what is laying mash and do hens really need it?


8 Years
Apr 22, 2011
ok a friend gave me chicken starter he said it was laying mash. on the bag it says chickens starter like what i gave them when they were babes. they are now 21 weeks old. is this the same thing as laying mash?
laying "mash" is just a term for layer "crumbles". your chick starter is a crumble also so therefore a "mash" but is not formulated for laying hens. Some ppl use the term laying mash interchangably for any crumble feed. At least in my experience in my part of the country.
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The formulation of layers mash/crumble is designed to meet the nutritional needs of adult chickens. Chick crumb is designed to meet the needs of very young chicks. So yes, you need to feed your 21 week old chickens layers mash/crumb. Layers pellets are the same thing, just in a different format.

Don't forget they need grit too, to help them digest their food (some people including me give them broken oyster shell which you can get from the poultry/agricultural supplies store). Its nice if you can feed them greens too. If you don't use any chemicals on the lawn, they enjoy the clippings; our chickens absolutely love lettuce - give them a whole one and let them have fun tearing it apart.

At the feed store here, they stuff they call 'layer mash' is the stuff they mix up themselves for laying hens. But it's ground and I don't trust it (I have my reasons) so I won't be buying it. I'm planning to use prebagged crumbles.
No. At 21 weeks they should be eating layer food. I get the feed at the local country store and it is a layer crumbles, the chick food is not what they need once they are begining to lay or are already laying. When my girls got to be 19 weeks, I mixed the 2 or so lbs left with the layer crumbles. Now i just need them to start laying!!!!!
Pellets are pelleted mash/feed, crumbles are just granulated mash, and true mash is cornmeal consistency. It's all mash in different styles...if you read the ingredients it's basically the same thing, different delivery method. Chick starter is not laying mash but it's chick mash, laying mash has more calcium than chick mash. If it says chick starter, then you can feed it to your chicks.

Yes, laying age hens need layer feeds and that will be mash~in the form of mash(meal), crumbles or pelleted. If you don't want to feed laying mash then you can feed general flock rations with oyster shell free choice...but it will still be mash, just not layer mash, and flock ration generally just comes in crumble or pellet form.
I bought a big bag of crumbles the first time and should have stuck with it. The next time I bought pellets because I thought they would like it better. NOT!!!

So last night I got out my blender and ground up the pellets and added some squirrel corn that I had from last year. They love it. My chickens are sure spoiled.
so that is a yes? Really??? Is that just for cooped chickens? Cause i always thought free range or chicken tractor chickens didnt need a lot of specialty foods...I'm wrong?

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