What do you feed your girls when they are different ages?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by labradoodlemama, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. labradoodlemama

    labradoodlemama Out Of The Brooder

    64
    2
    33
    May 2, 2014
    Cumberland County PA
    I have two 19 wk girls that are laying. One has been laying 1 egg a day since Aug 7, the other started laying last week. My problem is the 2nd one laying has 3 eggs while she is on the roost and 2 have had soft shells and the last one didn't seem to have a shell. I do not have them on layer feed because I also have 10 girls that are 14 wks old. Can I feed them all layer feed now? I was told at the feed store I can't feed layer feed until a chicken is 17 wks old, and then other people say it is ok. I also heard that I could mix the 2 feeds together until the littles are 17 wks old. Please help!!!!
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    28,340
    4,379
    516
    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Definitely feed layer feed now along with the extra calcium.
     
  3. labradoodlemama

    labradoodlemama Out Of The Brooder

    64
    2
    33
    May 2, 2014
    Cumberland County PA
    Will the extra calcium hurt the younger girls?
     
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    28,340
    4,379
    516
    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    No
     
  5. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    this is TERRIBLY incorrect.

    OP, do you have free choice oyster shell available to them at all times? If you do, then the soft shelled eggs could just be the body getting everything straightened out.

    Excess calcium is damaging to the kidneys. Even if the animals don't just keel over and die, doesn't mean that damage isn't done internally.

    There are several studies on the impact of too much calcium, but the damaging effects don't present as outward symptoms for years. Just because you can't see a problem, doesn't mean there isn't one. Similar to how alcohol affects the liver.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  6. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

    3,628
    473
    281
    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    I'ld agree here! If you have chicks and laying hens, the food that the chicks have access to should never be layer. Instead, get an all flock or grower feed, and provide calcium - usually in the form of oyster shell. This will give your chicks a longer life.
     
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    17,231
    5,718
    501
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop

    X 2 - rather than feeding the younger birds an inappropriate diet, feed the entire group a diet suitable for them all (grower feed/all-flock/flock-raiser/etc) and provide the calcium needed by the laying birds via supplemental calcium (ie oyster shell).
     
  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    11,005
    442
    328
    Jun 1, 2009
    Ohio
    This is far from being correct the correct answer.

    Quote: FEEDING DIRECTIONS: Feed as the sole ration to laying hens

    Quote: Do not feed Gold Standard Laying Crumbles to none laying hens or young growing birds for extended periods of time because the higher levels of calcium incorporated into the feed for egg shell formation may cause harm to the birds.

    Quote:

    @labradoodlemama ,

    Feeding high amounts of calcium to any non-laying fowl and be dangerous and harmful to the birds kidneys.
    Non-Laying fowl includes chicks, growing birds, roosters, and hens not currently laying do to age, molt, health, season, etc.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    7,556
    360
    311
    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Due to the varying ages and sexes of my birds here i use growers with free choice Oyster shell. All flocks, flock raisers are another option if available to you.
     
  10. 11mini

    11mini Chillin' With My Peeps

    199
    33
    106
    Aug 17, 2014
    Lake Stevens, WA
    I was told the same thing by the co-op (layer was ok for 15wks old) when I got my hens about 5 weeks ago. Only one of 3 is laying yet. I guess I should take away the layer pellets until they all start laying? I do already have a shell dispenser in the run.
    I do allow several hours of free range time so I am guessing the pellets make up less than 50% of their diet. Hopefully I have not done any permanent damage
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by