Switching to Layer Crumbles at 17 Weeks?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Dogfighter, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. Dogfighter

    Dogfighter Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Jul 28, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Is it OK to switch to a layer feed at 17 Weeks? I have read a lot about it being time to switch when you start seeing eggs and that at 17 weeks I could expect eggs within a few weeks. I have not actually received any eggs as of yet, but need to buy another bag of food and wanted some opinions of what to get. The main reason that I am even considering this is that I only have three chooks and they take a long time to go though the fifty pound bags of feed that I can buy here so it would be a while until I could switch feeds if I don't do it now.

    Another question is: Would putting them on layer early and all the extra calicum that they would be getting encourage them to lay any earlier?

    Thanks.

    P.S. We have one Barred Rock and two Rhode Island Reds if that matters.
     
  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    7,008
    21
    261
    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    The extra calcium can concentrate in the liver and joints, not a good idea to switch until you see eggs.

    Feeding them layer will not make them lay any earlier.
     
  3. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    7,008
    21
    261
    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Almost forgot!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    [​IMG]
     
  5. SGM

    SGM Chillin' With My Peeps

    919
    0
    139
    Aug 18, 2008
    Easley, SC
    I have a question. How can the calcium build up in their joints and be harmful if roosters eat it all the time and never produce any eggs?
     
  6. Dogfighter

    Dogfighter Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Jul 28, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    OK thanks for the feedback. My feed store also sells feed by the pound, but it is more expensive. I will get enough to get me through untill I see eggs. Hopefully in three weeks or so [​IMG]
     
  7. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    I follow the bag directions. If it says start at 18 weeks I start at 18 weeks. But sometimes I do not follow them depending on the breed. Some breeds start a bit later. But 18 is a good number to start because in at least 1-3 weeks there should be eggs.
     
  8. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    Florida
    Quote:In mixed flocks, instead of feeding layer feed, they supplement the feed with oyster shell or other calcium source. The hens that need it will eat it.
     
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I feed all my chickens layer mash from chick to roo, from day one. Never had any problems with health, no illness at all, for that matter. No stunted growth, no joint swelling, etc. Just glossy, healthy, huge hens and roosters frolicking across the yard!
     
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Go ahead and switch now or later, a month or two off won't hurt them.I go by just when ever a bag runs out.

    Ask 10 people and you'll get 15 answers on how to feed. [​IMG]


    WELCOME!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by