what do i feed my chickens after the starter/grower?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by alli4817, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. alli4817

    alli4817 Just Hatched

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    i have 7 hens. 1 is 5 weeks old and the other 6 are 3 weeks. when do i switch them over and what do i switch them over to if my chickens are just for laying and not meat?
     
  2. chickens r life

    chickens r life Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They should stay on starter/ grower until they start to lay. Then switch to layer feed.
     
  3. alli4817

    alli4817 Just Hatched

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    so i do not use grower finisher if just for laying hens?
     
  4. barred2rock

    barred2rock Chillin' With My Peeps


    Nah, grower/finisher is for meat birds before butcher. You want layer feed with crushed oyster shell. Or you can add crushed oyster shell to starter/grower.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Finish feeding out the chick starter. If it lasts until they are fully grown, it does no harm. Adult chickens can eat chick starter with no problems. When the chick starter is gone, they can go to an all flock feed (Purina Flock Raiser), even if they start to lay. Oyster shell should then be provided as free choice in a separate container so each hen can satisfy her own calcium needs. Mixing it into the feed can result in the consumption of too much calcium. Calcium is something each laying hen will determine how much she needs.

    If you wish to feed a layer ration after you feed out all of the all flock feed, be sure the chickens eating it have started to lay.
     
  6. alli4817

    alli4817 Just Hatched

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    do you know at what age (in weeks) i should give them flock raiser and oyster shell? basically i bought a 50lb bag of chick starter/grower from tsc and i've gone through about a little over half and they are 3 weeks and will be 4 weeks sunday... they are isa browns and they seem a little small compared to my white leghorn at 4 weeks which were 5 weeks today.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
  7. barred2rock

    barred2rock Chillin' With My Peeps


    My five 3 week old chicks have only gone through 2/3 of a 10 lb bag. Have you thought of fermenting your feed? Correct me if I'm wrong, I believe calcium only need be provided at point of lay. On average point of lay is 18-24 weeks. Again, you can finish off the starter while providing free choice oyster shell once they lay.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  8. alli4817

    alli4817 Just Hatched

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    i will consider that, i have tried adding lettuce and veggies but they ignore them and i have 8 chickens so they do eat a pretty good bit when they want to.also the bag of food is standing up so there might be a lot more than i think when the bag is laying down.
     
  9. barred2rock

    barred2rock Chillin' With My Peeps


    Mine won't touch anything as well, besides their fermented feed or dry feed when I offer it. The fermented feed reduces consumption & waste, thus cost; as well as produces healthier birds [​IMG].
     
  10. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Don't let feed sack labeling throw you for a loop. Chick starter and Flock Raiser are so close in nutritional makeup, they can be interchangeable. I've fed my adult flock chick starter when the feed store was all out of Flock Raiser, and also the reverse - Flock Raiser to newly hatched chicks.

    The only feed that matters if you feed it to chicks and pre-laying pullets is layer feed. The calcium content can be rough on developing poultry and can set up the chick for kidney problems later on. Oyster shell offered on the side for the layers in the flock is no danger to chicks as they will ignore it beyond initial curiosity.
     

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