What age can pullets start on Layer Pellet?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by davemonkey, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 25, 2012
    Liberty, TX
    I've been supplementing my free-rangers with layer pellets (free choice in a feeder) and soaked grains (free choice in the mornings on th ground). I just now introdcued some new pullets to the flock (smooth sailing so far) but I'm not sure when these young-uns can start eating layer pellets (I
    ve heard the extra protein cna be harmful to chicks).

    The birds I just introduced are 13 weeks old, and 9 weeks old (a few of each). Can I resume layer pellets as I was doing, or do I need to hold off until the youngest are a certain age (and what age would that be)?
     
  2. Veer67

    Veer67 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wait until they lay their first egg and then switch to layer pellets gradually, once I introduced grower feed to my silkie bantam (without the gradual process) and she freaked out and clucked her head off.
     
  3. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, but what I need to know is, do I *need* to wait. Because, in the meantime, I've got laying hens that I want to give layer pellets to...but I also have the young ones in the same yard/coop. Since they all have equal access to the same feed, I want to know if I need to wait for a certain age for these pullets to eat layer-pellets...and then what age would that be?
     
  4. buckaroogirl

    buckaroogirl Out Of The Brooder

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    I would wait until they start laying. Too much calcium is not good for the young ones. Layers do fine on grower and have a bowl of oyster shells for them.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Yes, you should wait. It's not a protein issue, it's a calcium issue. Excess calcium can harm young birds' kidneys. Keep everyone on grower or all-in-one and offer oyster shell or their own egg shells back to them. They really don't need tons and tons of calcium, so it may not seem like they eat much of the oyster shell at all.

    There's nothing magical about layer feed, it's just got extra calcium in it. I've raised chickens for 20 years just using an all-in-one feed and offering calcium on the side. I have great production and hard hard shells.
     
  6. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, thanks for the info. Yeah, sometimes I crumble and re-feed eggshell, but not always. I suppose its easy enough to do that, so I should make a better habit of it.

    That's funny...I was thinking it was a protein deal...and thinking..."but chick starter has more protein that layer food?!". That makes sense that it's a calcium thing though...layer has like 3x the calcium in it or soemthing like that.

    Thanks again guys/gals.

    -Dave
     

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