Still new to the "chicken raising" world..confused about feed & laying

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Heather, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. Heather

    Heather In the Brooder

    Jul 14, 2007
    East Nassau, NY
    Our pullets, 3 Leghorn, 3 Bard Rock and 2 RIR, are a little over 21 weeks old. No eggs yet although some of their combs are getting big and red, which I believe is an indication of laying time.

    We were told by BYC that we should continue to feed Grower/Finisher until we begin to get eggs. At that point we should switch to Layer. Doing it anytime sooner would be hard on their kidneys....

    Are we correct in this information? My husband has me second quessing myself and wondering if we don't have eggs because of the feed.

    And btw, where do we get these ground oysters shells that everyone talks about? We get our feed at the local Agway. Would they carry this also?
  2. Country Gal

    Country Gal Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    Yes, technically you should switch to the layer feed once you get your first egg. In my opinion, since they are already 21 weeks old, it wouldn't be too damaging to go ahead and switch them now (I switched mine at 17 weeks because I was almost out of the starter/grower and I didn't want to buy another bag just to have them start laying the next day). But switching to layer feed will not give you eggs sooner.

    I got my ground oyster shell at Tractor Supply... check with your feed store - I would think that they would have it...

    Good luck!
  3. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    With the breeds you mention it would not be unusual to go to 6 months before the first eggs appear.

    As previously mentioned switching now should do no real harm.

    Your local feed store should carry oyster shell.
  4. Quote:Really? Leghorns are egg machines, as I understand it. Our Leghorns began laying at 21 weeks and our BRs at 20. I think it might happen that BR might not lay until 6 mos, but I am not so sure that it 'would not be unusual.' Be interesting to find out.
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I once withheld layer ration a few extra weeks because we weren't finished with the field laying shelter. Within about 48 hours of them getting the extra calcium from the feed, they started popping out eggs.

    So I agree you should put them on layer feed now.

    If you are far from the ocean, sometimes oyster shell can be scarce of overly expensive. As a back-up, you can always use bone meal. But, it is more expensive than oyster shell if you have it available.
  6. redbaron68

    redbaron68 In the Brooder

    Sep 7, 2007
    midcoast maine
    i'd like to ask a question on this theme too: is it unusual for my 4 females (1 Guinea and 3 RIR) to lay just once and then stop for awhile? We're now getting cold at night in ME and less dayllight, but once i switched to layer ration *poof* no more eggs. so far, we've only had 3...they are all 20 weeks old.
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Laying will drop off as the days shorten. It never seens that sudden to me, so maybe your chickens are hiding their eggs?

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