Sanity check please: Transitioning 17 week old chickens from grower/starter to layer feed

SaltyOldDog

Chirping
Mar 31, 2021
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So far I've been feeding my girls starter/grower feed and now they are 17 weeks old I am going to transition from grower/starter to layer feed.

To do so my wife and I have discussed measuring and mixing the two on the following schedule:

Week 1 75% Grower/Starer (GS) and 25% Layer Feed (LF)
Week 2 50% GS 50% LF
Week 3 25% GS 75% LF
Week 4 100% LF

Does this sound about right?

Or should I just load one feeder with GS and another with LF?
 

nuthatched

Fishin' for Chickens
Nov 9, 2019
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I'd stick with the grower feed, actually, many chicken owners do. Layer feed has only the bare minimum protein chickens need since people who formulate these feeds, have egg farms in mind where the average hen lifespan is under 2 years. It also can force too much calcium into their system.
Have a dish of oyster shell for calcium but I'd personally stick with the grower feed.
Much easier.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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I think your schedule is perfect. I would probably not be so gradual but yours is perfect.
In fact, the result is similar to what commercial egg farms do. At about 17 weeks along with gradually increasing light period in the blackout pullet housing they will start them on a pre-lay diet with enhanced calcium of about 2.5%. Just before that period they will drop the protein as well since as nearly fully grown, their need for protein is lower.
One reason they can be so precise is that they have their own mills and can program them to tweak the gradual changes in the birds' needs. The mill runs of their feeds are trucked to the farms the day they are made so they can be much more precise than what we can do buying feed in 50# bags.
 
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