What breed are they? and im pretty sure there isn't much of a difference between mash and pellets, i think some people like to use pellets because the chickens have to eat the nutritional stuff as well as the tasty stuff.
My chickens hatched Feb. 11 th and i just got my first egg this morning. I have Lt. Brahamas, Buff Brahamas, Buff and White Cochins, and Black Langshans. They are all together so i don't know which of the ladies laid it. Any guesses? It is a tiny cute little tan/pink egg.
I am still waiting for most of my hens to start laying to. what i have learned is that they start laying typicaly around 5 - 6 months of age. It can also depend on the breed. Some may lay a little earlier than 5 - 6 months and some may lay a little later than that. You will just have to wait and see. I know... waiting games are not so fun sometimes LOL!!
I switch mine to layer pellets at 18-20 weeks because it's cheaper than starter feed and I'm a cheapskate
Pellets have the same ingredients as crumbles, crumbles are ground-up pellets. But pellets are easier for the chickens to pick up off the ground when they spill them, so there seems to be less wasted food.
Layer feed has extra calcium that laying hens need, but is too much for young chicks' kidneys to handle. The information on the feed bags says to begin feeding it to them at 18-20 weeks. If you have a super-layer who begins earlier, you could give it to her then. But most of the hens I've had begin laying at 20-24 weeks, usually closer to 22-24 weeks.