What layer feed should I choose?- So many options!

May 30, 2022
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Hiya Everyone!
2 weeks ago one of my 5- Hens layed her first egg! And then, about an hour later, a second one! I was surpised because she was only 14 weeks old (early according to what I have read/been told! And I found a third today!
I have more info and pictures of the eggs and stuff on this thread ;)
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/my-oh-my-first-egg-what-do-i-do.1531988/#post-25828623

However now they are 16 weeks (it been a complicated last few weeks and I decided I should just order some layer feed) I want to provide layer feed for them, even though they aren't 18 yet. Since I am very sure the most matured one is the 'layer in subject' would it still be appropriate to provide layer feed for all 5 of them?

Second, from my research I have learned that a gradule introduction to the feed is best so I hoped combine the grower + layer over the course of a week or so, does this sound like a good plan? Any suggestions from those with more experience?

And lastly (I appriciate your time haha!) what kind! I've had many articles, websites, and lovely folks say 16% with pre-and probiotics and an oyster system so I know to look for that. Although sifting through those options its a lot to absorb. Organic vs Non-Organic? Anybody suggest a brand? Purina, Manna Pro, Kalmbach... etc? I for sure want the healthiest things for my hens but I also need to think about appropriate price- I have used purina and manna pro for crumbles, but Kalmbach has MUCH lower price... help please! Is this also very dire to provide it ASAP- becasue that will effect ordering vs driving out somewhere a little farther from me like TSC to pick it up?

Thank you very much!
-Groovy Chicken Girl
 
Most of the folks on here dont bother with layer feed as its designed for the short life span of high-production commercial layers. Its better for your birds to have higher protein food such as grower with oyster shell on the side. Plus, no time switching. Not that I've ever bothered with a gradual switch. I used to buy organic but not anymore. Its too expensive considering most of my eggs are given away. You will have to find what works for you
 
Most of the folks on here dont bother with layer feed as its designed for the short life span of high-production commercial layers. Its better for your birds to have higher protein food such as grower with oyster shell on the side. Plus, no time switching. Not that I've ever bothered with a gradual switch. I used to buy organic but not anymore. Its too expensive considering most of my eggs are given away. You will have to find what works for you
Yeah, I never bother to buy any layer feed. They are too low in protein. And it's no good for the chickens not laying now. My chickens are all having grower with oyster shell. It depends on you what brand do you want. Make sure you get it from a reliable source.
 
Answering with the assumption that you're set on layer - 16% is the minimum amount of protein an average adult chicken should get, so if you can get a higher protein feed, I'd aim for that.

I feed a combo of layer & grower to increase the amount of protein slightly and lower the amount of calcium (as I have birds that don't lay/sporadically lay), and the ratio changes through the year, but that's probably more micromanaging than I'd recommend.

Have you been raising the birds organically? If not, I see no reason to switch to organic. If they weren't already being raised to organic standards, the eggs/meat will never be organic. It's not just a matter of feed.

For my flock I follow most organic standards (I'm not certified of course) so my eggs are "organic enough" for my own consumption and I'm satisfied with that.
 
Answering with the assumption that you're set on layer - 16% is the minimum amount of protein an average adult chicken should get, so if you can get a higher protein feed, I'd aim for that.

I feed a combo of layer & grower to increase the amount of protein slightly and lower the amount of calcium (as I have birds that don't lay/sporadically lay), and the ratio changes through the year, but that's probably more micromanaging than I'd recommend.

Have you been raising the birds organically? If not, I see no reason to switch to organic. If they weren't already being raised to organic standards, the eggs/meat will never be organic. It's not just a matter of feed.

For my flock I follow most organic standards (I'm not certified of course) so my eggs are "organic enough" for my own consumption and I'm satisfied with that.
What brand of feed do you buy?
 
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