When do you switch to layer?

Willow's Meadow

9 Years
Apr 16, 2010
My chickens are 14 weeks old and I feed them Purina Start and Grow. On the bag is says to switch them from the Start and Grow to Layena at 18 weeks old. So I thought I'd switch them when they are 18 weeks old. But I read in a magazine that you shouldn't switch them to layer until they actually start laying and that you should feed them grower. Should I switch my chickens from start and grow to layer when they are 18 weeks or when they start laying? Should I feed them grower, if so when and for how long? They are Buff Orpingtons and Brahmas.
I switched mine to Layena fully at about 18 weeks, however, I began a couple of weeks prior mixing it into the Start and Grow and gradually increasing the Layena. I think there isn't any absolute way to do this "right."
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You shouldn't go by age but by maturity. Therefore don't switch until most all your birds have started to lay--continue to feed grower until they reach that point with calcium supplemented by free choice oyster shell for any that have started laying early. Push layer on the birds too early can lead to possible health problems down the line. What I do as the last pullets come on line is mix whatever grower I have left with the layer pellets until the grower is gone. They seem to have less problem with this transition than a rapid one. Feeding layer doesn't get the birds to lay any faster than not.
When do you switch to layer?


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