When should we switch to layer feed? Chickens are 14 weeks old.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ParlorCityChickens, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. ParlorCityChickens

    ParlorCityChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2010
    Hi, our ladies are on the Grower/Finisher, and we are wondering when to switch to Layer feed. Thanks in advance!![​IMG]
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    You can start them around 16 to 18 weeks or wait until you get your first egg and start them then.

    Getting excited, aren't you?
     
  3. chickee

    chickee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not until they start laying. Layer feed has oyster shell for calcium which can damage the internal organs of growing pullets. I just introduced 13 week old pullets to my flock so I am feeding everybody Flockraiser until the youngsters start laying. I put oystershell in a corner of the yard for the older hens to eat for their calcium. I feed organic layer pellet to my layers and oystershell on the side as recommended on the package [​IMG]
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:But it's never a bad idea to give the pullets a source of calcium to "bank" in anticipation of their first egg. That way they won't have to use the calcium that they need for their own bodies to create an eggshell. No harm is going to come to them from having a little calcium and most commercial feeds are pitifully low on calcium (only 3 to 4 %) a few weeks early. In fact if I had say 15 week old pullets and ran out of feed, I wouldn't waste my money buying more grower, I'd just switch them a little early. Make sense?
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2010
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    My birds are 14 weeks and I have maybe a weeks worth of grower food left. I was thinking of switching to layer formula, but I'm not sure what the right thing to do is either?
     
  6. burntmuch

    burntmuch Out Of The Brooder

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    My Isa Browns are right at 16 wks. I ran out of the grower, I just switched them to layer feed. But they dont eat much,of it. They freerange, So they dont hit the feeders too much
     
  7. chickee

    chickee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:But it's never a bad idea to give the pullets a source of calcium to "bank" in anticipation of their first egg. That way they won't have to use the calcium that they need for their own bodies to create an eggshell. No harm is going to come to them from having a little calcium and most commercial feeds are pitifully low on calcium (only 3 to 4 %) a few weeks early. In fact if I had say 15 week old pullets and ran out of feed, I wouldn't waste my money buying more grower, I'd just switch them a little early. Make sense?

    I probably have fudged at times also, but when giving other people information I try to go by what is recommended by the experts, which is to feed a developer feed to pullets raised to be layers until at least 20 weeks of age, and layer feed once they start laying. [​IMG]
     
  8. ParlorCityChickens

    ParlorCityChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2010
    Thanks everyone for your input. Backyardchickens.com is the best!
     
  9. ParlorCityChickens

    ParlorCityChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes, very excited!!!!! [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. northwestmark

    northwestmark New Egg

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    Jul 19, 2012
    Hey there,
    I just want everyone to know that we were raising 4 pullets varying between 13-18 weeks.
    We purchased layer feed because the 18 week old was already laying and we figured the others weren't too far behind.
    This last week the 13 week old started getting sick and within 3 days its organs had failed.
    Lesson learned the hard way (distraught about this) that its better to stick with grower feed until all of the hens are laying and just supplement with a calcium source (oyster shells) off to the side for those who are starting to lay.
    Wish I would have found this information earlier! Too much calcium is very bad for birds that have no way of getting rid of it (laying eggs).
     
    1 person likes this.

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