when to change to layer feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Lady EE, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Lady EE

    Lady EE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2011
    Earth
    I have some 3 month Delewares that could start laying any time. I also have some slower growing birds of the same age. What should I do about feed? I'm worried that the slow developers will be harmed by the layer feed. Should I separate them and begin with layer or just wait for a few months for the others?[​IMG]
     
  2. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    I would feed them Flock Raiser till the younger ones can eat the layer feed. Also keep oyster shells free choice for them!!
     
  3. Lady EE

    Lady EE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2011
    Earth
    any particular brand? I've heard a lot of anti-Purina?
     
  4. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    I second what Barred Babies said.

    you can also use up your starter/grower feed until it is entirely gone and always have oyster shell available to them. You may have even a few more months of growth until their first eggs arrive. After they start laying is when to make the switch to layer feed. Flock raiser is for mixed ages. My choice was to use up all the grower feed, eventhough I had one hen already laying when I got them, and there have not been any problems as a result.

    good luck.
     
  5. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I feed my layers grower up until their combs start to turn red, which they begin laying a few weeks after that. I use Dumor Layer or Purina Layer or our local feed mills Lay Mash for the adults.
     
  6. AtomicPenguin

    AtomicPenguin Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2009
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    Quote:I would think it would be a bit longer before you start to see eggs. Three month olds are fairly young still. To answer your question though I've always switched mine to layer around 18 weeks of age. My chickens however free range daily and eat all the table scraps I can throw at them.
     
  7. naturemama

    naturemama New Egg

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    May 14, 2011
    Any thoughts on skipping grower feed? i have big bag of starter crumbles that will probably last until the ladies are laying and wondered if i could just go right to layer feed when the time comes. chicks are now 8 weeks old.
     
  8. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I don't see a problem. I believe grower has a little less protein but I will feed all my birds a higher protein anyways.
     
  9. LuckyDozen Farm

    LuckyDozen Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2010
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    That's one of the biggest issues in feeding hens: When to switch to layer feed. Just by going by weeks of age is not always the best method to decide. You say you have Delawares, and those being classified as a Heavy Breed, it would be best IMO to keep them on Grower until the eggs get to about 30-40g each. Our Delawares aren't the most prolific egg layers in our flock, but they do produce avg egg size of 60g which is a good sized egg. One thing we've noticed is that when chickens begin to start their egg laying cycle for the first time, its best not to adjust too many things, i.e. change feed type, move hens to different house, lighting adjustment, etc. This may stress them out and delay egg production. After all, this is egg laying thing is new to them, so make it easy as possible for them to get used to doing it every day. We have our feed mixed in bulk, and we keep Heavies, (Delawares) on our 22% grower until +/-35g avg egg size, which is usually 26 weeks I'd guess. If you have only a few chickens, it would be ok to keep them on grower indefinitely, seeing how your feed volume isnt that high. When you feed 5000 chickens, protein is $$$. So you have to watch the protein levels, not so much for egg production, but mainly for costs. If money were no object I'd feed grower throughout, and supplement with oyster shells to all my chickens.
     

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