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Switching feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Eggeater, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Eggeater

    Eggeater In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2008
    My two leghorns (17wks old) have started to lay. The 10 others (13 week old Araucanas and Buff Orps) have not. Can I switch to all layer pellets at this point or should I continue the grower feed? Also, the eggs from the leghorns are very small. Will they increase in size as they get older?

  2. a2ms4chickens

    a2ms4chickens Songster

    Dec 16, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    It is very hard feeding the chickens when you have a mixed flock.

    The 17 week olds should be given the layer feed, and the 13 week olds, the grower.

    Is there any way to separate the older 2 when you feed the younger ones?

    And their eggs will get bigger the longer they lay.

    Congrats on your eggs!!
  3. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Songster

    May 15, 2009
    Switch over to layer pellets. Mix the grower and laying pellets together for a while until the chickens get used to the new taste of the layer feed. Chickens don't like drastic changes in food.

    Make sure you offer chicken grit and crushed oyster shell 24/7. Nothing fancy. Two disposable plastic food containers work well.

    It's good that the eggs are small at first. You don't want a hen with a prolapsed vent. The eggs will get bigger in time.

    oh by the way.......................CONGRATULATIONS OF YOUR FIRST EGG! Awesome experience isn't it? [​IMG]
  4. Eggeater

    Eggeater In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2008
    Yeah, it's pretty cool! I was surprised by the early age of leghorns. I knew they mature quickly as breeds go but didn't expect them to lay so soon. My black sex links and barred rocks went 28 weeks before we were able to plate an egg! I'll try mixing the feed. I'm trying to avoid buying another 50#s of grower feed if I don't have to. Aside from the size of the pellet, the only significant difference that I can see bewtween the two feeds is that the layer pellet has considerably more protein and calcium. What would be the downside of feeding the 13 week pullets the layer pellet?

    Thanks for everyone's help!
  5. txchickie

    txchickie Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    Personally, I would keep ALL of them on the grower feed and just offer oyster shell until all of them were laying. The laying leghorns will take the oyster shell as they need it.

    13 week old chicks do not need layer feed at all. Waaay too early, IMO.

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