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What type of food is best for 3+ old pullets (pre-lay)?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jewel1, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. jewel1

    jewel1 Chirping

    Jun 2, 2012
    Hi everyone..sorry if this has already been asked...I couldn't find it...

    My pullets are about 3 1/2 months old, so I think I'm supposed to stop feeding them the chick crumbles and move to another type of food before they get to laying age. They do free-rnage a bit each day, but I supply their main food source.

    I'm confused because my local feed store, which has been great up until this point, said that I should just switch them to chicken scratch until they are laying age, then switch to layer feed. Now, from everything I've heard here, scratch is not very nutritional and should only be given as a treat. I asked them about "grower feed" and they guy said something about only using that if I was raising them for meat (which I'm not).

    So, I'm turing to you guys as the experts. What type of main food should pre-lay pullets be given?

    thanks so much!


  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    You could keep them on the crumbles until they start laying then switch to layer pellets. I use an unmedicated starter/grower from hatch to point of lay. Showing signs of getting to lay and random pullet egg now and then is when I switch.
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    What I do is cut the feed with a little grain to get the protein content down a bit when they turn into teenagers. So you might give a little scratch. Just be sure not to go lower than around 17% (usual grower feed protein %).

    I don't like to keep them at the 20% level all the way through to laying, myself.

    There are many opinions on poultry feeding! Everyone has different experiences and what works for them. [​IMG]

    If you give whole grains make sure you offer grit somehow, either in the soil as free ranging, or supplied.

    Oh and eggheadjr has a good point- some feeds are already at 18% or so (grower feeder). Those I wouldn't bother diluting.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  4. jewel1

    jewel1 Chirping

    Jun 2, 2012
    thanks to both of you!

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