Since Sapphire Gems often lay around 16 weeks, shouldn't I transition to layer feed as they are about 2 weeks away?

bayareapilot

Crowing
13 Years
Jun 8, 2010
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San Francisco
So, just like the subject header says, I started wondering if I should have my Sapphire Gems on layer feed starting a couple of weeks before they turn 16 weeks. Most of what I read indicates that they start laying around 16 weeks (my Golden Comets did just that as well). So, wouldn't it be prudent for them to start building their calcium intake a couple of weeks before they lay the first egg? Just wondering.....
 
still feed the starter feed with oyster shells on the side.
Thank you for your reply! So what started me wondering about this is when I read that when hens lay it depletes large amounts of calcium from their
still feed the starter feed with oyster shells on the side.
That started me wondering though. How about when hens stop laying (with the exception of my golden comets who must think they're in some competition or something) in the winter do they have to worry about taking it too much calcium from their layer feed? If not why?
 
It's up to you. For production birds especially, some people like to get them started on layer before they start laying. Others wait until most or all the birds start laying. Or they don't switch at all and provide calcium on the side.

How about when hens stop laying (with the exception of my golden comets who must think they're in some competition or something) in the winter do they have to worry about taking it too much calcium from their layer feed?
It's possible that they're getting too much calcium during winter if they're not laying, though you're probably less likely to see issues in laying hens (or it may take more years to show up) as they're using up calcium during the rest of the year.

How I manage my flock is different than most, I feed both layer and grower. In consideration of the down time in winter, I skew the feed more heavily towards grower in the winter, like maybe 70-75% grower vs 25-30% layer, vs the rest of the year when it's more like 60/40.
 

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