Switching Feed- 11 Pullets Ages Vary 14-16wks

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by StephanieRose44, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. StephanieRose44

    StephanieRose44 Songster

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    I have currently 11 pullets altogether all different types of breeds

    1 Isa Brown 14 wks
    1 GLW 14 Wks
    1 BSL/Copper Maran/IDK 14wks
    1 Easter Egger 14wks
    1 Ameraucana/EE/IDK 14wks
    1 White Leghorn 14wks
    2 Sapphire Gems 15wks
    1 Isa Brown 16wks
    1 Silkie 15 wks

    1 Cornish Cross 15 wks (not sure gender)

    1 Rooster (So far )

    I started all of them off on chick starter medicated mash (I didn’t know why it’s just what I was told to do when I asked) until they were about 3-5 weeks old I switched them to crumble still medicated starter. At the time I wanted to start switching over to starter/Grower they were only sold in pellet for but today picked up a bag of Non-Medicated Starter/Grower 039D5384-6857-4042-BBBD-4E40B86D6155.jpeg Crumble))

    That I’m going to now start them on.

    I have a few concerns I do have a “Multi-Flock” I guess you could say I have one Silkie rooster and one Cornish X (that I am not butchering) I am trying to watch and maintain his food intake. And the rooster is going to need a different type of food when the hens start the laying feed?

    At there age (and who) what should they be eating protein % Fat % Calcium ect. Is needed for certain genders breeds ect.

    I have been told not to switch to layer feed until you get your first egg..is this true? Does the hen need calcium like oyster shells before she starts laying or after?

    I’ve heard of good layers and “not so good layers” but do any hens not lay at all?

    What would you all recommend feeding the rooster & Cornish x once they start lay (and I know the stories about Cornish xs)
     
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  2. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    Don't switch to layer.
    Feed an All For type feed with 18 - 20% protein. At 15 weeks put out a separate container of oyster shell. I also offer grit in a separate container regardless of the fact that my flock has access to pasture.
    You will want to closely monitor your CX as he will over eat if allowed full time access to feed the way the rest of the flock should be. He will need excersise to keep the weight down and the stress down on his legs and heart.
     
  3. StephanieRose44

    StephanieRose44 Songster

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    So the food above has 22% protein, so that would be too much? My only other option is to go back to Chick starter Crumble which had 20% protein. The Grow & Show Feed has 17%.. So many different people telling me different things!! First someone told my husband to start feeding them grow & show feed he brought home a bag I knew something was wrong it just didn’t sound right to switch from chick starter 20% protein to 15% protein. “ But that’s what the lady at the store told me to get.” E51B303D-0177-4A89-BCCB-A77EBEBBEF9F.jpeg this is what he brought home

    . 074E3C6F-6E83-425E-A781-36FD5A4A968F.png
    9C3AD0F7-7C1E-485E-8FAB-814CB3B94FFF.jpeg
    So I kept them on the starter Crumble until I went to the feed store again and was told to keep them on Chick starter Crumble until they lay switch to layer 2x I was told this I told them about the flock situation ( I probably ask every time I go) the last time I went I was told to still stick with the starter feed... I questioned her but she was sure and by she rang me up, than I went around back to pick it up and the man loading the bag told me “they shouldn’t be still on medicated starter feed at this age so close to laying.” Which makes complete sense he gave me the bag I personally think would be best for them (monitwring Cornish x) it Chick starter/grower Crumble 22% protein but if I’m wronge please correct me ...

    I won’t be switching to a layer until I see the first egg! I keep hearing the same opinion on that so I’m going with it. I also was told not to put out oyster shells until they lay?
     

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  4. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Crowing

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    Out of those choices I'd pick the 18% Breeder pellet from Blue Seal, or Finisher (the breeder has less fat) ... I'd much rather feed pellets over crumble, and at 18% protein you won't have quite as much to worry about the CX killing itself, as soon ... I don't see any calcium specs ... I'm guessing you would have to look at the actual bag.

    I'd also offer them oyster shell on the side, they will use it when they need it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
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  5. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    It has been my experience that people working in ANY store more than likely will give you bad advice. I never ask. They just work there and most of them just don't know the answer.

    You can put out the OS now. They will likely pick at it when you first put it out because it's something different.

    Do they sell the Blue Seal Breeder?
    Your birds don't need to be on medicated starter, that's for sure.
    I wouldn't lose sleep over 1% lower protein either if the Grow & Show Feed is readily available and fresh.
    Make sure you also have a container of grit available.
     
  6. Timothy Menezes

    Timothy Menezes Songster

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    Now you see the controversial nature of food/diet not only applies to human diets lol. Basically any decent feed between 16ish to 20ish percent will work just fine. There are plenty of high protein diet fans that promote 22% and higher though, but be advised that can cause liver issues. I like to refer to Storeys Guide to Raising Chickens. They also have guides for Ducks, Turkeys, etc. Also John Metzer of Metzer Farms has a website that is an awesome resource.

    Both don't advise high protein for reasons that I'll let them explain as they are far more knowledgeable than I. Also you can check out Purina Mills and Nutrena websites which are informative as well. One or both of the feed sites recommend starting pullets on calcium about month before eggs are expected so they can build up a calcium reserve.

    I have my pullets that are about the same age as yours on a 17% percent grower/shower.

    They were started on 20% medicated starter for a few weeks. While I am not a fan of meds, they can eat poop and get sick/die when they are to small to know better. I then put them on 18% non medicated starter for a few months, then switch to the grower while they finish maturing.

    Honestly the biggest issue you have will be the Cornish cross. You will want to limit food to keep him from eating to much. This will be inconvenient as you would otherwise be able to just leave the feed out all the time for your other birds.
     
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  7. StephanieRose44

    StephanieRose44 Songster

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    DC4E1355-49AC-45B7-AC97-44FCD3FC91B6.png 74C701CE-2C54-4008-965C-C2CCAF4D8F62.jpeg FBF43A33-5786-4B53-961A-70A877A11ECD.jpeg

    This is what is what I have to choose from. The oldest bird just turned 16 weeks old today, than I have 6 (1 Silkie Rooster 1 out of those 6 is a Cornish x who I think is a rooster too but not sure) that are 15 weeks and 5 that are 14 weeks old. I really don’t know for sure what the sexes are of it going to say 7/12 of them. I’ve gotten so many different opinions I can’t, and than one day I think I’ve got them pinned and they do something that looks rooster like or sounds and they go on my list lol of I’m not sure. Anyway since they are getting so close to laying age I just want to give them the right nutrients and get the correct type of feed. What would you suggest?


     
  8. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    I would use the Blue Seal Finisher. It is formulated to be suitable to ask life stages and both genders.
    Put out two additional containers, one with oyster shell and one with grit. I use hanging chick feeders to keep them from being kicked over.
    If it is your intention to keep the CX you are going to need to limit his feed intake. These birds were not created to live long. They eat a lot of feed. Your other birds should have access to food all day. If the CX is kept with them, he will most likely suffer a heart attack soon after butchering age.
    If you are unsure about the gender of some of your chickens, take some full side view and top view pictures of them standing on their own and post them in the Breed and Gender forum. They should be old enough now to sex.
    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  9. Timothy Menezes

    Timothy Menezes Songster

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    You could use any of those other than the turkey starter. My personal pick be layer if they were all female, or either of the 18% feeds with Oyster shell on the side if you have plenty of males.

    My layers are usually on 16% to 18% layer blend. My pullets and Roosters are on a 17% grower / shower. Been thinking about sticking with the grower lately since I hatched out several roosters.
     
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  10. StephanieRose44

    StephanieRose44 Songster

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    He is living with them right now but I limit his food intake I let the others out to eat and than usually let him out separately after the others have eaten and to let him move around for his his food. Inside I have a feeder hanging up so the others can eat from the perch and other little tricks I gave I have another coop ready to go so I’m going to be seperating the flock into two different coops. Idk how I’m going to separate them though.. that’s going to be tricky.
     
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