium at 4%.
    WISHING YOU BEST..[​IMG]
     
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    No need to ever switch to layer feed. I don't even bother with the stuff.
     
  4. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

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    I was given 5 Wynadottes (28wks) a month ago, told to feed them layer cause will start laying soon which I purchased and have been feeding them. Well they're now about 34 - 35wks and still not laying, after reading up several threads decided to stop the layer & feed them Flock Raiser. I do fermented feeding, they gobbled it up but after a couple days noticed their consumption was way down which concerned me.

    Did I changed their feed too fast? Now mixing the layer with the Flock Raiser, they're consumption is back to normal. Their combs are redder and they're taking interest in the nest box but I'm torn whether I should switch them back to layer (DuMor which makes their poop really stinky & soft) or continue the switch to Flock Raiser?

    I'd prefer just using FR (Oyster Shells on the side) concerned they don't like it. The last bunch I had was on Home Grown No Corn No Soy Layer, which smelled alot better than DuMor & the poop wasn't so smelly & soft. Never had a problem switching feed.

    americanchicks - Don't mean to hijack your thread, wanted to give you insight as to my problem switching.

    junebuggena - You responded to my thread asking for HELP! Just concerned that they practically stopped eating when switched them to FR. Now mixing the two, will increase the FR slowly. Never had the problem switching feed with the other chickens I had; went from Chick Starter to Home Grown Multi Flock to Home Grown Layer No Corn No Soy. Want to keep my feed menu simple :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Don't worry about switching feeds quickly. They all have the same basic ingredients in them anyways. And the feed mills are constantly changing the ingredient amounts based on bulk prices. The bag of feed you buy this month can have a completely different recipe the next month, even if it's the exact same brand. It doesn't hurt chickens at all. They scarfed down the Flock Raiser because their developing bodies were starved for protein. Now that their deficiency has been corrected, their feed consumption is probably right where it should be.
     
  6. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you so much, I was in a panic. I've been out there every afternoon hand feeding them! Serious. My Mom mentioned that because the weathers getting colder (been chilly & raining for a week so far with more on the way :( they prefer eating from my hand since it warms up the feed. Told her no way am I going to start micro warming their feed but then again I just may need to find a way to "warm" their FF?

    I just read another thread where rosemarythyme mentioned her birds aren't interested in their FF during when it starts getting cold. She switches until next spring but we don't get "that cold" thinking my girls are just spoiled [​IMG]

    I'm learning that the feed tag ingredients do change, I was comparing my feed tags. Thank you for all your help.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
  7. AllynTal

    AllynTal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My local feed store doesn't carry my favorite brand, but I needed a bag quick so I got a bag of the Dumor feed. My chickens had black poop the consistency of pudding and it stank really bad. A couple of days later, I was able to get my usual brand and their poop went back to normal overnight. I wonder what it is about the Dumor feed that is so disagreeable. It was some nasty stuff. I would never feed them that again.
     
  8. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

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    Totally agree, the same here with their poop....Thought it was my nose, ha ha. I do fermented feeding & the norm is 'nice' smelling formed poop, I wasn't happy. Anyone have any experience with Home Grown "brand"? I've used in the past (No Corn No Soy & their Multi Flock) had no issues....When I was given my latest 5 girls went to the feed store to pick up layer (told to), DuMor was what I was given. Now switching to Flock Raiser with OS on the side.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Multi flock is higher protein. I've yet to meet a chicken who doesn't prefer it over layer pellets. PP stated that their consumption decreased after they met a need that was not being met by the layer. I concur. When using multi-flock, the protein content is higher, so they don't need to eat as much.
     
  10. mamatink7

    mamatink7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    our 1St wyandotte is 30wks now and no eggs from her yet either. Another brooder mate of her isn't laid either. I don't know what it is about these girls:/ good idea with the fermented feed, is this all what you give them with the free range feed of courseggs? Our girls are on 27% poultry feed now for the winter to help with eggs, hasn't helped yet.
     

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