To Switch or Not to Switch

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChicksAndFish, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. ChicksAndFish

    ChicksAndFish New Egg

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    Jun 18, 2014
    Yesterday, one of our hens laid their first egg! This is my first time with chickens, and I could definitely get used to seeing eggs in the morning! They are about 15 1/2 weeks and are Red Sex Links. I wasn't expecting them so soon, but I guess RSL were bred to be layers.

    Anyways, I was wondering if I should switch to a Layer Feed yet. Two of our three hens have a decent red comb, and they look about the same. However, the other hen still has a small, pale orange comb. It is mostly just little spikes. I understand the grower feed has the fat and protein to grow, but not the calcium for eggs. I don't want that hen to fall behind in growth.

    Should I just get one more 5lb bag of grower and just have oyster shell available? Or would it be safe to go ahead and switch to layer? Thanks!
     
  2. bobshere

    bobshere Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think its too early for lay pellets. I would just give them grower and oyster shell. My RSL's are just over 17 weeks. I have one more to start laying. When I know for sure they are all laying ill start to offer laying pellets....I believe you shouldn't start giving laying pellets until 19 weeks of age.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
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    You're right that that's pretty young. If they were mine I would put out some oyster shell separately and keep them on grower for about 3 more weeks.
     
  4. ChicksAndFish

    ChicksAndFish New Egg

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    Jun 18, 2014
    Thank you! I was so surprised they laid so early. The day before, I told my mom about 2 more weeks. The goofs wanted to prove me wrong, obviously.
    So keeping with the grower until they are 17 sounds right. Do they sell containers to attach to the coop for oyster shell/grit?
     
  5. bobshere

    bobshere Chillin' With My Peeps

    I bought a small rabbit feeder from the feed store and screwed it on the wall beside the food.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I screwed an old metal cat dish to a scrap of 2x4 and use that; the board of course prevents the chickens from overturning it. Anything handmade that attaches to the wall or side of the coop would work. Yes, a rabbit feeder would certainly work. Lots of people cut off the bottom 1/4 or so of one of those 2L soda bottles and screw that to the wall.
     
  7. bobshere

    bobshere Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes those are good ideas too. I chose the rabbit feeder to avoid sharp edges. I guess I'm too protective of my girls.
     

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