Too early for layer feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by FamilyOfChickens, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2007
    Northwest Indiana
    A few of our 4-ish month old Ameraucanas have red combs; isn't this a sign that they should start laying anytime? We just switched them to the layer feed, with a little of the grower mixed in. Is this okay for them? They love the crumbles a lot more than they did the grower pellets, that's for sure. They just knocked the oyster shell I put in there all over the place (what a mess!), so I won't be doing that any time soon.

    They seem to be fine, but I wanted to make sure. [​IMG]
  2. Rooster01

    Rooster01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2007
    Southern WV
    They are old enough. I normally start feeding laying crumbles at 4 months. It won't hurt them. They won't be needing oyster shells for a few months.
  3. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Ameraucana's could be 6 months before laying. EE's are usually earlier.
  4. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    The pullets don't need the extra calcium in the layer feed until they are actually laying. Some people wait until the first egg. I switch at about 5 months and don't add any oyster shell until I see an egg. Just put it in a separate container. Don't mix with the feed.
  5. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    I'm a bit confused. Both of the layer feeds I've seen in the feed store say they are complete feeds--and that you don't need to add calcium. Should I believe the labels?
  6. Rooster01

    Rooster01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2007
    Southern WV
    Quote:Most laying feed mixes have calcium in them, But when the hens start laying, they need more calcium that what the laying feed has in it. They will only eat the oyster shell if they need it so they won't OD on calcium.

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