switching feed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by zoelov, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. zoelov

    zoelov Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2016
    Wyoming
    I have 8 pullets, 1/2 hatched middle of April and the other 1/2 hatched a week later. I've been feeding them chick grower with grit for chicks along side. When should I switch to a layer feed and add oyster shell to their diet?

    I also have a small round wading pool in the chicken yard full of dirt so they can have dirt baths. Just added that yesterday. The bottom of the coop (formerly a dog kennel) is lined with chain link to prevent dogs from digging out, or in, so dirt bath holes are probably not doable. Do you think that is adequate? Will they figure out what it is for? I have had chickens most of my life, but they were in the country and free range. "Backyard" chickens are a new thing for me. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    They will probably enjoy the pool with dirt if they have nowhere else to dust bathe.....
    .......but it may take a few days for them to get used to the new 'thing'.


    They don't need calcium until they are actually laying.


    I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
     
  3. zoelov

    zoelov Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2016
    Wyoming
    Thanks for the information. I appreciate it. As I am in town we are only allowed a small quantity of layers and NO roosters. This small flock thing is all new to me.
     

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