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switching to a layer feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Hiedi, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. Hiedi

    Hiedi Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Upstate SC
    I was just wondering what the earliest I could switch my pullets to a layer feed? They are on Flock Raiser right now and are 14 weeks old. When this bag is finished I wanted to go ahead and switch to a layer feed because I did not want to purchase another bag of Flock Raiser. Would 16 weeks be too early to gradually start changing their food? Thanks in advance.

  2. EliteTempleton

    EliteTempleton Songster

    Aug 9, 2008
    SW MI
    From what this new egg knows 16 weeks should be fine, maybe add in some extra treats so they don't get too much calcium though. I read somewhere that too much calcium at a young age can hurt their internal organs, but 18 weeks is when you should switch them to layer feed anyway, so 16 really isn't that different. Or maybe add some extra treats now to help extend what you have left. A cheap and easy way to add treats is to buy some bird food, like the stuff you would put in a wild bird feeder. My hens love it. The kind I have has corn bits and sunflower seeds as a higher percentage(it said it was premium food, but was the only thing Sams Club had). Between that and the grass and bugs they get I have the opposite problem, I am going to have leftover grower feed when its time to give them layer feed. My plan is just to mix the bags together though. Just like I did when it was time to move them from the starter feed to the grower feed. A 50lb bag last my 3 hens a while. [​IMG]

    Edit: by add extra treats I don't mean directly mixing, just to be clear. Heck they would shovel through the feed just to get to the seeds if I did that! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2008
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    You should be fine mixing the last of the FlockRaiser with the layer feed when they are 16 weeks old. That's what we do.
  4. peaceful

    peaceful Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    BC Canada
    At the feed store I was told that the pullets/hens should be switched over to the layer feed from the grower feed when you start getting 10% of the number of hens in eggs per day. ie. if you have ten young hens, wait until you are getting on average 1 egg per day from that group, then start the layer feed. The reason was that the layer feed is very high in calcium and if the hens haven't started laying yet then too much excess calcium can cause problems for them (build up in calcium in their vents?).
  5. wyliefarms

    wyliefarms Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    Peaceful- That is the same information we got from a 4-h workshop we attended at Michigan State University this spring.

    Our last batch of hens we started feeding layer mix early on...didn't know any better.

    There was a lot of dead chickens over the course of a few months, they didn't start laying until 6+ months of age. I still think they don't lay the best as past flocks.

    And go figure, we bought a bag of pullet feed yesterday and my daughter came running in today with an egg and the chicken she saw lay it. We were figuring we had a few weeks left till eggs would be here.

    After more start laying if there is feed left we will save it for the up and coming hens.

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