What should I be feeding my 11 & 19 week old hens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by henmommy, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. henmommy

    henmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Let's start off by saying I am new at this. I have 14 hens, 9 are 19 weeks and 5 are 11 weeks. They free range most of the day and I do give them fruit about once ever other day. I started out with medicated chick feed and at about 8 weeks switch to crumbles. I am not sure if they were layer or grower now. I simple asked at the farm store what to give them next and they loaded me up a 50 lbs of Blue Seal crumble. About 4 weeks later, a friend who raises chicken told me about a feed they use that is same the price, by 100 lbs bag. She told me it was what she was giving her hens that were the same age. It came in large berlap bag (no name that I could see). I trusted her still she has about 60 hens and shows them for fun. I am just about out of that feed. Reading the message board has not got me concerned that I am not feeding them the right stuff to start laying. Have I damaged them? No one is laying yet. Combs and wattles are still small but turning pink to redish. Not bright red like my roo. They appear happy, healthy & active. Anyone have advise to share? Should I change their feed? If so, to what? Or do you think I am just impatient with the whole egg laying thing?
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  2. scrapmom5

    scrapmom5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2008
    Utah
    I feed my chickens that are not laying a grower or feed without the extra calcium. I also give them pellets but crumbles will work just fine. Once they start laying I switch them to layer pellets and offer them Oyster shell. I have been told that giving chickens layer food to young could harm their kidneys...so I would be cautious when giving layer to soon. As for no eggs at 19 weeks, don't worry about it. I have some pullets that are 25+ weeks and we are still waiting for the eggs. 22 weeks was the earliest I have gotten an egg. Just wait, when the combs and wattles are big and red and after they have gone through their first molt they may start to lay. Some of mine have done the hen squat about a week before they lay and then they start to check out the boxes. Just give it time, act like you don't care to see an egg, and keep busy. Then your eggs will come. [​IMG]
     
  3. henmommy

    henmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Thanks for the feedback. I am just concerned that the wrong feed is delaying the laying. The feed my friend recommended is pellets. Since they are not laying and I am almost out, should I get grower feed?
     
  4. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    I just went to the feed store because I was out of the starter. Mine are 11 weeks old and I asked for the one in between the starter and the layer, and they told me at 11 weeks that they should be on the layer, so that's what I bought...didn't know it could harm their kidneys!!
     
  5. henmommy

    henmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2008
    Upstate NY
    There is a grower feed for 8-20 weeks that most suggest. I did what you did, but wonder if we were advised incorrectly. Anyways, I just bought more feed and purchased Blue Seal Poultry feed pellets (cal-grower). Until my pullets start to lay, I going to use this to be safe.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  6. ashyannehand

    ashyannehand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2008
    Wade, Mississippi
    According to my co-op I needed to change my pullets over at 16 weeks which is what I did. They started laying at about 20 weeks. As far as I know everyone is healthy and happy. I do remember when I got the first bag of laying crumbles it had a chart on the back said that do not feed pullets laying feed until 16 weeks.

    Good luck and I am sure your girls will be fine! [​IMG]
     
  7. henmommy

    henmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Thank you. I was afraid I made them infertile.:|

    What breed do you have?
     

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