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Should I still use grower feed until the others are laying?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by happylittlehens, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. happylittlehens

    happylittlehens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 20 week old leghorns and EE's and 18 week Buff Orps. 1 leghorn is laying and the others will be any day, but the EE's and BO's aren't showing any signs of laying any time soon. Can I still feed them all grower feed and just offer the leghorns oyster shell until the others are laying? Or should I move them all to layer feed? They all use the same feeders so I don't know how to keep the younger ones out of the layer feed and the layers out of the grower feed. They are all in a big 1/8 acre yard with plenty of bugs, weeds, etc. to eat. The one egg we have gotten so far had a well formed shell. So I assume she has had enough calcium and such. What would you suggest I do?
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Well, I'd switch them all to layer feed. Chances are, the other birds aren't to far away from laying, either. The layer feed will prepare them all for laying.
     
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I think you'd be fine either way (feeding them all layer feed now, or feeding them all grower feed). Because they are close to laying, layer feed won't hurt the pullets who aren't laying, and it will help those who are. If you continue to feed grower feed for now, offer some oyster shell free-choice to all of them. The birds who need it will eat it, and those who don't will not.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Layer feed isn't magic or anything. I never use it. I feed everyone a grower/all-in-one feed so I can feed different ages and genders. I scatter oyster shell in the run every so often and feed my shells back. I'd say keep the grower for now, if you want to move to layer a few bags of feed down the road feel free, but it's not necessary.
     
  5. happylittlehens

    happylittlehens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for the responses. I think I'll finish up my bag of grower (should last another week or 2) then go from there. I was just worried that the layers HAD to be on layer feed or their shells wouldn't be strong enough. Knowing that it's not a necessity really helps. Thanks!
     
  6. lcahill

    lcahill Chillin' With My Peeps

    I personally prefer the higher protein grower especially if they are confined (I have a 400 square foot run for mine). It seems that the girls tend to stay prettier..i.e: great plummage, coloration in face/legs, and body size. I just add oyster shell either to the feed or leave it free choice. I do feed as many kitchen scraps that can be scrounged and when I mow the grass I bag it and dump it in their run. I do let the girls out in the yard to free range when I can but that tends to be once or twice a week. I do think that the layer can be fed to all of them however, because of all their close proximities to laying.
     

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