Starter feed and layer feed in mixed flock

BGKG

Hatching
Aug 19, 2020
9
1
8
Hey all, I have three groups of chickens of various ages: 25 weeks, 10 weeks, and 7 weeks. They've all been eating starter feed, but the oldest just started laying. I'd love to put the older ones on layer feed, but they are all together and I've heard that young chickens on layer feed can be harmful. Can I keep them all on starter feed and supplement with a side dish of oyster shell? Is this sufficient or will the new layers not be getting enough?
Thanks in advance!
 

piminuse

Songster
Jul 17, 2020
367
1,525
161
Portland, OR
I'd switch to either flockraiser with oyster shell on the side, or prematurely move them all to grower feed with oyster shell. The main concern would be for the youngest of the bunch getting enough protein which you may be able to supplement with yogurt, meal worms and other high protein goodies. The only difference from most grower and layer feed is the calcium content which can be addressed separately.
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Feb 14, 2016
1,807
3,984
281
Wisconsin
Yes, just provide some oyster shell grit and that will meet the calcium needs of the layers. Layer feed isn't good for younger birds who aren't laying because of all the extra calcium that is added to it. It can end up causing issues with their kidneys.
I completely agree!
When a broody hatches chicks, my entire flock goes on starter feed with the extra oyster supplements until the chicks are of age to start laying, then everyone goes on layer feed.
 

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