When should I start layer feed? **PICS**

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by epeloquin, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    This girl of mine (Chico) is sporting a big comb and wattles. When should I start giving her layer feed? She is just shy of fourteen weeks old right now and is the only one of my girls with a comb and wattles like that.

    When should I start with layer feed? Should I wait until she begins squatting or until she actually lays her first egg?

  2. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    I started my girls on layer feed right after I got an egg from my RSL- though only two of my girls are laying. My last flock I started giving them layer feed right before they started laying, I don't think it would hurt much either way if your girls are all around the same age.
  3. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    IMO wait until she lays her first egg.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If you still have grower/starter in the bin, go ahead and keep feeding it. There's no rush to switch them over. Let's say you run out of starter/grower at 18 weeks? OK, that would be just fine to go ahead and purchase layer for your next trip to the feed store.
  5. confusedturtle

    confusedturtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2011
    I was told by my supply store that it was ok to put mine on layer feed and they are 12 weeks old. Mine never seemed full with the starter stuff and everytime I'd go outside to check on them they were out of food and when I'd add it to their feeders they'd eat like they were starving. I have been giving them the layer feed for a few days now and there has been no change in their appetite. I feed them 4 small feeders full of food and let them range 1-2 times per day, is this enough? What else should I be doing? Should I go back to starter feed (I have a 50lb bag of the layer feed) or is the layer feed alright? My supply store is a good drive away and I cant really get back out there until after the first. How is the layer feed different from the starter stuff, and will it hurt my 8 week olds? I dont know how to keep them out of the layer stuff.
  6. Jake1297

    Jake1297 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2011
    Western Maine
    confusedturtle, I keep a large feeder full, well three of them as I have 25 or so chickens from 18 weeks, to 1-1/2 years. They eat only when & what they want, and also free range. I never had a feeder go empty during the day.
  7. silverback

    silverback Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2010
    I have 3 girls who are 16 weeks old. The older hens kept stealing their baby food - grower feed - (they have separate coops but doors open during the day) and I ran out yesterday. So, I decided to just give everyone layer feed starting today. My babies aren't as mature as the 14 week old pictured but their combs are starting to develop and they are getting more affectionate. [​IMG]

    They all get to free range during the day and I just keep the feeders full so they have constant free choice. Anyway, from what I understand switching to layer should not be a problem - just gives them more calcium and a little less protein. Although there is a chance of bone and/or kidney damage with too much calcium. That said, I decided my 16 week old girls are close enough to the 18 weeks recommended on the label to switch them over. Since they free range I am assuming a calcium overload should not be a big problem since they are not relying only on the feed. We shall see I guess.

    By the way, all have had free choice to oyster shell - so if they need it they take it.


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