What do you feed "dual purpose" layers?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by superchemicalgirl, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED 8 Years

    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    I am very new at chickens (in fact, my very first batch of chicks aren't even arriving until April). I decided on chickens last spring and have been doing a ton of research since (and building my coop). I'm finally ready and have ordered my chickens (I'm not sure I'm going to make it to April, I can barely sleep now with excitement). I want chickens for eggs only (I'm a vegetarian but family members may be eating some of the meaner girls). I purchased a variety of chick breeds from McMurray; some of them are egg layers like leghorns and EEer mutts but most are dual purpose like stars, orpintons, marans, wyandottes, one lone jersey giant, etc. I went with a variety because I want different colored eggs, a beautiful assortment of hens/colors and hens that are cold tolerant and (hopefully) lay some in winter as I'm in cold Maine. We'll see. I may have made a huge mistake.
    My question (finally) is this: what do you feed your dual purpose hens? The books I've read (including Chickens for Dummies) only specify what "layers" and "meat" birds eat, not dual purpose. My gut says that since they'll be laying they eat layer rations once they reach sexual maturity. Could they also eat meat feed with extra calcium on the side? What about when they arrive as chicks? Please help and tell me what you feed! Thanks a ton! [​IMG]

  2. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Songster

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    Since I have an assortment of birds, I use Purina flock raiser mixed with layers.

    You will have a lot of fun with your new chicks. Keep us posted.
  3. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    I raise mine on a starter or starter grower with at least 21% Protein. If the starter available to you is not that high, you might be able to get game bird starter and mix it. My game bird starter is 30%

    At 20 weeks or the first egg, I switch everyone over to layer pellets, but also mix in some of the game bird starter because I don't think 16% is enough protein (that's what's available in my area) I keep oyster shell on the side. Your stars are actually more along the layer line than dual purpose, and boy can they lay.

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