Switching to Layer feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by conklinator, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. conklinator

    conklinator Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2015
    Fair Hill, MD
    I know there are tons of posts about this, but sifting through all of them is a bit of a daunting task. I have a mixed breed flock that ranges in age from 20, to 25 weeks. I thought for sure I would have eggs by 20 weeks, but I just got my first tiny little puller egg out of one of my 25 week old dominiques last week. Everything I've read seems to say to wait to switch to layer feed until all hens are laying, but they are all over 20 weeks at this point. Is it ok to switch them to layer feed? Will the added calcium give them a bit of a kick in the pants to get them laying? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Excess calcium WON'T stimulate lay. It merely replenishes that depleted from the medullary bone when shells are being built.
    This is a tough time of year to recommend switching since you have so many birds and only one laying. Since days are shortening some could take quite a while to start.
    Do you have a calcium source available for them in a separate container? Oyster shell
     
  3. conklinator

    conklinator Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2015
    Fair Hill, MD

    I have grit in a separate container, but not calcium. Will the non-laying hens not eat the oyster shell? I am also going to set up a light in the coop to turn on an hour in the morning, and an hour in the evening, to help extend their day a bit.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You can extend the day either way but if you have a choice, it's better to add the light before dawn so it gets dark naturally.

    Since you are going to be adding light, which should stimulate the hormones for sexual maturity, you can probably switch to layer now.
    If you continue to feed grower, all flock or any other feed that is 1% calcium, you need to provide a calcium source for those building shells. Don't worry about the non-layers they won't eat it at all or at least not enough to matter.
     

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